NFL Media columnist Michael Silver reported on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access Kickoff" on Thursday that the "biggest obstacle" to Roethlisberger staying in Pittsburgh long-term is the quarterback's unwillingness to change his playing style as he enters the back-nine of his playing career.
Roethlisberger has been so effective for so long that players and coaches recognize his obvious talent. He's been "more engaged" and more prepared at team headquarters, but Silver is told that Roethlisberger is "no Peyton Manning" away from the Steelers' facility.
Our translation: After watching him take too many crushing hits due to his sandlot style over the past decade, the Steelers want Roethlisberger to curb his injury risk by making better pre-snap reads and getting the ball out of his hands faster.
Roethlisberger has two years left on an eight-year, $102 million contract signed in 2008, but both sides likely will revisit that deal this offseason. If the Steelers make another big-money commitment to their franchise quarterback, it's understandable that they want him to become "more of a cerebral player and not just a physical wonder," as Silver explained.
That's a wise sentiment. We can't say the same for leaking word to the public that an already frustrated Roethlisberger isn't doing enough outside the classroom.