Watch Tower: Ben Roethlisberger “Plans to be Back” per Jim Wexell Report

While the Watch Tower – and this entire site – has been quite of late, there’s no substitute for getting back into the swing of things with a bang, so the Watch Tower focuses its lights on Jim Wexell’s scoop on Big Ben’s plans to keep ticking into 2018.

Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Ben Roethlisberger retirement, Ben Roethlisberger plans 2018

Ben Roethlisberger comments to Jim Wexell made Maurkice Pouncey a happy man. Photo Credit: Phil Sears, USA Today, via SCI

Big Ben “Planning on” Being Back

Before the Steelers Wednesday practice before the playoff show down with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger declared that he didn’t think his game against the Jaguars would be his last game at Heinz Field.

The report went viral, and was taken as a sign that Ben Roethlisberger was very much leaving the door open to returning for the 2018 season.

  • Yet, could Roethlisberger be intimating that he thinks a Tennessee Titans upset of the Patriots is in the offing?

Probably not, but Jim Wexell wanted to make sure and, in what appears to be an exclusive interview published during the evening hours of Wednesday January 10th, got Ben Roethlisberger on the record confirming that he plans to play in 2018. Per Wexell’s report on Steel City Insider:

After practice, Roethlisberger made sure his comment wasn’t construed as him predicting a Steelers win and New England Patriots loss, which would bring Roethlisberger back to Heinz Field the following week for this year’s AFC Championship Game.
Roethlisberger made clear that his plan is to return for the 2018 season.
Roethlisberger has two years remaining on a contract that would pay him $17 million each season.
“I’m planning on it,” he said. “I can’t speak on the unforeseen, but, yeah, my plan is to come back.”

While several Steelers beat writers, including Wexell, have cautioned against the “This is going to be Ben’s last year” line of thinking, there’s been very little on the record evidence to support to go beyond a reporter’s “hunch” until now.

From a media analysis standpoint, the impressive thing about this is that the this amounts to a major scoop on the part of Jim Wexell, yet 12 hours after publication, no other outlets seem to be repeating the news or the quote. That’s a far cry from Troy Polamalu’s retirement, which went viral after Wexell broke it via an exclusive interview with the future Steelers Hall of Famer.

While Ben Roethlisberger stopped well short of taking a blood oath to return in 2018, his comments as relayed by Wexell leave little ambiguity regarding the Steelers signal caller’s intentions.

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