Jul 22, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, United States;  Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7 ) talks with head coach Mike Tomlin (right) during training camp at the Rooney UPMC Sports Performance Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Mike Tomlin: Ben Roethlisberger is best QB for Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin came to the defense of struggling quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Tuesday.

When asked if the 39-year-old Roethlisberger is the best quarterback for the offense, Tomlin was quick with a response.

“Absolutely. What he does and what he’s done makes me really comfortable in saying that,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin also noted that Roethlisberger “has some hip issues” following Pittsburgh’s 27-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback also sustained a left pectoral injury following a 26-17 setback to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sept. 19.

Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,033 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in four games for the Steelers (1-3), who have mustered just five offensive scores this season.

“It’s him some, it’s us collectively some,” Tomlin said. “We’re not looking to make excuses. We’ve had some big-play opportunities, we haven’t cashed in on them, and we need to cash in on them. They’re a big component to moving the ball and scoring, particularly when you’re not working as efficiently as you’d like on possession downs, which we aren’t. Chunk plays eliminate a lot of execution.”

Roethlisberger is playing in his 18th season in the NFL after signing a restructured contract that included a pay cut over the offseason. He’s spent the entirety of his pro career in Pittsburgh and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers.

Mason Rudolph and former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins are Tomlin’s other options at quarterback.

Rudolph, 26, has thrown for 2,089 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 career games with the Steelers. He was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Haskins, a 2019 first-round pick of the Washington Football Team out of Ohio State, was released last year in his second season with the team due to a combination of poor performance and a lack of professionalism.

Haskins, 24, signed a one-year deal with the Steelers in January.

He has completed 60.1 percent (267 of 444) of his passes for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 16 career games (13 starts).

–Field Level Media

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