Franco Harris isn’t ready to write off Steelers backups as Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement

Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Steelers fans are wondering who will take over for Ben Roethlisberger, and Franco Harris is right there with them.

With the NFL Draft approaching, once again teams with aging veteran quarterbacks will have a chance to potentially draft a successor to the throne.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it feels like time is slipping away faster than it is other places.

Ben Roethlisberger missed all of last season with an injury, which forced Mike Tomlin to get creative. Despite filtering through both his backup quarterbacks, Tomlin nearly coached the Steelers to the playoffs and are set up well enough that a healthy Roethlisberger returning in 2020 could make the team a Super Bowl threat.

But beyond that, the future is hazy. In what will surely be an evergreen question through the draft and into the season, who will the Steelers get to take over when the time comes for Roethlisberger?

Steelers legend Franco Harris isn’t ready to write off any of the current backups on the Steelers roster. Asked by FanSided’s Mark Carman whether or not Mason Rudolph or Duck Hodges could be Big Ben’s successor, Harris said any player is just one big moment away from graduating into greatness.

“I’m always hoping, you never know when someone gets that moment,” Harris said. “Will it come together for the quarterbacks we have now? I hope so, but it hasn’t clicked as of yet.”

Rudolph is best remembered for getting clobbered in the head by a helmet-wielding Myles Garrett, while Hodges is an underdog story who went from obscurity to a mini-sensation. Both helped clot the bleeding in Pittsburgh last year, but neither seemed to show enough to make a case for being next in line.

Rumors have swirled about Jameis Winston spending a year behind Big Ben before taking over but so far nothing has materialized. If the Steelers pass on all of the prospects in this year’s draft, revisiting the idea of adding Winston, a former No. 1 overall pick, seems enticing.

Then again, Harris is quick to point out that it took even him a few tries to become a Steelers legend so there’s no harm in seeing if what you have works before looking elsewhere for a solution.

Harris spoke on behalf of AdeNation, a new hydration drink.