Who’s impressing Roethlisberger most? ‘Probably Moncrief’ ☕


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Ben Roethlisberger talks with Donte Moncrief during mini-camp Tuesday. – MATT SUNDY / DKPS

Don't make Ben Roethlisberger choose his favorite offensive weapon. That's like picking his favorite kid. And this season in particular, Roethlisberger has a bevy of options.

There's a three-headed attack at running back — James ConnerJaylen Samuels and Benny Snell — and there's a deep, varied receiving corps that includes JuJu Smith-Schuster, James WashingtonDonte MoncriefEli RogersRyan SwitzerDiontae Johnson and tight end Vance McDonald.

Picking his favorite out of these options is impossible... but Roethlisberger did say one person in particular stands out through Steelers OTAs.

"Boy, it'd be hard to pick one," Roethlisberger was saying beside his locker at the Rooney Complex Tuesday during Steelers minicamp. "I'd probably go with Donte Moncrief, just because he's new. I kind of know what to expect from some of the other guys but I wasn't really sure what to expect when he came in."

The Steelers faced Moncrief as a member of the Colts and the Jaguars, so Roethlisberger had a taste for what he could bring to the table. That said, the full range of Moncrief's skills — and his commitment off the field — has impressed Roethlisberger.

"I didn't know him, obviously, and now just getting to see his work ethic, the type of person he is, his desire to be great, his knowledge of the offense already," Roethlisberger was saying. "I'll ask him, we'll do no-huddle stuff and I'll give him a signal and I'll be like, 'You good?' and he'll be like, 'Yeah.' So he's in with [Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake] every single morning, pretty much all day.

"You see the desire and the want to be great, so I've really enjoyed the opportunity to know him and to work with him so far."

Making matters better for Roethlisberger, the Steelers acquired Moncrief early during the free agency period, giving him plenty of time to acclimate and to work with the team. Compare this to late acquisitions such as McDonald in 2017 or Switzer last season, and Roethlisberger says the difference is evident.

"This is an awesome opportunity that he's here and we're getting to work together," Roethlisberger said. "He was with us when we went on our trip. It's just, it's been fun to get to know him as a person, too."

Combine this with Moncrief's own thoughts about Roethlisberger, and the hype surrounding the new kid on the block continues to grow as the team strolls into minicamp and training camp later this summer.


[caption id="attachment_840661" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] Steelers mini-camp, Rooney Sports Complex, June 11, 2019 - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS[/caption]

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