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'I love these guys. I love this city.'

Posted May 23, 2017

Ben Roethlisberger 'happy' to be back on the field.

Ben Roethlisberger is back with the Steelers and fully committed to playing the 2017 season.

Beyond that he’s offering no guarantees.

“I never commit to anybody more than one year,” Roethlisberger said today at the conclusion of OTA No. 1 at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “I think that’s all we should always commit to with this sport. Because if we look past this year, then we’re cheating ourselves and we’re cheating other people. We need to give this year everything that we can, everything that we have because ultimately that’s what we have, right here and right now.

“I’m here on Day One. You see me out there taking every rep I’m supposed to take and then some. I actually took some of the rookies’ (reps) today. I’m 110-percent committed.

“I’m happy to be back here. I’m happy to be back with the team. I love these guys. I love this city. I love being out here. Football is a passion of mine, it’s what I do and what I love to do.”

Among the challenges looming for Roethlisberger’s 14th season with the Steelers is sorting out the tight end position in the wake of the release of Ladarius Green.

“It’ll be tough, specially being excited about what he could bring and some of the flashes we got to see last year,” Roethlisberger said. “It’ll be tough because we were just starting to get on the same page, but we have a lot of faith in Jesse (James), obviously, what he can do, and ‘X’ (Xavier Grimble) and ‘D.J.’ (David Johnson), and all those guys.”

There’s also a crowd at wide receiver thanks to the conditional reinstatement from suspension of Martavis Bryant and the addition of second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster.

“I’m excited,” Roethlisberger said. “We have a lot of guys. It’s fun to be able to rotate through guys. I want to throw to each one to kind of see what they can do and start developing a chemistry.

“I also have to realize my arm probably won’t last that long.”

Bryant “looks good,” Roethlisberger continued, “looks like he’s in great shape.

“The biggest thing to prove is just that he can stay on the field; we know what he can bring. But who am I to judge him? We’ll accept him here with open arms and hope that he wants to be here and he’s happy to be here and gives everything that he has to this franchise and organization.”

Perhaps the clearest indication that Roethlisberger is indeed all-in again after contemplating retirement over the offseason was his willingness to critique his on-field performance without prompting.

“You get a little frustrated at times because you want to be in mid-season form,” Roethlisberger offered. “You have to remember it’s just Day One.”