The Facts: Roethlisberger told reporters Tuesday the elbow injury that required season-ending surgery last year wasn't the same as what is commonly seen in the arms of baseball pitchers (which calls for a Tommy John repair). The injury, as Roethlisberger described it, involved tears of three of the five flexor tendons in his elbow, and he believes he is the first quarterback to attempt to come back from such an ailment. As part of that, he's returning as a thinner, lighter Roethlisberger, less Big Ben and more Thin Ben. He feels young, "if you can feel young at this age," he said, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.
Diehards Line:And he's coming back with an eye on championships. "I still want to win Lombardis," Roethlisberger said. "And I say that with an s on the end. ..." Some might scoff at the notion, considering Pittsburgh has missed the postseason in two straight seasons and Roethlisberger isn't exactly getting any younger. But after a year away, Roethlisberger sounded like he'd gained a new appreciation for the game and a fresh desire for on-field success. "Any competitor will tell you they want to go out on their own terms and it doesn't happen all the time," he said. "I didn't feel I was close to that yet. I'm not saying I have 10 years left in me but I really feel I have years left in me." Exactly how many remains to be seen, but there's no need to test his arm to check on his ability to throw, having tossed plenty this offseason. He'll still have a "pitch count" during camp. He said Tuesday he wishes there were preseason games in which he could test his limits, even if Steelers coach Mike Tomlin might not have let him play at all. He'll have to wait until September for that.