Ben Roethlisberger isn't fat and out of shape, people.
Does Roethlisberger prepare like Jerry Rice and Antonio Brown? No. Never has. Never will. He's admitted as much throughout his career.
Does he prepare like John Daly — a beverage, a smoke and maybe one jumping jack ... max? Nope. Never has. Never will.
Roethlisberger's one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and his conditioning, while it's become a hot topic recently thanks to a comment from Jay Glazer, has never been a problem on the field. Where it matters.
That said, it's 2020, the Internet exists, and people went berserk with the Glazer's words. As such, Pat McAfee had to investigate during Thursday's edition of The Pat McAfee Show. Speaking with Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians — who also served as the Steelers' wide receivers coach from 2004 - 2006 and the team's offensive coordinator from 2007 - 2011 — McAfee steered the conversation toward Roethlisberger, first by joking about the jungle currently growing on the quarterback's face.
"Oh, baby. He's got it going," Arians, who is Roethlisberger's neighbor on Lake Oconee in Georgia, began. "He's trying to replace [Brett] Keisel."
Then, McAfee turned to Roethlisberger's recovery and his conditioning, noting that he had heard Roethlisberger is, in fact, taking his fitness seriously after coming off elbow surgery that sidelined him for all but six quarters of the 2019 season. Arians agreed.
"I've watched him, the last three years he's been in unbelievable condition," Arians said. "Just getting in shape. I think that arm was hurting him for a year. So I think they're going to have a big, big year. I think the Steeler defense is coming on. They could be right back in the thick of it."
All I heard was Bruce Arians say the Steelers are basically destined for the Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/EMahEVuNUp
— Tony Digs (@ToneDigz) May 7, 2020
That sentiment echoes Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert's from late February in Indianapolis.
“He didn’t play last season so his body, the rest of his body, got the year off,” Colbert said. “I think that’s part of it. Anytime you repair anything with any kind of surgery, nobody knows at what point, you know when it happened, but what were the symptoms? Was his arm as strong as it had been? Who knows? I’m just optimistic that it could be better.”
What's left to add? Everyone close to Roethlisberger has said the same thing since he went down last year and got the required surgery: He was hurting for a while, the issue's handled and he's on track to return for Week 1 of the 2020 season.
Oh, and Mason Rudolph will be his backup, too.
"We’ve seen Mason. He had eight starts. He won five of them. I feel Mason could do that again if called upon. That’s why there’s a comfort level with our backup situation."
That was Colbert, again back in February.
No need to focus on all the noise, friends. The answers have been right in front of us for months.
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