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fordfixer
10-10-2008, 12:47 AM
Ben Roethlisberger ... He's got it.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08283/918562-66.stm

His teammates tried to describe their quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger won another AFC player of the week award yesterday, three days after his extravaganza in Jacksonville.

"The kid, he's just a winner," said Hines Ward, who caught the touchdown pass from Roethlisberger with 1:53 left that gave the Steelers a 26-21 victory.

"I don't know what it is about it. He just has a knack. He has that 'It' sort of thing."

The victory sent the Steelers into their open date at 4-1 and pushed Roethlisberger's personal starting record in the regular season to 43-17 (.717), second best only to Tom Brady (.784) among current NFL quarterbacks with at least 40 starts.

Jacksonville was not just another victory on the pile for Roethlisberger; it represented an important milestone. Not only did he lead his team to his 15th winning drive in the final quarter or overtime and second in the past two games, he did it without his top two halfbacks and starting fullback and by throwing 41 times and topping 300 yards for only his fifth time in the regular season. He did it against a defense that expected the pass, he did it with a sore right shoulder that was hurt

again, and he did it in spectacular fashion at the end.

With a lame Jeff Reed not knowing how far or how accurate he might be on a field goal, Roethlisberger scrambled to his left and with two Jaguars hanging on him, completed an 18-yard pass to Ward on third down from his 31 in the closing minutes. That allowed him to find Ward from 8 yards out four plays later to win it.

"Unbelievable," said defensive end Aaron Smith yesterday. "It's incredible. I've kind of given up on being shocked because it seems like every time I see him do something, he does something more miraculous. Unbelievable."

"Amazing," tackle Trai Essex described it. "That's one of the best games I've ever seen from a quarterback. Just the plays he made in the clutch with people hanging on him, like that throw he made to Hines on third-and-8, that's one of the best throws I've ever seen. I don't know how he did that.

"We have a great quarterback and we're going to ride with him."

The kicker to it all? Roethlisberger did not practice last Wednesday or Thursday and was limited Friday.

"For a guy not to practice and go out there and put up over 300 yards passing, I can't describe how a guy can do that," Ward said. "He's done a phenomenal job to this point. We'd like to save him a little bit and keep him fresh. But he's going to show up every Sunday and give us all he's got."

They hope he can show up every Sunday.

Roethlisberger has been sacked 18 times in five games, putting him on a pace for nearly 58 sacks, which would be a record for a Steelers quarterback and more than his awful 47 sacks last season.

"I don't know what type of toll it's taking on him," Ward said.

Roethlisberger's right shoulder took another blow when it was wrenched by Jaguars defenders as he threw the 18-yard completion to Ward. He got up slowly, his right arm dragging, but said he never thought of leaving the field.

"Not unless they were bringing a stretcher, gurney, ambulance out there," Roethlisberger said yesterday. "I was going to stay out there until Mike wouldn't let me stay out there."

He told coordinator Bruce Arians after that hit that "we might have to hand the ball off for a couple of plays. Of course, two plays later he throws the ball."

All in all, though, he said he is in decent physical condition.

"I don't have anything too serious, bumps and bruises and stuff like that. For me, it's getting those bruises worked out and feeling good next week."

His teammates say they're not overly concerned about his health.

"He's taken a lot of beating, but he seems pretty durable," Aaron Smith said.

"I guess that's the nature of this business."

Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on October 9, 2008 at 12:00 am

MeetJoeGreene
10-10-2008, 12:50 PM
With a lame Jeff Reed not knowing how far or how accurate he might be on a field goal, Roethlisberger scrambled to his left and with two Jaguars hanging on him, completed an 18-yard pass to Ward on third down from his 31 in the closing minutes. That allowed him to find Ward from 8 yards out four plays later to win it.

This is scary. Because once Moore made that long run and we were in long FG range, I started to relax and smile. If I had only known.