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Ben Roethlisberger reportedly has focused on losing weight, watching diet

Chris Simms defends his decision to have Ben Roethlisberger No. 22 in his Top 40 QB Countdown, after struggling last season, while Ryan Fitzpatrick sits at No. 23, despite being an upgrade for Washington.

As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger approaches what likely will be the last year of his career, he’s using a different approach.

Roethlisberger is focusing more than ever on his health and fitness.

“Ben camp says biggest concern is weight loss,” Ryan Burr reported on Twitter. “He has been so driven since [the] season ended. Source says his diet is stricter than [Tom] Brady.” (Maybe it’s as strict. It’s harder to imagine it being even stricter than the TB12 method.)

Roethlisberger’s camp also says he’s in the “best shape of his life” (99 percent of the players in the league will say that in mid-July), and that Roethlisberger “hears everything.”

If he truly hears everything, he hasn’t done much about it in past years. Roethlisberger admitted a couple of years ago to Simms that the quarterback doesn’t throw many footballs in the offseason. Less than two months later, Roethlisberger’s season ended with an elbow injury.

Last year, reports routinely surfaced regarding a problem with his knees, even though he never appeared on the injury report with a knee problem. He has carried plenty of weight for plenty of snaps over plenty of games during plenty of seasons. Losing weight will put his joints under less stress in 2022.

Still, there’s a chance that, at the age of 39, his body will begin (or continue) breaking down. He’s apparently determined to try to turn back the clock.

“Ben will never mention the beating he has taken in the media but says from a dedication standpoint has never seen anything from Ben close to this in [the] past,” Burr tweeted. “Source says [he’s] obsessed with diet & workouts.”

It could be too late for Ben to flip a new offseason leaf. With so much turnover on the offensive line, he’ll need to be more nimble than he’s been. At some point, he’ll get hit. Given all the hits he’s taken since 2004, there’s always a chance that the next hit will be the last one of his career.