PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - After 18 years, Ben Roethlisberger is, in his own words, "cleaning out his locker and hanging up his cleats" as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Roethlisberger, who had been the Steelers' quarterback since 2004 and won two Super Bowls, saw praise from a successful career begin to pour in as soon as the announcement was official.
"He truly represents what a Pittsburgh Steeler is," his former head coach Bill Cowher said in a tweet.
"Ben - There are not enough words in a tweet to do you justice," Rocky Bleier said on Twitter. "You gave of yourself over and over again for the love of the game, the love of Pittsburgh, and the love of this Steelers team. There will never be another like you and I am looking forward to your future."
Brett Keisel, Alan Faneca, and even Tommy Maddox gave Ben their congratulations.
Short and sweet from Pittsburgh native and former NFL punter Pat McAfee.
McAfee's co-host Tone Digz also looked back on the career.
It wasn't just limited to Steelers, former Steelers, and coaches. It was rivals, too.
It was a true rivalry as Ben posted a 17-10 record against Baltimore.
Even Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history, offered kudos.
It's a decision fans have been expecting, especially after his victory lap back in December. Fans were not too surprised. For younger fans, it will be different to see another quarterback at QB 1.
"It's going to be weird cause Ben's always been that rock," Landon Ott from Georgia said.
"For Pittsburgh, Ben was Ben. The team was Ben. Now we've got to regroup and get another quarterback," Kaylee Deemer of Gibsonia said.
Fans appreciated his play and how he brought two Super Bowl titles to the city. They said he went out at the right time.
"When it's your time, it's your time," Earl Johnson Jr. of Swissvale said.
WATCH: Max Starks Talks Big Ben's Career
For many, their favorite memories include those wins in the big game, including winning touchdown to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII.
"Which gave us the victory. It always reminds me of Ben. I'll never forget it," Johnson Jr. said.
Stores like Yinzers in the Burgh have capitalized off his success for years from jerseys to shorts and memorabilia.
"To be quite honest with you, we sold everything that we've had that's Ben. We made a thank you Ben shirt. We blew out of them in two days," store owner Jim Coen said.
Now it's time for them to find the next success story.
"When I buy, I have to buy a year ahead of time so it makes things a little more difficult," Coen said.
With no. 7 riding off into the sunset, there is now the question of who will fill his shoes.
"We've got to get somebody that's got some legs. Somebody young," Johnson Jr. said.
"They need to do a lot with quarterback," Ott said.
Whomever it is, we'll see soon enough.
If you're planning to be there for any Hall Of Fame speech, the earliest you can book your trip to Canton would be 2027.
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