Today’s an important day for Pittsburgh Steelers nation. With players rolling up the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for Day 1 of 2021 training camp, Wednesday marks the end of the offseason and the beginning of the preseason for the reigning AFC North regular-season champs.
Just as he has for the last 17 seasons, the Steelers’ longtime starting QB Ben Roethlisberger showed up in Pittsburgh for training camp earlier today.
Posting a photo of the of the six-time Pro Bowler’s arrival, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter described Big Ben as “lean, mean Ben Roethlisberger.”
Not noticing any significant difference in the QB’s physique, NFL fans from around the league took to Twitter to react to Schefter’s comments.
Being awfully flippant with the word lean. https://t.co/IKh2fSTO1t
— jordan crank (@therealJCC23) July 21, 2021
The word “lean” is working very hard in that statement, Mr. Schefter.
Ben’s gut looks about like mine and I sure as hell am not lean…. https://t.co/uXBr9ban4w
— Asa Oliviér Martin (@AsaOlivier) July 21, 2021
If this is lean then I’m the skinniest man on earth https://t.co/TOkjnZRYy0
— Pistons got the #1 Pick (@MasterChiefn920) July 21, 2021
A 39 year old professional @NFL quarterback should be in peak physical condition year round. I don’t understand why we have to pat @_BigBen7 on the back every year for showing up in “shape” The @steelers are still going 8-9 this season. #Steelers #SteelersNation https://t.co/KryJaqHiyG
— Mark My Words🎸 (@Isted_1) July 21, 2021
After playing just two games in 2019 with a season-ending elbow injury, Roethlisberger returned for a solid year in 2020. In a season that started with the Steelers going 11-0, the veteran QB logged 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions at a 65.6% completion rate.
Dropping three of the last four games to close out the regular season, the Steelers were pitted in a Wild Card matchup against the Cleveland Browns. Despite a massive 501-yard, four-touchdown game for Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh fell in the first round of the postseason 48-37.
The Steelers re-signed their 39-year-old quarterback on a restructured deal heading into the 2021 season. Instead of his previous $19 million, Roethlisberger will now make $14 million over the final year of his contract, including cash payments spread through 2022. By doing this, the franchise saved more than $15 million against the cap.
Roethlisberger and his squad will kickoff their 2021 season with a matchup against the Buffalo Bills on Sep. 12.