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fordfixer
02-15-2009, 03:10 PM
Bradshaw marvels at Roethlisberger's poise
Feb. 3, 2009
By Lesley Visser
CBS Sports

http://www.cbssports.com/cbssports/story/11334713

Terry Bradshaw roared at the question.

"Is Ben Roethlisberger more mature than I was at 26?" he repeated. "He's more mature than I am now!"

Bradshaw won his first of four Super Bowls with the Steelers when he was 26, and the excitement/debate has already begun. With two Super Bowl titles, Ben is now halfway to Bradshaw. Do they compare?

"He is far more accurate than I was," Bradshaw said, "but I was faster. And I was big, but never this big. I played my first Super Bowl at 208 pounds. Ben's about 260."

Hard to believe Terry would exaggerate -- 240 is more like it. But both men have been known for being hard to bring down. While Bradshaw was more elusive, Ben has been the Plymouth Rock, just standing there when being assaulted on all sides.

"He's so athletic, so strong mentally and physically," Bradshaw said. "At that age, I couldn't even warm him up."

Another slight exaggeration.

Bradshaw threw for 27,989 yards, winning 107 games for the Steelers between 1970 and 1983. None of the Steelers quarterbacks who followed him came close to his combination of skills -- not Bubby Brister nor Mark Malone nor Tommy Maddox nor Neil O'Donnell. Even Kordell Stewart, whose rushing ability equaled his arm, combined for only 15,889 yards, second in Steelers history.

Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at age 23. Back then, he admitted, he was, "along for the ride." The ride was a bus, and everybody piled on to get Jerome Bettis a ring before he retired. Roethlisberger was particularly disappointing, with a 22.6 passer rating -- the lowest in history for the winning quarterback.

This time, Big Ben was in charge.


Ben Roethlisberger is one-up on Terry Bradshaw in Super Bowl last-minute TD passes. (AP)
"He's insanely competitive," defensive end Brett Keiser said. "Never, never bet against him."

Teammates say he won't even hold the door open for them if it means they'll beat him to somewhere he's going.

It was evident in the fourth quarter. Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame standard by which all Steelers quarterbacks are measured, never had to bring his team back the length of the field with a world championship on the line. Big Ben was ready.

Roethlisberger's 6-yard symphony to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left to rally Pittsburgh to a 27-23 victory against Arizona finished an equally breathtaking eight-play drive from the Steelers 22, in which Roethlisberger completed five of seven passes and scrambled for 4 yards.

He told his team it was "now or never," and though the dramatic pass to Holmes had a fancy name, Roethlisberger said it was basically, "drop back, scramble right, scramble left, then find someone open."

He said this drive, this victory, was deeply satisfying, and that the touchdown will "probably be remembered for decades to come."

Roethlisberger's passion and determination, like Bradshaw's, fit the franchise and its people.

"We're both tough, both hard-headed," Bradshaw said. "Pittsburgh loves that."

Bradshaw had the support of two Hall of Fame receivers, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. It is unlikely that either of Roethlisberger's targets, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes (glorified as he is right now), is headed to Canton.

"We both know that our defense is the cornerstone of the Pittsburgh Steelers," Bradshaw said. "Always has been."

Bradshaw's teams sent four defensive players to the Hall of Fame -- Mt. Rushmore names like Greene, Ham, Blount and Lambert. It remains to be seen if Troy Polamalu or James Harrison will be so decorated.

Neither player should be defined by his statistics. Bradshaw went to only three Pro Bowls in his glorious career. Ben has been to one. Instead, both will be remembered for their punishing plays and the punishment they endured.

"Ben has much more poise than I had at that age," Bradshaw said, "but there's one place we're exactly the same: we're both leaders."

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-15-2009, 03:15 PM
Blessing by the Emperor - thank you Terry! Woooooooooooooooo!

proudpittsburgher
02-15-2009, 03:35 PM
Blessing by the Emperor - thank you Terry! Woooooooooooooooo!

I thought the emperor was Chuck Noll?

steelsun7
02-15-2009, 03:40 PM
It is unlikely that either of Roethlisberger's targets, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes (glorified as he is right now), is headed to Canton.

wow! I think Hines will get in

ramblinjim
02-15-2009, 04:41 PM
It is unlikely that either of Roethlisberger's targets, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes (glorified as he is right now), is headed to Canton.

wow! I think Hines will get in


I'm with you, Hines better get in.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-15-2009, 04:51 PM
I hope Hines does but fear he won't. There is no statistic for blocking and toughness. Those guys making the in or not call will just look at catches, yards, and TD's...sorry to say.

skyhawk
02-15-2009, 07:01 PM
I hope Hines does but fear he won't. There is no statistic for blocking and toughness. Those guys making the in or not call will just look at catches, yards, and TD's...sorry to say.

Lynn Swann made it in with a lack of statistics. Just grace and style.

Maybe Ward will make it in on toughness, blocking, and winning. Oh yeah, he can catch too. And is the Steelers all time leading receiver.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-15-2009, 07:14 PM
I hope Hines does but fear he won't. There is no statistic for blocking and toughness. Those guys making the in or not call will just look at catches, yards, and TD's...sorry to say.

Lynn Swann made it in with a lack of statistics. Just grace and style.

Maybe Ward will make it in on toughness, blocking, and winning. Oh yeah, he can catch too. And is the Steelers all time leading receiver.

And Superbowl MVP!

Captain Lemming
02-15-2009, 08:33 PM
I hope Hines does but fear he won't. There is no statistic for blocking and toughness. Those guys making the in or not call will just look at catches, yards, and TD's...sorry to say.

Lynn Swann made it in with a lack of statistics. Just grace and style.

Maybe Ward will make it in on toughness, blocking, and winning. Oh yeah, he can catch too. And is the Steelers all time leading receiver.

Mr Pittsburgh is absolutely correct.
It is a perception thing.
Swann was different as he was a receiving highlight machine. do a poll and ask who the best receiver of the seventies was, give them a list and Swann will be the guy. EASY

Hines would never be considered top 5 in the minds of a majority, even in his best season
He resides in the "barely made the probowl backup, and just missed the probowl level".

Both Swann and Stallworth we considered elite at certain points of there careers. Ask non-Steeler fans at any time in his career if Ward is an "Elite" receiver and you will not get a single positive response. He aint gettibng in.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-15-2009, 08:41 PM
Yeah Lemming, I fear only Steelers fans truly appreciate how awesome Hines Ward is. To me, his performance in the Jags playoff game last season truly showed what type of WR he could be if he were in a pass first offense. If he was in an offense that threw the ball 40 times a game every game he would have over 1000 yds every single year....plus do all the things we have grown to love him for like bone crunching blocks, making the tough catch when he is about to take a lickin', and yes, crying after we win a huge game.

Gotta love the dude.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
02-15-2009, 10:37 PM
Blessing by the Emperor - thank you Terry! Woooooooooooooooo!

I thought the emperor was Chuck Noll?

Yeah, you're right. I didn't/don't know what to call Terry Bradshaw though, since Ben is obviously the king. What's higher than King but lower than Emperor?

MeetJoeGreene
02-15-2009, 11:28 PM
Even Kordell Stewart, whose rushing ability equaled his arm, combined for only 15,889 yards, second in Steelers history.

That is an outright embarrassment to our franchise. I can't wait until Ben passes him.

calmkiller
02-16-2009, 10:29 AM
Hines Ward is a Hall of Famer, point blank, no question.

snarky
02-16-2009, 02:13 PM
What's higher than King but lower than Emperor?

Keith Richards?