It’s not about what’s popular, or protecting feelings, it’s about what’s best for the long-term future of the team.
The Packers realize this. The Steelers do not.
In 2005 and again in 2020, a Packers General Manager zeroed in on a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft. Aaron Rodgers was THE answer to the question, “who will replace Brett Favre?”. As early as next season, Jordan Love will be the answer to the question, “who will replace Rodgers?”.
You may not have liked either pick, but Ted Thompson and Brian Gutekunst – with an eye on the future at the most important position in all sports – got their guy.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the Steelers. Drafted in 2004, 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger – 2-years removed from elbow reconstruction – is still starting but is a shell of his former self. Unable to move, inaccurate…Roethlisberger’s horrendous play Sunday at Lambeau Field tells me: it’s over.
What’s the succession plan: Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins? That’s the equivalent of Brett Hundley and Matt Flynn.
But don’t blame Roethlisberger for what 17+ years of professional football has done. Blame the Steelers for riding Big Ben’s gas tank all the way down to empty before addressing their most glaring of needs.
Time will tell if the Packers plan will be considered a stroke of genius, but at least they had a plan.