Steelers Brunch w/ Tony: There is hope after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retires
Good afternoon Pittsburgh steelers fans welcome to welcome to another addition of steelers. Brunch with Tony I am your host Tony Jeffey. Oh and I am so excited. You guys are joining me again. Last week I was a lot of fun my I show. I thought it was really well received a lot of great feedback. A Lotta love from you guys and I'm looking forward to doing it again before I begin today. Show I just want to encourage you as always to subscribe to behind Stewart Curtains Youtube Channel. A lot of great podcasts. Plenty of podcast on a daily basis. There's just last night. Listen to Yeah I it Lance Williams a famous Lance Williams says His weekly podcast. He's also on. The standard is a standard every week with behind the curtain editor. Jeff Hartmann and. They're often joined by Brian. Ethnic Davis the famous BAD BRIAN IS MY CO host. Every Monday forced dealers Q. and A. at five o'clock that's in the off season and regular season is called steelers hangover where we discuss the previous day's steelers game. There's also the staticky Costa by Dave Scofield. Deputy deputy editor of behind the curtain. He's often joined by his big brother. Big Bro Sco. I met both Dave and big Bro. Sco last December along with Brian. Anthony Davis right before the bills game which ultimately was the downfall of the steelers season. But we won't get into that but anyway we have a lot of great podcast that again you can watching and and subscribe to on a daily basis and of course there's the site behind the curtain where you can find all the steelers news. You need every day Jeff Hartmann and Dave they. They bring the news every every time. There's a breaking story. You can always count on them to bring it to you and then of course there's commentary guys like me and Brian Anthony. We provide a commentary. And then there's the film breakdown there's a need. It's the greatest in my opinion. The greatest steelers site on the Internet. So please again subscribe to this page. the steelers early beyond curtain Youtube Channel and And like this page. So let's get on up before I start. Hello everybody who's saying what's up Ken there as Raw Dennis Sheridan the famous Dennis Sheridan. It's going to be a fun show and what I want to talk about. Today is life after Ben. Rothlisberger you know. The belief held by many including me for for the longest time is that once finally retires. Being a franchise quarterback it's going to be hard to replace him because those guys are hard to replace. Let's let's not kid ourselves. You know we went from. We went twenty years between Terry Bradshaw and and Ben and we had a lot of Okay quarterback in the middle but certainly no franchise quarterback and certainly no super bowl success and again if you if you look at the teams like dolphins broncos teams that have had the bills teams that have had franchise quarterbacks. It's not always easy to replace. Replace a guy. So why should the steelers be any different and again? That was my thought process for the longest time until recently when I when I watched a Episode of caught caught in the draft. That chronicles it's a it's a show produced by NFL films chronicles Many of the draft from the past and the drama that led up to it the trauma that that went on during the draft and and the aftermath. And I think it's a really good series. She check it out on Youtube or the NFL network but the show. I want to focus on the two thousand four draft the the the great quarterback class two point. Oh you know eighty three. We had John Elway. Dan Marino Jim Kelly etc. Well two thousand four it was it was Eli Manning Philip rivers and Big Ben Rothlisberger who the steelers drafted with the eleventh pick of the two thousand four NFL draft. So I think that draft and the seven years that followed for Pittsburgh taught steelers a lesson on how to rebuild after a championship air. Or after your your franchise quarterback retires or leaves in the case of Terry Bradshaw who he retired but you know it was more injuries than anything else. And it was kind of an expected. But how do you remember that that that that that draft remembered Dan Rooney the The owner the Patriarch of the Francis at that time. Rivers were were gone and bill our the head coach at the time he really loved Philip Rivers. He wanted the draft. Philip Rivers There was a thought that he might slip down to eleven. He drafted fourth by the giants. Who also traded him the chargers which I'll get into later so when it came time for the steelers to to make their selection at eleven there was talk of going another direction Getting an offensive Lineman for Tommy Maddox. He was a starter at the time. And that was believed to be what they were GONNA do. But Dan Rooney Kinda interjected and said look we have had. We haven't had a chance to draft a quarterback this a long time. We haven't had a chance to get our hands on a franchise quarterback. We should go quarterback and he was ultimately the deciding vote and and the rest is history so again I think that selection in the success that that happened taught them a lesson on how to rebuild. Because I'm not sure if they necessarily knew that the first time around after that first Super Bowl era of the nineteen seventies in fair enough. You know the steelers for forty years as we go no they did nothing as they as an organization that they didn't come close to winning any title. They were just another team. Excuse me as much as my pay me that say and pain you to hear the steelers for basically the browns of their day they did. They were just a a sad sack franchise and then boom. Starting in the late sixties they had. They had a whirlwind success. Dan Rooney to be candid driving force of the organization. He hired Chuck Knoll as head. Coach Noah immediately drafted mean Joe Greene and then over the next five years. He drafted and sign. Can't forget about Donnie show. He was on undrafted. Free Agent in seventy four who the steelers sign. He's now hall of Famer Today. They signed or they drafted and signed nine future hall of Famers. And of course this bear the fruit of four super bowl bud late seventies. They were the marquee franchise of the NFL. They were to the standard of success and then boom in nineteen eighty. It was all over everybody. Getting old people started to retire. How did every built? What did they do? And maybe the initial thought was with the quarterback because they drafted Mark Malone in nineteen eighty but was eighty. Answer was he a franchise quarterback. Well obviously not because by nineteen eighty three. He was he couldn't even beat out longtime backup cliffs out in the first attempt in years to replace Terry Bradshaw who was out that season or the beginning of that season recovering from elbow surgery. He would only as it turns out. He would only play one half of one game before retiring after the eighty-three season but couldn't even cliffs doubt out by his fourth year so he obviously wasn't the answer he did become the star in the mid eighties and he had he did okay. You know. He's probably better than people thought but he certainly wasn't great and he certainly had this bad moments too. So in the meantime what did they focus their draft on in the eighties? Their first round picks well for four picks. They used on defensive Lineman Keith. Gary Nineteen eighty-one gave Rivera Nineteen eighty-three Darryl Sims. Nineteen eighty five and Aaron Jones. Nineteen thousand eight nineteen eighty two. They drafted Walter Abercrombie in the first round running back out of Baylor he was obviously brought in to be the successor to your to Franco Harris. Who was the? He was in the twilight of his career. At that time he would have he would go onto play another two or three years for them and then that would be so. You got What were they thinking quarterback they think something else you know that? The old school fought in those days. That a lot of coaches has had a lot of general managers a lot of scouts. What was that you win with? Defense and the ball Chuck knoll famously. Said in one thousand nine three during the draft when they were debating whether or not to take Dan Marino with the twenty seven th pick when he decided to take Rivera instead we we built this thing with defense the first time we're GONNA we're GonNa do that again. We're we're going to build this thing a second time three defense and and and that was the that was the mentality in those days running the football defense. That's how you went Let's let's go through the rest of the first round. Picks the eighties eighty four. Louis Lips Receiver. Great Pick can't argue with that eighty six they picked ninth highest selection in the first round since nineteen seventy eight when they took bradshaw number one overall. They picked charming struck a guy from temple. He didn't really have much of a career. Eighty seven Rod Woodson. Cornerback can't argue with that. One in eighty nine steelers had two first round picks and never coming up at five and eleven season their first their own first round pick that they earned on merit was the seventh pick in the draft. That was her highest pick since Bradshaw and they and they use it on Excuse me running back Tim. Worldly ought to Georgia and I'm not knocking the steelers for that. Because that was a he was believed to be a really good selection. At the time he was believed to be a possible franchise running back the kind of guy you could build a team around and They went and Bubby Brister by that point he was. He was considered the the the the parent that the starting quarterback he started in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight. He started the entire season. Even though they were five and eleven he was believed to be the future at quarterback so hard to argue but at the same time coming up at five and eleven season. Maybe you should be looking at the quarterback position as as a as when you upgrade moving onto that second pick which they got in the Mike. Merriweather trade twenty fourth overall they picked Tom. Ricketts offensive tackle from Pitt. So if you look at the steelers after Malone after draft him alone in the first round in one thousand nine hundred eighty. Here's how they used. Three picks to draft quarterbacks arrested a decade. I mentioned Bobby Brister in one thousand nine hundred sixty to pick some guy named Rick True Kano. They picked him in the Eleventh. Round in nineteen eighty one and then of course the famous Scott Campbell. They picked him in the seventh round. Nineteen eighty-four he actually went on to start a few games for them in nineteen eighty five but he really had much of a career so basically no spent the entire nineteen eighty S. I don't WanNa say neglecting the QUARTERBACK POSITION. But certainly didn't he. He wasn't making a priority beyond a few few selections no hired in the third round. In those last two drafts. He picked Eric Green tight end and one thousand nine hundred and then of course the famous Richardson. The edge pass rusher outside linebacker in one thousand nine hundred one. Those last two drafts. Then even cower his first few drafts in one thousand nine hundred he picked. Leon searcy a tackle ninety-three dion figures. Cornerback ninety four Charles Johnson wide receiver and in fairness to him though he did inherit new. O'donnell from Chuck Noll who drafted him in the third round and nineteen ninety and we don't remember Neil O'Donnell very very fondly. But he was not a bad quarterback he was actually pretty good quarterback and the early nineties and the steelers made the playoffs every year under his with him as a starter. So it was hard to argue with Neil O'Donnell but we see a franchise guy obviously if you remember thirty. He didn't do so hot when when everything was on the line. And if you remember the ninety four. Afc Championship game against the chargers. There might have been one or two pass as we wish he could've made to win that game. But in fairness cower he did draft Kordell Stewart in the second round of nineteen ninety five and he was brought in to be the successor. The heir-apparent to donahue was not gonNa be around much longer. He was a free agent and he was probably GonNa leave after ninety five which he did. The steelers didn't keep their free agents in those days. So Stewart was brought in. He was slashed in the beginning. You know he was receiver renting back occasional quarterback but he was brought in with the belief that he would he would take the steelers starting job sooner rather than later. Hey everyone this Cara swisher editor at large recode and I'm Scott callaway professor at nyu Stern School of business. We host the twice-weekly pivot podcast. 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I think is your radio personality now but as far as football career steelers that was pretty much it for him so Tomczak he. He went in and he was the He was a a nice gay manager in ninety six. He took the steelers to the playoffs again. They want a game. So I could see cower going with with Tom Zach and then ninety seven. He went with He. He cordell finally won the starting quarterback position and he did a good job ninety seven one thousand eight year. He was an exciting player. He had a great year undertand. Galea's offense coordinator took him today if see championship game but then Gayley left after the season to be a beat. The cowboys head coach. And that's nobody's fault. I mean you can't deny a guy the opportunity to get to take a head. Coaching job and ninety eight Gayley was replaced by Richard Sherman. That was a disaster. He lasted one season. Ninety nine can bride was brought in. He lasted two seasons as a coordinator by that time. Cordell confidence was was slashed. So to speak he was benched by the end. By the end of ninety nine season he was not only benched by car but he was. He was prevented from going to the quarterback meetings. He was basically every everybody ended here. He wasn't even a backup quarterback to Tomczak. He was just a a receiver by that point. You mentioned got his job. Back in two thousand had another great year in two thousand one under Mike Malarkey. He was the his fourth offensive coordinator as the starter and but unfortunately by two thousand three he was out of Pittsburgh in favor of Tommy. Matic to who who took his job at two thousand two and had a really great two thousand two season. But if you remember those times even though there's a lot of uncertainty was with Cordell starting in ninety eight there's a lot of turnover offense coordinator. The steelers really did not address the quarterback position half a decade from ninety eight through three. They drafted I think the the only guy that drafted in that entire time. Two guys drafted t morton fifth round the two thousand out of Tennessee and they drafted a Brian saint-pierre and Brown in two thousand three so not much dedication get a quarterback position through three and then finally two thousand four comes along ben gets drafted gets become starter almost immediately in history and that takes me back to that two thousand four draft. If you remember that draft how the drama that was unfolding before it took place ally manning who was the consensus number one pick heading into that draft made a quite well known him and his father Archie Manning. They made it well known that they had no interest in playing for the chargers who had a number one overall pick so what wound up happening was allied to get picked by the chargers. Philip rivers run fourth and then of course then when when eleventh the chargers and the giants made a trade swap quarterbacks and as you know the giants and the steelers had great success they won multiple championships and the chargers really did nothing rivers. They had some good teams but they did nothing. So in retrospect I'm thinking ally in in his dad they they were onto something by not wanting to play with the chargers because even felt rivers he passed for fifty nine thousand yards in his career. Great is going into the hall of fame and if you look at the stats of of Ben and rivers there are pretty much the same but to those guys are are super bowl champions. Two Times over each and one only made it to at one championship game in his career with with the chargers and Rivers is the second hall of fame quarterback. The chargers have had since the merger Danfoss was the first. And if you're if you remember fouts career if you know anything about his career he had he. He was the quarterback of some of the greatest offense ever especially for that time and yet they could never really get anywhere but I think they may one. Afc Championship game during foulds career. And that was it so I think not only did the afford draft teach steelers that. Look if we'RE GONNA if we're if we're going to win championships. We need a quarterback. We need we need to build with a quarterback I yet defense important Run the renegades important skill position players are important but we need the quarterback above We we really have to. We can't neglect that if we're going to building entire team we can't just neglect the quarterback and hope that we can we can. We can go all the way. So it's not gonNa work and I think they were always committed to winning even though they struggled a bit in the early eighties. Even they collected the quarterback position for two decades really. They were committed to winning. Maybe this little flawed thinking what and how to build a team and how what To address I but they were again They had a winning tradition. And so did the giants. And I think once they finally got their hands on a on a franchise quarterback they knew what to do with it. They knew how to succeed with it. Whereas the chargers didn't and I'm off just guessing but I had rivers wound up with the giants or the steelers. I think those two teams still would have had the same. Maybe not exactly the kind of success but they said what had championship success. You know. I don't want to paint all three of these guys. But what broad-brush quote Mike Tomlin and and Because they all have distinct characteristics distinct traits that make them special in their own right. I'm not saying that rivers would've would've came here. Made the tackle and that coats divisional game or or made that the exact same kind of throw to San Antonio homes or that game winning drive at the end the super bowl forty three but I think they would have known what to do with a really good quarterback even with Philip rivers or Eli Eli Manning. Whoever they would've wound up with a net draft. They would've still had championship success and whoever went to the chargers were be. Eli or Big Ben. They probably would have struggled to win. They would have success. They would great stats but. I'm not so sure they would have actually won any championships. Because I don't think the chargers have ever been fully committed to winning the steelers and and and the giants have always been so you know and I. I hate to disparage the the quarterbacks that were that were here between nearly eighties and the time Ben got here because I mean they had. They had some good years again neo. Donna was probably better than people whenever member because of that lasts game that he played the Super Bowl and Cordell had his moments but he never got them over the Hump and Mike. Tomczak was was pretty good. Even bubby had his moments. I'll never forget nineteen eighty nine. That playoff run Tommy. Maddox had a nice Little Cup of coffee here. Two thousand two. He had a really magical. It ended in a nice little magic playoff run. So I mean they. They had some decent quarterbacks. But they were never franchise quarterbacks and if you look at some of the the those nineties playoff matches you had o'donald trying to Outgun Troy Aikman in the Super Bowl a future hall of Famer you had Mike Tomczak even trying to trying to I'll play to bledsoe in the playoffs. The following year and blood is not a hall of Famer. But he was wanting to premier quarterbacks of his day and then of course slash trying to outgun join now way in ninety seven so steelers they had a lot of great they feel that a. Lotta great teams in the nineties and two thousand they had some of the best rosters in the NFL but it seemed like more often than not. They were going into the playoffs with the second best quarterback and it more often than not they would come up short until they got in and then again they had tremendous success so If you look at it again if you look at the I I'm not trying to say that. That having a franchise quarterback guarantees success. It doesn't guarantee anything. But it's like Terry Bradshaw said the Dwight and practice back in the mid seventies before he became Carrie Bradshaw a super bowl winning quarterback he was still struggling to make it I guess white hit hidden a little hit him in practice for. I guess they were allowed to do that. Back then. And Branch got mad and said Look. You might lose with me. But you'll never win without me. And I think that Brad of all people summed up perfectly what it means to have a franchise quarterback how important that is. I mean the defense. Can you hear that running game everything? You'll get your so far to get you to a certain level but unless you have guy under center or in the shotgun you're probably not GonNa have the success that you want so again. I'm not saying the steelers are automatically going to going to cause they're steelers. You're going to go out and find themselves a franchise quarterback but I do think once Ben does retire. They're gonNA make it a priority. They're going to go out and they're going to realize that. Look this is where we have to start. If we're going to be a championship team. We have to start at the quarterback position. And maybe it's Mason Rudolph. Lotta people have their doubts if it isn't him they're to they're gonNA go about trying to find somebody who could take his place. They're not just GONNA leave it to chance you're not going to Draft a bunch of guys in third fourth fifth round and. Hope hope that they win the job. They're going to invest in the position in the first round because they went almost a quarter of a century without drafting a quarterback in the first round. I don't think it's a coincidence. That when they finally did and they finally got the guy that they wanted they were able to parlay that into championship success. So those are my thoughts on life after Ben and now I want to hear your thoughts. I want to open things up to questions and comments and and And see what you guys have to say. So give me your best shot. Let's see what you got screw seventies and final question. Hey everyone Jimmy model on the hostess. Vedran a new show on qube produced by the team at Polygon. Speed run gives you your daily dose of the biggest gaming and entertainment news. Every weekday will give analysis of the latest Video Games and highlights. Some of the best of the gaming community will cover everything from the twenty year. Evolution of action role playing games to the breakout success of riots. New valent for stories like this and much more down the QUBE APP to watch new episodes of speed run every weekday. Okay see this comment from S. D. J. Six three two steelers were already scouting their next quarterback. Maybe they are. Maybe they are. But I don't see them. Drafting quarterback again as I've said many times in the first round until Ben Retires. I think as long as he's here and healthy and his old self. I think you have to try to do whatever you can to to build a team around him and keep that champion window open as long as possible. Here's one from around one. Sorry do we trade up next year? Sorry bear with me. I'm still learning to be the producer anyway. Do WE TRADED NEXT YEAR. TO DRAFT A. I don't think so then retires after this year and they and they feel that maybe real efficient is the guy then. Yeah I could see them being aggressive next year and trying to find Benz heir apparent. But let's say steelers rebound this year and with a bunch of games when the division or make the playoffs anyway and have a nice long run and Ben Decides. He wants to come back next year and by the way has a great year along with their success on the field. Do you think they're going to be aggressive and try to bring in an heir apparent when they still might feel as if they're one or two players away from winning another championship so I don't see them trading up if ben so here next year I don't see them them being aggressive and finding an error apparent. Here's a super check questions for vodka drinker. I got this one right thankfully because at the six dollar donation. Thank if I could drinker. Well it appears. Green Bay hates Aaron Rodgers. If Ben can't go say make a move for Rogers would fit. Cat was well. The key kind of goes to my point about about where they're going to where they're going to put their priorities after. Ben's gone a few weeks ago on on the Monday Q. Show with Brian. Perhaps instead of drafting a quarterback in the first round right after Ben retires maybe they feel like they have a ready-made team already have great defense. Maybe you know if they have that great defense after Ben goes and they have a lot they have pretty much. They're missing nothing but the quarterback. Maybe they go the route of the the broncos and Twenty Sell Twenty twelve and Peyton. Manning became available and they they sign a veteran quarterback the keep that super bowl window open even after. Ben Is gone. And if that's Aaron Rodgers if he still has it if the if the if the packers decided to move on from him for whatever reason maybe they're in love with Jordan love no pun intended. Then yeah I could see them doing that because the steelers have done many unlike still like things in the last few years to trade up Devin Bush. They traded the first round. Pick to get if it's Patrick. They signed Joe Haden. Sorry I'm drawing a blank. Joe Haden a few years ago right second is released by the browns. They send him to a lucrative deal. These are things that they really didn't do in the past so I could definitely see them being aggressive again because I think the the first Super Bowl era when that was over in the eighties they maybe didn't know what direction to go to win. I think they were more content back then with their starting over and again building with defense and running. The ball hoping the quarterback situation would take care of itself whereas now. I think they're philosophy's changed at least I hope it has or I'm confident that it has. And they will they will. They will practice prioritize a quarterback. I always not that you neglect the other positions. You'd need an entire team to win. I mean I. I just mentioned Philip Rivers. He had a great career and with the chargers but they never really surrounded him with a great team and and they didn't have the success. I mean I think you need the two of them but again. If you don't have the quarterback I think you could have everything else in place and it's not going to get you over over the top. So that's what I'd say about that. Allie Howard says don't replace quarterback with no quarterback. Well it all depends. I wouldn't replace Ben with Joe FLACCO or somebody. That's that's on the downside Andy Dalton or anybody that's kind of on the downside of their career and and but if it's somebody that's had to move on because his old team was was infatuated with a recent draft pick Jordan love then then that's a different story provided Aaron Rodgers still has enough in the tank if he has enough in a tank to to Play two or three years then why not I mean all you're doing is replacing Ben Salary with his salary. It's not like you're going to be much different. You're just replacing one future hall quarterback with another who might have a couple more years left to league play. I mean Pe- PEYTON. Manning played really well between twelve and twenty fourteen in two thousand fifteen. He pretty much hit a wall and that was it but he had after he was waived by the colts he had three more great years. I mean they set records in Denver during that I think the twenty thirteen super bowl team that lost to the seahawks. They said offensive records so he still had enough. So I I. I'm not GonNa roll that out but I mean my Belief is they're going to go the route of Finding a for a funny guy in the first round. That's where they're going to concentrate their efforts at least initially so apparently big brisk SCO said something awesome. So that's thank you for your contribution I didn't you said but I'm sure as always it was. It was very insightful. Let's see That's one by Darren. Dalton should win over the steelers top focused on finding a way to trade themselves up into the top five for a talk quarterback prospect in extra stress. Well I kind of trust that already. It all depends if if ben is Kinda done after this year and they're not they don't have any faith in Mason then. Yeah but if they have a if they have a a great playoff run and they get close but no cigar or if they win the whole thing and Ben still want to come back then no I think they`re. They have to concentrate their efforts on on. Still trying to win as long as Ben is is is around. So let's see what else we have here. Take a few more. Try to school back. If I Miss Tony. Let's see from Ezra. Can you imagine trevor or Feo throwing the claiborne? Juju Woah? Yeah that'd be great that'd be great but Obviously in order to get those guys it would probably mean a very bad twenty twenty for the steelers so you know you wanNA sacrifice a the last couple of years of Ben. Take to get those guys. And and and no quarterbacks for sure thing I mean Ryan Leaf is a perfect example of that jamarcus Russell. I've been are plenty of of studs that have come into the League. Had done nothing so I think we have to remember that Ben. Still Benz approve commodity and and I think we owe him the benefit of the doubt as far as as being able to take them to some special places over the next couple of years while he's still here so I think I'm going to wrap things up now. I I think for the questions I thank you for joining me for my second Addition of steelers Brunch with Tony. I hope it was a good show. Hope you enjoyed Enjoyed the steeler. Talk and I will see you Monday with Brian. F Davis Davis for another edition of steelers. A you guys have a great week. Thanks for joining me yeah.