Mike Tomlin assuming Ben Roethlisberger is retiring, wishes for 'mobility' in next QB

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Ben Roethlisberger hasn't said the words "I'm retiring" yet, to the public or to his head coach, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are operating like Big Ben is riding off into the sunset.

Head coach Mike Tomlin told the media on Tuesday that the Steelers are assuming that Big Ben won't be back with the organization in 2022, even though Roethlisberger has yet to reveal his future plans to the media or the team.

So who will replace Roethlisberger under center, where he's been for 18 seasons? There are two backup quarterbacks in the organization, Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, but Tomlin said that he's not sure either of them are everyday players. Despite that, both will get the opportunity to prove to Tomlin and his coaches that they can take over quarterbacking duties.

We don't know if Tomlin has actually created a wishlist of qualities he wants his next quarterback to have, but if such a wishlist exists, we already know what will be at the top: mobility.

That is some deep shade being thrown at Roethlisberger. He was never much of a use-your-legs kind of quarterback, even in his younger days, but in recent years it became glaringly obvious that he moved with the grace and speed of an elderly elephant. He started 15 games in 2020 and made 25 rushing attempts for a grand total of 11 yards gained. In his 16 starts in 2021, he made 20 rushing attempts and gained five total yards.

After 15 seasons of Big Ben, you can't blame Tomlin for wanting something different this time around. Whether he'll find that in Rudolph or Haskins remains to be seen.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JANUARY 09: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field before playing against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin says they're assuming that QB Ben Roethlisberger is retiring, and that he's hoping for a mobile quarterback next time around. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)