Big Ben did get over it quickly, report on time and do most of the offseason work they would hope, but a number of NFL coaches have told us, for most NFL players, the minute they even start contemplating retirement their edge is gone and they are rarely the same again.
What about Brett Favre, you ask? The few folks close enough to him to know insist he never really contemplated retirement until he actually retired, and all the false starts were just a way to extend his summer vacations.
While Roethlisberger has never been close to the athlete Favre was, along with his huge arm and great pocket presence, Big Ben’s game has always been mostly about attitude and toughness.
According to our sources, the Steelers don’t believe those traits are gone; they’re just concerned that Roethlisberger may still be distracted and uncertain about his commitment, and they are anxious to find a way to get him refocused and playing his game.
The irony here is that it was Roethlisberger himself who talked about distractions and specifically teammate Antonio Brown after Brown’s sideline Gatorade tossing outburst late in an unimpressive win in Baltimore.