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Mike Tomlin embracing first season without Ben Roethlisberger: 'It's scary but exciting'

6/26/2022 11:35:42 AM
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For 18 seasons, 12 playoff appearances and two Super Bowl titles, Ben Roethlisberger stood as the Steelers' unquestioned man behind center. Roethlisberger threw for 64,088 yards and 418 touchdowns during that time and -- with the exception of his 2019 season being derailed by an elbow injury -- never played fewer than 12 games in a season.

The future Hall of Famer's retirement at the end of last season has ushered in a new era of uncertainty at the position. But Mike Tomlin, himself a pillar of stability as the Steelers head coach since 2007, is eager to seek out the silver linings, Bobby Kownack of reports.

"First of all, the dude's talent. When you watch somebody do something at a certain level for so long, it messes up your perception of what's regular and what's not" Tomlin said on The Pivot podcast. "The dude's arm talent was so special for so long. When you see special stuff every day, you get used to it. I've enjoyed that comfort, we've all enjoyed that comfort. I'm excited about being uncomfortable.

"Yeah, we might not have the type of quarterback play that we've had, we might not have the special talent that we've had, but we got capable dudes. And we've got a team."

"I'm looking forward to the anxiety associated with that uncertainty. To have to stand and deliver, to live out what we believe in. The standard is the standard. It's like McDonald's. You know what a No. 1 is. It don't matter where you go, what corner of the globe, a No. 1 is a No. 1, and that's what I want Pittsburgh Steelers football to be. So it doesn't matter who puts their hands underneath the center as far as I'm concerned. But, all that cool stuff being said -- It's scary, but exciting."

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