For all of the midseason frustration and trade speculation surrounding Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II made it clear Wednesday that there will be no changes at quarterback in 2014.
The Steelers Niners Throwback Jersey have traditionally extended their quarterback’s contract with two years remaining. Rooney suggested salary-cap issues might prevent that from happening this offseason, but he still expects an extension “at some point.”
Whereas Rooney noted the Steelers “slipped” on defense, he believes the “arrow points up” for an improved offense.
“I certainly liked the way we finished. We, as far as I’m concerned, should be in the playoffs,” Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “… (Roethlisberger) got better as the season went on, and that’s certainly what we were hoping for … I do think the way he performed over the last, let’s say, three-fourths of the season, is what we were hoping for.”
An underlying tension in Pittsburgh the past two years has been Roethlisberger’s desire for more control versus the organization’s hope that he would change his playing style to emulate Peyton Manning and extend his career.
The two sides reached a happy medium over the final seven games in which Roethlisberger was sacked just seven times.
Offensive coordinator Todd San Francisco 49ers Nike Torrey Smith Team Color Jersey Haley finally allowed Big Ben to take the reins in a no-huddle attack, taking control at the line of scrimmage in a manner similar to Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
“You have to like the fact that he stayed relatively clean in the second half of the season, and there’s no doubt that’s what we like to see,” Rooney explained. “We’d like to see him last another 5, 6, 7 years, whatever it is.”
The Steelers will spend the offseason fixing a defensive nucleus that has deteriorated to the league’s bottom third. Buoyed by Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, the offense will need nothing more than minor tweaks.
Bagwell made four All-Star Game appearances, had 2,314 hits, 449 home runs, 1,529 RBIs and six trips to the playoffs. He was forced to retire after a degenerative shoulder condition made it impossible for him to throw a baseball and nearly impossible to swing a bat.
Bagwell drove in at least 100 runs in all but one season from 1996-2003, and slipped to 27 homers and 89 RBIs in 2004, though he hit .286 with two homers and eight RBIs in the playoffs.Led by Torrey Smith Jersey Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman, Carlos Beltran, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, the star-studded Astros came within a game of the World Series.
After seeing his vote totals rise in each of his previous two years in the ballot — 41.7 in 2011, 56.0 in 2012, 59.6 in 2013 — Bagwell slipped by 5.3 percent. Players can stay on the ballot for 15 years as long as they receive at least 5 percent of the vote each year.
“Again, Jeff was hurt more by the numbers of players on the ballot,” Ausmus said. “I think that’s more an indication of why his vote went backwards a little bit this year. I still think, in the long run, he’ll also get in. [Bagwell and Thomas] were essentially the same player until Jeff got hurt Torrey Smith White Jersey, and Jeff played a lot more first base.”