At this point, everyone has chimed in on the Ben Roethlisberger situation, including commissioner Roger Goodell, who despite offering his opinion on the matter has yet to hand down a punishment on the Steelers QB.
Add Solomon Wilcots to the mix.
The former defensive back, who spent one season with the Steelers in 1992, sat down with Fran Charles on Monday’s “NFL Total Access” and offered his take on how the league should handle the situation and what the team should do on draft day in response.
“I think there’s a sentiment here that some kind of message has to be sent to Ben Roethlisberger, that maybe he needs to be sat down for a period of time, spend some time away from the game,” Wilcots said. “I think that’s clear with everyone. Now, do you penalize the entire football team by taking him out for half of the season? No. For four weeks? I think two weeks is appropriate. I think anything beyond that would be overly punitive.”
As for the Steelers, Wicots believes they should begin looking for Roethlisberger’s replacement in the latter rounds of this week’s draft, unless in their opinion backup Dennis Dixon can eventually be that guy. Dixon is entering his third season in the NFL and last year started one game for the Steelers, a 20-17 loss to the Ravens. Dixon completed 12 of 16 passes for 145 yards, one touchdown and an interception in that game, which was the only consistent playing time he has had in two seasons.
“Dennis Dixon, a guy who came in and played in (Roethlisberger’s) stead last year, did show himself well,” Wilcots said. “But what about the long-term ramifications? Can Ben Roethlisberger repair his reputation in the community? Can Dennis Dixon come in and win ballgames for them and hold the water, so to speak, until Ben Roethlisberger returns? All that remains to be seen.”
Wilcots acknowledged that the Steelers have other needs if they want to make it back to the playoffs.
“How about the trade and loss of Santonio Holmes at the wide receiver position?” Wilcots asked. “They may have to go out and find another receiver to play opposite of Hines Ward. So I think there are a number of questions. I think in the best-case scenario they would like to go out and find an offensive lineman and maybe one of the best cornerbacks on the draft board.”