PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now says he wants to play longer than the two years remaining on his contract.
Steelers President Art Rooney II talked about Ben’s future during a one-on-one interview with KDKA-TV Sports Director Bob Pompeani.
“He’s talked about playing three or four more years, which is great to hear,” Rooney said. “As long as he takes care of himself and the offensive line takes care of him, I think Ben can play three or four more years.”
KDKA’s Bob Pompeani Reports:
After the Steelers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ben told KDKA that he looks forward to playing with his teammates next year.
“I don’t know about contracts and who’s coming back, but I know the guys up front are and that makes it good for me,” Roethlisberger said in January.
Rooney said that the team will address Roethlisberger’s contract at the right time.
As for running back Le’Veon Bell, Rooney says the team is trying to get him signed to a long-term deal.
“Our goal is to negotiate a multi-year deal with Le’Veon, and I think that’s what he’d like to see happen, so we’re going to focus on it and see if we can get it done,” Rooney said. “You never know what will happen in a negotiation.”
One of the complaints about the Steelers, particularly on social media, was their lack of discipline during the season.
“I don’t think you win 13 games in this league if you’re not focused, if you’re not disciplined,” Rooney said. “We just need to focus on what we can do to get better, and I think we had the nucleus on a potentially championship team and we’ve just got to get better.”
On the subject of injured linebacker Ryan Shazier, Rooney says he’s impressed by how far he’s come after suffering the spinal cord injury back in December. Rooney adds that Shazier will always have a place with the Steelers.
“Well, Ryan is a remarkable young man, and his attitude with recovering from this injury is great to see. He’s really an inspiration to everyone here in the organization and even outside the organization,” Rooney said. “He’s making progress every day, and he just has to take it that way, and see how far he can go. There will be a place for Ryan here next year.”
And, on the most controversial call during the Steelers season, Rooney says he thinks there needs to be a rule change.
Pompeani: “I thought it was a football play, which then negated the need to survive the ground, how did you view that play and call?”
Rooney: “You know, I think they got it right in the way the rule currently is written. I happen to think that rule should be changed, because I do think that was a touchdown. I think Jesse had control of the ball and he reached across the goal line. If he were a runner and doing the same thing, it would have been a touchdown. So, I think we need to take a look at it and how a play like that is officiated, and it’s too bad, it would have been a big win for us heading into the playoffs, but there again, you’ve got to be able to overcome things things like that.”