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View Full Version : Big Ben is NFL's brightest star



fordfixer
09-09-2008, 01:20 AM
You can have Peyton, and Romo, too. With no Brady around, Big Ben is NFL's brightest star
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette
The new No. 1 quarterback -- Ben Roethlisberger
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08253/910542-66.stm

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will miss the rest of the season with a left leg injury. Everything changed at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady crashed to the Gillette Stadium turf, clutching his left knee, the impact was felt all the way to Pittsburgh. Instantly, the Steelers became a more serious threat to make the Super Bowl. Instantly, Ben Roethlisberger became the NFL's best quarterback.

What?

There's another quarterback you'd want more now that Brady is out for the season?

You can have Peyton Manning or Tony Romo.

I'll take No. 7.

I don't want anyone else trying to lead the Steelers through the AFC, which suddenly seems so much less formidable now that the powerful Patriots had a leg cut out from under them.

No one at Steelers headquarters yesterday was celebrating Brady's bad luck even if his injury significantly lessens the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes. NFL players are card-carrying union brothers. "You never want to see anyone get hurt like that," said veteran quarterback Charlie Batch, who has had his share of injuries, most recently a broken collarbone in the preseason that put him out for the season.

If anything had the Steelers in a mood to party one day after their 38-17 smack-down of the Houston Texans, it was seeing Roethlisberger breeze through the team's South Side complex without so much as a limp. He, just as easily as the great Brady, could be finished for the season. Within an hour after Brady went down after taking a hit from Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, Roethlisberger took a pop on his right knee from Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye on the next-to-last play of the first half.

At first, the hit looked bad. Roethlisberger tried to bury his face in the Heinz Field grass, clearly in pain. Who knows what offensive tackle Willie Colon was thinking when he rushed over to help him up? Colon and guard Kendall Simmons had tried to steer Okoye clear of Roethlisberger and were sickened when they saw him crash into the franchise. I know what I was thinking: The season could be over.

I'm guessing I wasn't alone.

Batch said Roethlisberger was pretty shook up at halftime, at least until the docs checked him out.

That made several hundred thousand of us, the 64,000-plus at the stadium and the countless Steelers fans watching on television.

Who really could relax until Roethlisberger jogged onto the field for the first series of the third quarter and promptly lead the Steelers on another touchdown drive?

"After seeing it on film, it could have been another Tom Brady thing," Simmons said after an afternoon team meeting. "Ben said he was all right today. I'm just thankful he was able to pull his leg back enough in time."

Roethlisberger isn't just very good.

He's very lucky.

"That's a quarterback's worst nightmare, someone rolling up your leg like that," Batch said. "That and when someone hits your arm as you're throwing. There are times you know you're going to have to take a hit and you can kind of prepare for it. But there's nothing you can do when someone gets your leg like that."

Even if Roethlisberger's knee did ache a bit yesterday, it's safe to say he felt better than he did after a lot of games the previous two seasons when he was sacked 93 times, more than any AFC quarterback. In addition to the Okoye hit, he was sacked twice by defensive end Mario Williams, once landing on his throwing shoulder, which is never a good thing for a quarterback. Other than those plays, though, his offensive line did a good job keeping him clean.

Just as he predicted it would.

"I'm excited for those guys so they can silence the critics who are talking bad about them," Roethlisberger said during training camp. "I have all the faith in the world that they'll protect me."

It's fun to think about how good Roethlisberger will be this season if he stays healthy. He was just about perfect against the Texans, completing 13 of 14 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Hines Ward. He also wisely picked his spots scrambling, running just twice, the first time for 17 yards on a third-and-4 play on the Steelers' first possession.

"He looks to me to be all the way back to where he was in our workouts after the Super Bowl year, before the [motorcycle] accident," Batch said. "He was on fire then. Every pass was right there. Every decision was the right decision. It's the same way now, and he's just going to keep getting better and better."

Think about that for a second.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to go 13-0 in the regular season as a rookie in 2004.

He became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl in '05.

He made the Pro Bowl and set Steelers records for touchdown passes (32) and passer-rating (104.1) last season.

And he's going to keep getting better?

Why not?

I ask you:

Why can't Roethlisberger take over for Brady as the NFL's brightest star?


Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com
First published on September 9, 2008 at 12:00 am

BigBen2112
09-09-2008, 08:22 AM
Because he's a steeler.

Jom112
09-09-2008, 10:27 AM
Peyton Manning was #1 before Brady went down and still is IMHO.

The win against Houston was good and all but Manning destroyed the Texans last season as well. QB Ratings of 110.3 and 132.3 in the two games they played. And you guys know that divisional games are always harder...

Oviedo
09-09-2008, 11:21 AM
And you guys know that divisional games are always harder

Unless the Bumgals are one of your Divisional opponents :D

BigBen2112
09-09-2008, 11:23 AM
And you guys know that divisional games are always harder

Unless the Bumgals are one of your Divisional opponents :D

Or the Dolphins. :lol:

proudpittsburgher
09-09-2008, 11:42 AM
Ben came out this year and acknowleged that he was at least No. 3 behind Brady and Manning, and that was fine with me. Deep down, I know that I would take Ben over Manning seven days a week and twice on Sunday. Manning is a bad teammate and wilts under pressure. As far as being a passer, yes, Manning is a much better passer than Ben, but Ben more than makes up for it with the intangibles he brings to the table. And Ben is light years ahead of Manning as far as where he was at at this point of his career.
It's ok to say that Ben is still behind Brady and Manning, and I really believe with Brady gone, Ben is No 2 right now. But the debate that was started in the offseason where Ben was behind Palmer and even Eli Manning is just too stupid to comment on.

Ozey74
09-09-2008, 06:39 PM
Manning is a bad teammate and wilts under pressure. As far as being a passer, yes, Manning is a much better passer than Ben, but Ben more than makes up for it with the intangibles he brings to the table. And Ben is light years ahead of Manning as far as where he was at at this point of his career.

Manning is only good during ideal conditions. He has a small comfort zone. Get him out of his comfort zone & he's very average. My in-laws are Colts fans and I defend Roethlisberger constantly with them. My brother in-law said the other night that Peyton is a HOF, & when I said that Ben his on his way to a HOF career, I was told to keep dreaming.

NKySteeler
09-09-2008, 06:42 PM
And you guys know that divisional games are always harder

Unless the Bumgals are one of your Divisional opponents :D

Ouch!.... :lol: :lol: .... True. But ouch!.... :lol:

mshifko
09-09-2008, 07:49 PM
coming into this season, i believe ben was a top 3 QB in the nfl...brady/manning have the experience, plain and simple...when it's all said and done, i think big ben will go down as one of the best to ever play the game...

steelblood
09-10-2008, 12:49 PM
I think the brightest star is Adrian Peterson. His combination of athleticism, strength, will, and field savy is so much fun to watch.

I love Ben. He is up there. But, outside of Pittsburgh, very few non-Steelers fans share Cook's opinion.