Cook On Big Ben: "This Is Probably It For Him"

Ben Roethlisberger may have played his final snap with the Steelers

JRSportBrief
September 17, 2019 - 9:30 am
Ben Roethlisberger Steelers

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Ben Roethlisberger may have taken his final snap in the NFL on Sunday. The 37-year-old will have season-ending elbow surgery, and while he maintains he’ll return to the Steelers, Ron Cook isn’t so sure.

“I know him very well, and it’s easy to say before you have to go through the rehab and everything else that you’re going to go back,” Pittsburgh’s The Fan host said on Ferrall on the Bench. “I have my doubts. My feeling is this is probably it for him. He has too much pride, he’s too much of a competitor to come back at less than what he was.”

Mason Rudolph, 24, was serviceable in Big Ben’s absence Sunday. He finished 12-of-19 for 112 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 28-26 loss to the Seahawks.

“What if he plays well?” Cook asked. “Ben’s not going to come back and be a backup. I don’t see him going somewhere else. My guess is he is done here. It’s a sad day for me. I would bet against him coming back. I just don’t think at his age it’s going to happen.”

Despite losing Roethlisberger for the season, the Steelers traded their 2020 first-round pick for Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. The 22-year-old Fitzpatrick was the 11th overall pick in 2018.

“I was stunned when I heard the trade,” Cook said. “I’m not in favor of it at all. Maybe Mason Rudolph will step in and they’ll be great and they’ll have a winning year, (but) I think they were in trouble even if Ben was still going to be playing. I think they have more issues than just one position in the secondary. They haven’t been able to run the ball. They haven’t committed to it. Other than JuJu Smith-Schuster, the receivers are struggling. I don’t think it’s a real good team even if Ben was healthy. 

“I am shocked at this trade,” Cook continued. “I really am. They don’t give up No. 1 draft choices. That’s not their way of doing business, and I can’t figure out why, especially after Ben gets hurt. . . . I have no idea (what their plan is) after giving up this No. 1 pick. It is such an anti-Steeler move. I just don’t see it. I don’t like it at all.”

In other news, another woman has accused former Steeler Antonio Brown of sexual misconduct.

“I don’t know how he’s going to stay in the league,” Cook said. “It’s one thing after another with Antonio. He’s been enabled all along. Mike Tomlin enabled him, Art Rooney II,  Kevin Colbert – they all enabled him. He’s a star. He’s the best receiver I’ve ever seen here. When you have great talent, you always get more leeway. But eventually, it gets to the point where you say, ‘We can’t win with this guy. Nobody can win with this guy.’ I think we’ve hit that way with Antonio. I was shocked that Belichick brought him to New England. I’ll be shocked if it works out well there.”

Click below to listen to Cook’s interview in its entirety.