For the first time since 2003, the Pittsburgh Steelers will enter a season without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the roster.

Roethlisberger announced his retirement earlier this year after an 18-year career that saw the former Miami (OH) quarterback win two Super Bowls and reach six Pro-Bowls.

The Pittsburgh legend, who turned 40 last month, was still an effective player for the Steelers in his final season. Roethlisberger passed for over 3,700 yards last season while leading Pittsburgh to the playoffs with a 9-7-1 record.

It was obvious while watching Roethlisberger play, though, that the future Hall of Famer had some physical limitations thanks to his “advanced age”.

As a result of Roethlisberger’s retirement, the Steelers are looking for a long-term answer at quarterback.

Jan 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

And if you think Roethlisberger showing up this summer to come out of retirement is an option, you better think again.

On Thursday, Roethlisberger was asked if he’d consider coming out of retirement a la Tom Brady.

Roethlisberger gave a perfect response to the question, telling 102.5 WDVE in Pittsburgh “My coach and general manager don’t want me back”.

That’s a great way to answer that question.

I imagine Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert would welcome Roethlisberger back if he truly wanted to return to the field. But that chapter is over. Roethlisberger took a beating during his many years on the field and he’s more than ready to enjoy retirement.

The Steelers need to get to work figuring out the quarterback position because it could take them a couple of years to find an adequate replacement for Big Ben.

We’ve seen plenty of teams struggle for years to find a franchise quarterback after the retirement of a star quarterback. The Steelers are hoping to avoid going down that same road.

Featured image via Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports