Father time is calling Big Ben home

Michael Guido, Managing & Sports Editor

Ben Roethlisberger has made an indelible mark on the city of Pittsburgh.

Since 2004, he has been the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise and for good reason.

After being selected 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft and taking over in the second week of that season, Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances while grabbing two rings in the process.

He has accumulated a lifetime record of 157-76-1, completed 5,133 passes on 7,968 attempts for 61,149 yards and thrown 400 touchdowns to 205 interceptions, which has placed Big Ben in discussion for one of the best quarterbacks of all time and a sure first-ballot hall of famer.

With all that said, Sunday’s frustrating 27-17 loss at the hands of the Green Bay Packers may be the biggest sign yet that it is time for Ben to hang up the cleats.

There had been major calls for his retirement after an embarrassing wild card loss to the rival Cleveland Browns, but Ben decided to return for at least one more season and Pittsburgh sports media figures and fans welcomed him back with open arms.

However, despite an opening weekend win over the Buffalo Bills in which the offense held its own, the Steelers offense has been a train wreck, and while the offensive line can be blamed for much of the stagnation and inaction, a large part of that falls on the hallowed big man from Miami of Ohio.

Ben simply can’t make the throws he used to, he continues to miss reads and he looks as mobile as an oak tree in the pocket.

In dire moments, Ben reverts to making mistakes he’s made throughout his career such as forcing passes into double and even sometimes triple coverage and holding onto the ball beyond a reasonable timeframe.

The decline has been almost precipitous, going back to the Steelers’ late-season collapse last year.

It has been quite disheartening to watch, especially when one considers all that Ben has meant to the Steelers organization.

However, one has to recognize when father time says time’s up, and unfortunately for Big Ben, father time is screaming from the heavens right now.

[email protected]