Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raised some eyebrows in January when he told 93.7 The Fan he was "going to take this offseason to evaluate" and consider "if there’s going to be a next season," but head coach Mike Tomlin downplayed concerns regarding the signal-caller's possible retirement on Monday.
"I think it’s a very reasonable discussion when you get 35," he said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac. "I think people probably read too much into it and are making more out of than what it is. I imagine he goes through that thought process … it’s probably not the first year he’s gone through that process and it probably won’t be the last if he continues."
However, Tomlin did note he hasn't received a concrete answer from the two-time Super Bowl champion.
"We have had some good fluid discussions, but really normal discussions we have this time of year — keeping him abreast of free agency, how the draft is potentially shaping up," he said, per Dulac. "We haven’t talked quite a bit at all about play or no-play. I’m just letting him sort through that process."
That said, indications to this point suggest Roethlisberger will be back in the Steel City when training camp gets underway.
Not only did Steelers president Art Rooney II say in January he "personally" expects Roethlisberger to return, per Dulac, but the 13-year veteran hinted earlier in the month he would return to the gridiron.
"I’m leaning towards it," he said, per the Observer-Reporter's Dale Lolley.
Assuming Roethlisberger does return, the Steelers' offense should maintain electric form as they seek to repeat as AFC North champions and make another deep postseason run.