Kevin Colbert addressed the media at the 2020 NFL combine and the first subject he touched on was the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the excitement following reconstructive surgery on his throwing elbow.
"We might have a better Ben Roethlisberger coming out of this surgery," Colbert said to start his press conference.
The general manager says the team is still expecting Roethlisberger to be ready for Week 1. Reports were released earlier in the week that the quarterback should be cleared in the next two and a half to three months after taking steps forward in his rehab.
The team's only concern: that its QB is going to try to do too much too fast.
"We want to have Ben ready for Game 1, whenever that is," Colbert said. "A guy like Ben, you might have to hold him back if he's a little too aggressive. That’s something the docs will figure out.
Roethlisberger was the star of the Steelers social media this weekend after the team released a video of him throwing a football for the first time since Week 2 of last season.
Colbert understands it's a long road for Roethlisberger and this summer will determine how far he has come since September. Still, with his experience working with the quarterback, Colbert feels there's light at the end of the tunnel.
"He understands that it's game days that are most important, but participating in mini camps, OTAs, whatever he can will be part of his ability to have a great season," Colbert explained. "But again, we're really thinking that I'm not really worried about the surgery because it might be a better result."
Roethlisberger hasn't been a participant in most of the team's voluntary workouts over the latter half of his career, but could be on the field this summer. With uncertainties still ahead, he and the Steelers are looking to take as much control of the situation as possible, and the team feels it could result in a more promising passer.
"I think that the possibility is real that he could be a better football player coming out of this surgery, just as much as he might be a more regressed player," Colbert said. "So, I think we have to give that the nod and, again, I'm encouraged and excited about where he can go."