Mike Tomlin: Ben Roethlisberger is Steelers' best option at quarterback



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Mike Tomlin: Ben Roethlisberger is Steelers' best option at quarterback

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin insists Ben Roethlisberger remains the Steelers' best option at the quarterback position. Roethlisberger has had a rough start to the season as the Steelers are on a three-match losing streak.

This past Sunday, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a touchdown on the opening drive but struggled in the rest of the game as the Green Bay Packers claimed a 27-17 win. Roethlisberger completed 26 of 40 attempts for 232 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

"Absolutely," Tomlin said. "What he does and what he's done makes me really comfortable in saying that."

Roethlisberger missed an open JuJu Smith-Schuster versus the Packers

Roethlisberger missed a handful of throws to his wide receivers and two passes that didn't make it to Smith-Schuster appeared to be destined for the end zone.

"It's him some, it's us collectively some," Tomlin said, explaining the passing game's inconsistency. "We've just got to keep working. Sometimes it can be attributed to the altering of plans late in the week because of player availability or guys not being available.

... "We've had some big-play opportunities, we hadn't cashed in on them. We need to cash in on them. They're a big component of moving the ball and scoring, particularly when you're not working as efficiently as you like on possession downs, which we aren't.

... We're also going to work to connect on a higher percentages of these chunk opportunities because that aids us in terms of ringing up the scoreboard, as well." Roethlisberger is playing behind a new offensive line but Tomlin insists he not concerned about Roethlisberger's safety than he was a year ago.

"Not out of the ordinary," Tomlin said. "I'm sure if you reviewed the tape and looked at these visits (news conferences) from the first 11 weeks of last year and probably said similar things. He was upright and we were undefeated.

"There's probably a component of just being in your late 30s and playing this game and playing that position and particularly when you're not playing winning football and you get somewhat one dimensional, there's collateral damage that gets associated with that for him and for us."

Roethlisberger, 39, is not as mobile as he used to be. "Everything except mobility," Tomlin said with a chuckle. "I don't have an answer for that, or lack thereof. Ben used to be able to run really good when he was young.

Those days are behind him. "Other than that, I don't see much that's not a discussion in terms of technical alterations or quality of play that can be improved."