Can Big Ben win the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year?

Photo courtesy via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By Logan Leslie


The Pittsburgh Steelers are poised to be one of the top AFC teams next season. Their young and dominant defense, combined with the return of quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger should be a force to be reckoned with. This should give the Steelers veteran QB a great shot at winning the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year award.


Big Ben is expected to be fully healthy for the start of the 2020 season after suffering a season ending elbow injury in Week 2 of this past season. The team was forced to play the entirety of the season with back up QB’s Mason Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges. While those guys were able to string together eight wins, they are nowhere near the talent of Roethlisberger. So what will the Steelers need in order for Big Ben to win this award?


1. Draft a playmaker at Tight End: As everybody knows, the Steelers have struggled to deploy a playmaker at TE since the departure of Heath Miller. Vance McDonald was able to string together about six games in two years where he was that guy, but injuries have been his biggest issue. It’s time to move on and give Ben that mismatch he’s always wanted. That guy should be TE Albert Okwuegbunam out of Missouri. He will in all likelihood be available come the Steelers 2nd and 3rd round picks. He is 6’5” and 260 pounds, but is said to run a 4.6 40-yard dash. This is right on par with Gronkowski measurables. As a 3rd round pick, Albert could be the steal of the draft and fill the gap left by Heath Miller years ago. Should the Steelers obtain a player like this, we should see some great numbers from Big Ben.


2. A healthy JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner: The key to a great offense is balance between the pass and run game. Last season, the Steelers struggled with everything offensively outside of kicker. The biggest issue was of course the void left by Roethlisberger, but James Conner & JuJu Smith-Schuster also missed a large portion of the season with various injuries. For Ben to thrive, these guys will need to stay on the field, especially Conner. The run game will be as important as ever next year to control the time of possession and allow the star studded defense to dominate. JuJu will need to step it up as well. As great as Diontae Johnson was last season, we can’t expect him to lead the offense like AB did in the past.


3. Same old Big Ben: As obvious as this may be, Ben will need to return to form in order to have a shot at winning this award. At the end of the 2019 season, we saw a bearded, and what looked to be, slightly overweight Roethlisberger. We don’t doubt he’ll be motivated and ready to go, but with such a serious injury at 37 years old, it makes us all wonder how effective he’ll be. Ben’s biggest strength throughout his career has been his elite arm strength and ability to maneuver in and outside of the pocket. If Ben struggles with arm strength and accuracy, he’ll struggle down the stretch when the weather gets bad. However, all indications from Steelers upper management are that he’ll be the same old Big Ben.


What do you think, Steeler Nation? Will we see the “same old” Big Ben next season? Or something more. Comment below!


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