After throwing five interceptions – including a pair of pick-sixes – in a 30-9 home loss to the Jaguars this past Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger told reporters, “Maybe I don’t have it anymore.”
That, in many ways, was surprising to hear. After all, Big Ben has played in three Super Bowls, won two, and been one of the top quarterbacks in football for more than a decade. On the flip side, he’s also 35 and reportedly mulled retirement this past offseason.
Should Steelers fans wonder if the end is near for Roethlisberger?
“Not really,” four-time Super Bowl champion Lynn Swann said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think in today’s world, the media comes to players so quickly after a ballgame, and (it was) obviously a very disappointing loss for the Steelers, a disappointing performance for Ben Roethlisberger. Every athlete in football has to look and review a game. You review your mistakes and what you did well and you have to make a decision. So it’s very disappointing. Sometimes after you have a chance to look at it, you can step away and come back with a different viewpoint on how you fix things and your attitude toward it.”
That, however, isn’t possible 10 minutes after a crushing loss.
“(With) so much media coming at them right after the game, I think the emotion of the moment (got to Ben and he was) feeling bad about the performance,” Swann said. “He makes a comment that doesn’t really indicate where he is, but it indicates emotionally that he’s disappointed. I think we probably read too much into it. Ben will, I think, certainly let people let people know when he feels like he doesn’t really want to play – and I don’t think you make those decisions right after a ballgame.”
Take Peyton Manning for example. The retirement whispers loomed large toward the end of his career. Then he won a Super Bowl.
Then the retirement question immediately resurfaced.
“They’re asking him immediately afterwards are you going to retire,” Swann recalled. “He was very smart to say, ‘Look, I’ll sit back and I’ll talk with my family and I’ll see what’s going on and I’ll make a decision when things calm down – not in the heat or the emotion of the moment.’”