PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) - It was a Pro Bowl season for Ben Roethlisberger that just came to an end and the quarterback continues to play at a high level, but when he joined "The Cook and Poni Show" for the final "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show", he was very cryptic about his future in the NFL.
"I'm going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options," Ben told us. "To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there's going to be a next season."
When asked if he's going to play next year, Ben simply said, "I'm going to take some time and evaluate with my family and just do a lot of praying about it and make sure it's the right thing for me and my family."
Click the audio link below to hear more from Ben on his future and where he is mentally:
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he isn't surprised by Ben's comments.
"Ben said it so you do take it seriously. I'm not alarmed by it, that's football. Obviously, I'm hopeful he returns," Tomlin said,
Looking back on the loss in the AFC Championship, Ben was critical of every aspect of the game for his team.
"They outplayed us," Ben said. "They were the better team on that day, and it showed. They out-coached us, they outplayed us, they out-executed us and the better team won the football game. It's frustrating, but that's the way it goes sometimes."
Looking closer at how they were outplayed, Ben reiterated what he said after the game that the stage may have been too big for some of their young guys.
"Guys have to understand that the game can't be too big for guys, and I think it was for some guys. And that's ok, they're going to have to learn," he said.
One guy who barely contributed to the game was Le'Veon Bell who suffered a groin injury. Ben was asked if this was something that they knew about heading into the game.
"Yes, yep," Ben said. "We knew that Le'Veon was kind of dealing with this, he's been dealing with it for a couple of weeks."
The team has not been listing Bell on the injury report and he was not on the injury report prior to the game against the Patriots.
DeAngelo Williams replaced Bell and even found the end zone early on in the game. There are reports from The NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala about that touchdown, suggesting that Antonio Brown was sulking after because he wanted the ball to come to him. Ben was asked about that report and if he had to pull him aside to talk to him.
"I don't remember," Ben said laughing. When asked a follow-up about that moment, he continued to joke about it and wouldn't confirm or deny that he had to have words with Brown and went on to talk about all of Brown's antics.
There was another situation close to the goal line where the Steelers could have punched it in. Many fans have been complaining about the Steelers not using Ben to sneak the ball in from the one-foot line. Ben was asked if he's opposed in any way to running that play.
"I have no problem sneaking, I think my sneak percentage...is pretty successful, in the high 90s. We've done it before. I've never ever in my life expressed not wanting to do it, I have no problem doing it, I would have done it three or four times in a row if we had to. The plays come in from Coach Haley and I call them," he said.
Of course, Steelers fans are reacting to Ben's comments. Most said they aren't ready to see him go, and they would miss him if he chose not to return.
Watch Lynne Hayes-Freeland talk to fans:
"If he thinks he can come back and contribute to the team, then we'd love to have him," Shawn Holland, of Duquesne, said.
"He's been a great quarterback for our team," Rev. Ricky Burgess, of the Pittsburgh City Council, said. "He's done great work, and we hope he's going to stay."
"I hope he stays around another year, especially after the New England game," fan Mark Vecchi said.
Others weren't so opposed to the idea of the Steelers without Roethlisberger.
"Get rid of him. He's done," Andy Sell, of Oakdale, said. "Ben's done."
Click the audio link below to hear the full "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show" as he also talks about players caring too much about their personal stats, a conversation he had recently with Martavis Bryant and if he believes this team is close to actually winning a Super Bowl if he returns next season.
for more features.