Published: Sat, May 05, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Ben Roethlisberger gets candid about the pick of Mason Rudolph

Ben Roethlisberger gets candid about the pick of Mason Rudolph

"I don't think I'll need to since he said he doesn't need me".

The entire Steelers' offensive line is under contract and Pittsburgh has also franchise-tagged star running back Le'Von Bell. "I wanted them to know so that they wouldn't have to worry about drafting a quarterback.You want to be fair to the team and give them ample time to figure out your replacement or whatever. If they think he can help our team, so be it, but I was a little surprised".

Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he plans to play three to five more years if he stays healthy and his offensive line is intact.

Roethlisberger is entering his 15th season with the Steelers, and despite being injury-prone, he was firm on the Rudolph era not starting for a while yet.

Short-term gains aside, the Steelers can't put off planning for the future forever. It's simple: Big Ben gets hurt a lot.

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Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh. Again, this is a quarterback who sounded like he was on the verge of retirement a year ago.

The desire to continue playing that long is a marked turnaround for Roethlisberger, who said last July that he was contemplating retirement as he prepared to enter his 14th National Football League season.

"Once they drafted a quarterback in the third, I wasn't sure if they believed me or not", Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger, however, doesn't appear to be committed to helping Rudolph adjust to and learn the nuances of the NFL. Maybe the Steelers are trying to keep him from doing so next offseason, or maybe they see something in Rudolph.

Roethlisberger, who is tied with Terry Bradshaw as the longest-tenured quarterback in franchise history, said he has no problem tutoring a player that could be groomed to take his place - much as he did with current backups Landry Jones and Josh Dobbs. "If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook".

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