Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement must hit hard for loyal Pittsburgh Steelers fans. But if there’s anyone who feels it even more, it’s the teammates on the field he’s played alongside for years.
For Cam Heyward and JuJu Smith-Schuster, both Steelers lifers thus far, saying goodbye to Big Ben is a truly emotional moment.
Heyward has played 11 seasons on the Steelers, racking up accolades for the defense just as Roethlisberger did on the offensive side of the field. He had nothing but respect for his longtime QB.
Via Brooke Pryor:
Cam Heyward on Roethlisberger: “I appreciate that man. The way he’s battled. The way he’s always given us a chance. When you talk about having toughness as a QB, a guy that’s going to give you everything he’s got. Can’t ask for anything more than he’s given.”
JuJu Smith-Schuster may potentially be on the move this offseason, but his time catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger are all he knows thus far in his young career. The Steelers wide receiver was expected to miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury, but made sure to be on the field for Big Ben’s last game. To him, it was worth the risk.
JuJu on Ben: “I can give my career to that man … it meant so much, I knew it was a big risk to put myself on the line to play” Says he was playing, no doubt when the doctor cleared him. Says his chemistry with Ben picked right back up.
Although Roethlisberger’s retirement is basically a done deal, Smith-Schuster claimed that the wideout room still wanted him back if he was willing.
JuJu Smith-Schuster on what makes Roethlisberger special: “When he’s playing backyard football, it’s unbelievable … I think Ben’s still got it.” Says he and all the receivers want Ben back.