Big Ben eyeing 5-7 more years

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger predicted that the University of Central Florida's Blake Bortles will be the best quarterback to emerge from the 2014 NFL draft class, and he took a wait-and-see approach when it comes to Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.

Not that Roethlisberger is planning to cede the spotlight to these young quarterbacks or any other ones entering the NFL in the near future.

Roethlisberger, a little more than two months removed from celebrating his 32nd birthday, said retirement is nowhere near the horizon for him, even though he is the third-longest tenured player on the Steelers.

"I feel like I'm in great shape," Roethlisberger said Tuesday on 93.7 The Fan. "I think I can get five, six, seven more years out of this arm and these legs."

Roethlisberger played every snap last season, and the Steelers' extensive use of the no-huddle offense in the second half of 2013 limited the hits he absorbed, as Big Ben generally got rid of the ball quicker.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has said that the organization plans to maximize Roethlisberger's remaining seasons by surrounding the 11th-year veteran with as much talent as possible.

Roethlisberger has two years left on his contract, the same length he had on his rookie deal when the Steelers made him the highest-paid player in franchise history.

Ryan Tollner, Roethlisberger's agent, told ESPN.com recently that he has maintained contact with the Steelers regarding a new contract. Roethlisberger, who signed an eight-year, $102 million contract in 2008, said his only hope is that his next contract allows him to finish his career where it started.

"However that gets done, that's all that matters to me because I bleed black and gold," Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger's more immediate focus is on the offseason program that has entered its second phase.

Steelers players were allowed to start working out under the supervision of coaches Tuesday. While they were limited to less than an hour of work with coaches, Roethlisberger said the offense worked on a number of different things, including the no-huddle attack.

The Steelers played at another level after offensive coordinator Todd Haley loosened the reins on the no-huddle attack last season. Roethlisberger is among those who are optimistic that the no-huddle will remain a big part of the offense in 2014.

"I think and I hope that we've all kind of come to the conclusion that maybe we need to do it more," Roethlisberger said. "I think we might go into [practices] using it a lot more so that it is more of a regular thing."