Steelers chairman Rooney expects Roethlisberger to return

PITTSBURGH PA- DECEMBER 25 Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass in the first half during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field

Steelers president Art Rooney II said Tuesday that he expects Ben Roethlisberger to return for a 14th National Football League season because of the quarterback's desire to win a third Super Bowl.

He declined to specify why, but later referred to Roethlisberger's desire to win championships. "I personally expect that he'll be back, but that's going to be his decision".

At least that was the sentiment conveyed in an interview given to local reporters on Tuesday, in which Rooney mentioned that Brown's recent issues have amounted to "little annoyances, with the emphasis on little".

"I'm not sure at this point you can use the words, 'count on him, '" Rooney said. Roethlisberger, 34, has been showing signs of aging through the years.

Brown, who finished the regular season with 106 catches for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns, is entering the final year of his contract and is expected to ink a long-term deal that would make him the NFL's highest-paid wideout.

"I think it's mostly a reaction to his age and where he is in his career, and just coming off of a disappointing loss", Rooney said.

"Hopefully in the future he'll keep them to minimal types of distractions".

So obviously we don't expect that he's going to continue to have the suspensions and hope that's in the past. "I feel like he understands what he needs to do to be a successful player in this league for the long term". Rooney added the Steelers are probably "due" to address the quarterback situation in the draft. Steelers players and coaches have been in a touch with Bryant since the end of the season, but he has a long way to go to rebuild trust with them.

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