Ben Roethlisberger Takes Stock Of His New Receiving Corps

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fielded questions recently after a workout at the team’s facilities, and unsurprisingly, a good deal of them centered around the wide receiver position, which has been a talking point all offseason.

Roethlisberger shared his thoughts on a number of related issues, and his responses ranged from affirming to revealing.

For starters, the 10-year veteran signal caller has never made it much of a secret that he covets the ability to throw to a tall target, even while his primary targets stood at six foot or under for the majority of his career.

When asked if he was happy that he got a tall receiver in Martavis Bryant, his response was that “offensively speaking, we needed to address a tall receiver”. Earlier reports and comments, of course, suggest that this was a belief held by more than just the quarterback.

Reports surfaced fairly early on that the Steelers were interested in acquiring a tall receiver early in the draft. After they drafted Bryant, wide receivers coach Richard Mann said that getting a tall receiver was something he’d been hunting for the whole draft.

Of course, these comments also speak toward Derek Moye’s role, despite the fact that he possesses a similar combination of size and speed as Bryant.

Moye is clearly pegged as a role player who managed around 50 snaps last year. The chances of him making the roster again seem to be pretty slim right now with Bryant filling his niche.

Bryant isn’t the only new receiver that Roethlisberger has to learn about, however, as the Steelers also signed Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey during free agency, and he talked about the need to find chemistry:

You have to [build a rapport]. As often as I can I am here throwing and they are here every day catching and just trying to learn. It’s not a fast process. We have to learn how they like to come out of breaks, what balls they like to catch, high ones, low ones. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but they are both veteran guys that are experienced that I am looking forward to working with.

Roethlisberger will be experiencing more change than he’s been accustomed to in his career, but he has the right attitude in confronting it. Regarding the changes, he said that “it’s going to be different but it’s fun”, describing it as “a great challenge”.

Not everything has changed, of course. In particular, there is one source of consistency remaining on which Roethlisberger can rely. That would be Antonio Brown, who has caught more of Roethlisberger’s passes than anybody since entering the league in 2010.

Brown is now the veteran receiver on the roster, having been with the team the longest, which is odd given his youth. Roethlisberger thought the same, but added that “if you are going to have one, I can’t think of a better one with his on the field experience”.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Steelers12328882

    I can’t imagine he’s built a great rapport with Wheaton either. Ben sure has his work cut out for him this year, but at least he still has AB and Heath.

  • srdan

    I get what ben is saying, and it’s the right thing to say. But to be honest I think ben is a unique talent that actually builds rapport during game time. Timing routes are about 20% of what helps him be what he is. And that he can work on now. Compare that to maybe closer to 90% for a Manning.

    Ben develops rapport with his receivers when the play breaks down and they work to get open for him and run back to the ball. And some of that can happen in the preseason, but mostly during the season.

    I get that the front office wnats him to be a disciplined pocket passer. But its the same FO that said: “if you have red paint, you paint the barn red.”

  • Aric Brown

    Well done sir

  • Jacque Strappe

    And Bell as a safety valve.

  • Aric Brown

    If I were Ben I’d be excited about all that ricky bobby speed we have at the receiver position
    Lance Moore 4.5
    Markus Wheaton 4.4
    Martavis Bryant 4.4
    Antonio Brown 4.4
    Dri Archer 4.2
    Darius Heyward Bey 4.2


  • Ricky Bobby: Yeah, you sound like a dog with peanut butter on the roof of your mouth

  • dave

    Kaboly from trib.thinks Bryant is a bust , looked bad at rookie camp, so you can scratch him off your list.

  • Steelers58

    Did u see a program called sports science. They did a special on draft prospects. I think it rsn on espn

  • Bob Loblaw

    Kaboly said it, it must be true…

  • Mike Frantz

    I have to ask….are you serious?! One practice and some crappy media guy says he looked a little slow out of his breaks and you are ready to write him off? Despite the fact that he looked very good at Clemson, combine and pro day in same situation?

  • Zach

    well, let’s give the kid some time, but it’s certainly not a good sign…

  • Aric Brown

    I ate a whole mess of crepes this morning

  • Dan

    They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.

  • Dan

    I looked up a list of the fastest 40yd combine times in history. A bunch of unremarkable names. Aside from Chris Johnson and Champ Bailey, a pretty poor to average lot. Most had no or below average NFL careers, e.g. Heyward-Bey, etc.

  • Matt Manzo

    Does Moye really have 4.4 speed, too? I thought he was more like a high 4.5?
    Do u guys think his lack of playing time down the stretch was affected by that TD drop? If he makes that catch do u think we woulda given him more chances? I just feel like we kinda gave up on him.

  • tim

    Didnt M Bryant run like a 4.3something at his pro day, I THINK?

  • Aric Brown

    Speed is much more important in our offense… when the play breaks down the faster the guy is the faster he will get to Bens side of the field

  • Aric Brown

    In my opinion the kid is grossly overrated

  • Matt Manzo

    Yeah! U gotta go by what the coaches say, right? If he doesn’t see a snap the second half of the year when we’re begging for a RZ threat then he’s doin something wrong!
    I thought he and JBrown had a good chance this year but after the FAs and draft I think they’re ghosts.

  • Cal Naughton, Jr.:
    Put any syrups you want on them. I’m just saying, think about it.