Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger opens up about his receiving corps in Pittsburgh
As one of the longest-tenured and most notable players in Steelers history, Big Ben’s words hold a lot of weight, and he had some strong ones for the Steelers young receiving corps in 2019 – headlined by JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Diontae Johnson, all of whom were 23 years old last season.
Roethlisberger was quoted in a story by Curt Popejoy on USA Today’s Steelers Wire via an appearance on a morning show on WDVE discussing Washington and Smith-Schuster in particular:
“I thought James Washington really took some big steps in terms of his conditioning,” Roethlisberger said. “I saw James on numerous occasions, multiple times a game, run deep routes — obviously full-speed, looking for the ball — doesn’t get it, and he is like sprinting back to the huddle and runs another route.”
Smith-Schuster was a Pro-Bowler in 2018 after putting up 1426 receiving yards on 111 receptions, but his numbers dipped considerably in 2019 – mostly due to the fact that Roethlisberger was not delivering him the ball.
On JuJu, Roethlisberger had this to say.
“I think one of the most impressive things that I saw on the sideline, and had communication with him, was JuJu,” Roethlisberger said. “I think you saw a guy that wasn’t as productive as he wanted to be, and as he was expected to be, but he was still able to go out there and be a leader for guys. Guys in that receivers room, guys were still looking up to him, still talking to him. He was out there giving it everything he had.”