2020 NFL playoffs: Ben Roethlisberger has a message for his young receivers heading into wild-card game

Allison Koehler
·2 min read

Sunday will be Ben Roethlisberger’s 10th season taking the Pittsburgh Steelers to the playoffs in his 17-year career. With a playoff record of 13-8, he’s thrown for 5,256 yards and 30 touchdowns.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, a then-rookie at the tender age of 21, was on the receiving end of exactly five of those yards in Pittsburgh’s one-and-done, 45-42 heartbreaker with the Jacksonville Jaguars back in 2018.

James Washington, Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool have exactly zero NFL playoff experience.

What does the veteran QB have to say to his young corp of receivers as they head into the playoffs? The message was simple: Don’t take it for granted.

“There are a lot of guys that don’t understand what it’s about. I get it,” said Roethlisberger in a Wednesday press conference. “You’re thinking I am young; I’ll get back. It’s not guaranteed. I think all of the veteran guys, as we are winding down our careers, understand we don’t know what is next — if there is going to be a next for some guys. We want to make the most of our opportunity, and we keep trying to tell those guys and emphasize to them how important this time is.”

Roethlisberger’s advice for all players is something he lives by.

“I think every player should approach this playoff game like it could be their last playoff game ever,” he said. “We’ve used examples of players and coaches who have been in this league for a long time that have never been in the postseason, never been to a Super Bowl, whatever it may be. I think it’s prudent for every player to take that mindset and approach. I know I am because nothing is guaranteed in the game or this world.”

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