"We think Ben played at a high level last year. We won our division and set a franchise record for most consecutive wins to open a season, so there was a lot of good stuff," Rooney told team reporter Bob Labriola.
He continued: "We're still confident he has the ability to do that. His arm, I would say, is as strong or almost as strong as ever, so I think he's certainly capable of getting the job done."
Roethlisberger, 38, faced an uncertain future before the Steelers declared their interest in bringing the signal-caller back for an 18th season. Rooney noted the uncertainty was always due to Roethlisberger's contract, not his play.
"We had a good, productive discussion, and I assured him we would like to have him back, and he assured me that he wants to come back and play," Rooney said. "And so we both left it that we know we have to try to get something worked out on the contract."
Rooney marked March 17, the first day of the league's new year, as the deadline for a solution to lowering the quarterback's league-leading $41.25-million cap hit.
"We're getting to that point now where the time is right. We have a better idea of where the salary cap is going to be, which is an important component of the decision," Rooney said.
Roethlisberger tossed 33 touchdowns to 10 interceptions during the 2020 campaign but averaged just 6.3 yards per pass attempt.