Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger on Landry Jones’ termination: ‘Kind of shocking’
When he resumes practicing Wednesday, Ben Roethlisberger isn’t sure whether he will see Le’Veon Bell in the locker room. What he knows is he won’t see Landry Jones, and that brings up mixed emotions for the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.
Jones, who was entering his sixth season, had his contract terminated Saturday, leaving unproven players Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph as quarterbacks.
On his 93.7-FM weekly radio segment, Roethlisberger said he spoke with Jones shortly after the Steelers parted ways with the veteran backup.
“It definitely was kind of shocking, but I guess I understand why they did it in terms of business-wise,” Roethlisberger said. “The other guys are cheaper and they can keep them under contract for three more years.”
Jones was scheduled to be a free agent in March 2019. Dobbs, who becomes the backup, is entering his second season. Rudolph is a rookie.
Roethlisberger valued Jones’ input as the backup quarterback.
“He was so valuable to me when I came off the field. … I trusted what he told me,” he said.
Roethlisberger is hopeful that Dobbs can capably fill Jones’ roll.
“I told him, ‘You need to prove to everybody that you deserve to be here,’” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not talking about on the field. He’s proven that. … But what he needs to do is prove he’s as valuable as Landry was off the field – in terms of film study, when I have a question (and him) having a good answer for me.
“When I come off the field after the play, ‘Hey, what did you see here?’ and he can give me an answer. That’s where he really needs to step up. He’s all for it. He said, ‘Ben, I’ll give you everything I can,’ and I trust that he will.”
Like other teammates, Roethlisberger also is expecting Bell to report to the team Wednesday. He was a no-show Monday when the Steelers began preparation for the season opener Sunday in Cleveland.
“I think (Wednesday), but I have no rhyme or reason for my thinking other than Wednesday is the first day of installation (of the game plan). … I would expect him to be here tomorrow, but there’s no reason I’m saying that.”
Other items discussed by Roethlisberger:
** On having former offensive coordinator Todd Haley on the other sideline with the Browns. Haley has become a featured component of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series on the Browns training camp because of his fiery demeanor.
“What you see is what you get,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s a very passionate coach. He puts his heart and soul into it. Sometimes that means yelling, sometimes that means laughing. Sometimes it’s just about getting the guys ready to go.”
** On the national anthem controversy.
“I don’t remember if we’ve had a discussion about it,” he said. “I don’t even seeing us having a discussion about us. I anticipate it being the same thing. I anticipate we’ll be standing for the anthem.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.