Ben Roethlisberger: I have never looked toward the future

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Ben Roethlisberger said the $5 million pay cut he took was his idea. The new contract, which reduced his $41.25 million cap hit, voids after the 2021 season.

Thus, all signs point to this being the 39-year-old Roethlisberger’s final season as the Steelers’ quarterback.

Roethlisberger, though, isn’t ready to speculate on what might happen after this season. Instead, he is taking the same approach he always has.

“I’m going to approach this like I do every season — like it’s my last,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “I think that’s the approach you have to take. And you don’t approach it that way because it could be your last, but you approach it because every single play in the game of football could be your last. Every game could be your last game. That just means I’m going out to give it everything I have.

“I have never looked toward the future. I’ve always looked at the right here and now, and that’s what’s important for me for this season is giving it everything I have right here and right now for this group of guys.”

Roethlisberger completed 67.5 percent of his passes for 2,800 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in the Steelers’ 11-0 start. But he went 1-4 in his final five starts of the season, including a wild-card playoff loss to the Browns. (Roethlisberger sat out a Week 17 game against the Browns.)

In his final five starts of 2020, Roethlisberger completed only 63.2 percent of his passes for 1,504 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

“I didn’t play well enough at the end of the season,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s not a secret, and I’ll be the first to point the thumb at myself. When the ball is in your hand every play, you have to make plays and play better football. If the quarterback, myself, isn’t playing good football, that — especially late in the season — is related to winning and losing.

“I will take that playoff and those games on me. Just feeling worn down and not playing good enough football at the end of the season.”

Whether this is Roethlisberger’s final season or not, he hopes to play better for the full 2021 season than he did for the full 2020 season.

Ben Roethlisberger: I have never looked toward the future originally appeared on Pro Football Talk