View Full Version : Roethlisberger aims to rewrite legacy

09-01-2010, 01:07 AM
Roethlisberger aims to rewrite legacy
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 97360.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_697360.html)

As Ben Roethlisberger's charmed life appeared to be crashing down around him, following a second accusation of sexual assault, he turned to his Bible.

"The first thing I read, the very first thing, was about the shepherd who loses one sheep. He goes out, finds it and leaves his whole flock and goes to find it," the Steelers' quarterback said Tuesday. "And that's so true."

That passage is relevant to the transformation Roethlisberger has made since last March. He said he has found his religion after straying from it amid the rapid rise the two-time Super Bowl winner made to stardom.

Roethlisberger has been more accommodating to fans and reporters since the start of training camp and has been more open with his teammates.

He said he is at peace with himself following a turbulent offseason in which he avoided criminal charges in Milledgeville, Ga., but nearly threw away his Steelers career.

Others have noticed the change as well.

"Earlier in his career, he left the building and a lot of people didn't know what he did," veteran wide receiver Hines Ward said. "He was just secluded by himself, but now he's opening himself up to guys. He's joking around with everybody, rookies included. He's a different guy."

Roethlisberger talked with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review during a one-on-one interview Tuesday. Here are highlights from the interview.

How do you assure fans that the new Ben is here to stay, that this isn't part of a script for someone who is trying to save his career?

Actions always speak louder than words. And I've known from day one this is not going to be an overnight process. You're not going to win people back overnight. You're not going to win all of them back, period. But, like I said, my actions will speak volumes over the next days, weeks, months and years. I really believe that and I think people will (believe it), even the hard-headed ones that won't give me a chance. Over the years of seeing me and seeing that it's not just talk, more people will come around.

You said you are more at peace with yourself. Why?

It's a calming feeling when the Lord runs your life. And it's something I've always known as a church person, but I've never really believed it. I think I've known it but never believed it. And now I know it, and it's a great thing.

When athletes talk about finding religion, it produces its share of eye-rolling. Do you expect that reaction from fans?

It's OK. I'm not going to be going out there and trying to push it on people and make it seem like all of a sudden I am this great person. That's not who I am. That's not what religion and faith is all about. You're not going to see me getting cross tattoos and wearing cross necklaces. That's not what it's about. So if they want to roll their eyes, that's fine. Because I know where I am at and God knows where I'm at, and that's all that really matters.

You are human. You are going to have bad days. How do you sustain this new Ben?

Nothing in life is easy. I wear this bracelet, 'Live like you were dying.' And every day you deal with it. I think when you have calmness and a peace and a love for your family, friends, football, your day; it makes things easier. And that's what is making this fun. This has helped me. During this time I hope to coach at a high school, volunteer. And taking it back to what it used to be, and how it really is and how fun football should be. Because I think I lost that a little bit with the business. Yes, it's a business, but it's supposed to be about having fun and playing football. That's what I'm getting back to.

Do you still want to tell your side of the story about what happened in Georgia?

I doubt I will ever even talk about it again. It's a bunch of chapters in my life that have closed and I am moving forward. I don't think you need to dwell on things in the past, just like football. You throw an interception, you move on. You have a bad season; you've got to move on because if you dwell on those things, it will bring you down. So to me, it's over. It's all about moving on and playing football.

You have the chance to write one of the greatest redemption stories of all time. Do you ever think about that?

In a way, but I got my redemption. For me, it's about other things. I want people to talk about when I am done with my career how great of a person I was. Did I have my faults? Did I make mistakes? Yes, everyone does. But look at who he really is. Look who he became when he grew up and matured. How did he finish up his career, and who is he now as a person.

If you were writing the rest of the Ben Roethlisberger story, how would you write it?

The fun part I think is that it's only a quarter or a third of the way done. I don't want to say, 'To be continued' right now. But I still think there's a lot of chapters left in this story.

09-01-2010, 01:14 AM
Good stuff. Thanks again FF!

09-01-2010, 10:14 AM
What is Kobe's legacy?

What is Ray Ray's legacy?

One was charged with rape, the other was charged with murder (albeit involved in covering it up not actually committing it) and their respective fans and leagues put them up as poster boys.

As time wears on - assuming there is nothing more to add to it - people will begin to forget. Soon it will only be fans of our hated rivals who even mention it and little by little that will happen less frequently.

Just follow the timetable so far.......

March - alleged incident occurs

April - Half of Steeler Nation calling for Ben to be traded

August - Most of Steeler Nation pissed off that Ben received suspension without charges and can't wait to see him under Center on week 5.

All this turnaround in only 5 months, what will be in 5 years.

And notice that I haven't even mentioned any on field success that may occur.

09-01-2010, 10:33 AM
Winning SuperBowls is the only thing that will change his legacy.

09-01-2010, 10:49 AM
Winning SuperBowls is the only thing that will change his legacy.


Time heals all wounds.

09-01-2010, 10:50 AM
Ben's legacy is that he was the first player suspended by the NFL who didn't actually do anything...

I don't know how you can rewrite that...

09-01-2010, 11:16 AM
Ben's legacy is that he was the first player suspended by the NFL who didn't actually do anything...

I don't know how you can rewrite that...

Personally, I think the fans are making more out of this than anyone. By this time in two years very few people will even remember where it happened, who said what and who was or wasn't charged. Ben's legacy will be one of a great quarterback, Steeler and person. He's done more positive things than people even know or care to know.

This will all fade away in a couple years time and according to Ben himself he won't be talking about it, so, the story will truly die on the vine.


09-01-2010, 12:03 PM
Does anyone know anything about this QB coach Ben has?

09-01-2010, 12:30 PM
Does anyone know anything about this QB coach Ben has?


George Whitfield, Jr
CEO, President of Whitfield Football, LLC

George Whitfield Jr. was born November 23, 1977 in Wichita, Kansas. He is a former college and arena league quarterback. George resides in San Diego, CA and is currently running his quarterback training firm, Whitfield Athletix. He was introduced to the game of football by his father, George Whitfield Sr., who himself was a collegiate football player for Wichita State in the early 1970's and a very successful high school coach in Kansas and Ohio.

George played for power house Massillon Tigers football team from 1992-1995. Massillon was recently featured in "ESPN's Titletown" special in which Americans ranked the town "as the 4th greatest championship town in America", above Boston, New York and Chicago! It was not uncommon for him to lead the nations most historic high school program to victory in front of 20,000 plus, cheering fans in Paul Brown Stadium. While playing for the Tigers, George was voted by his teamates as team MVP for the 1995 season. He was an All-State Honorable Mention. During his senior season the Tigers were led to victory with four 4th quarter comebacks and a 7-3 record.

In 1996 George was recruited by (current Ohio State head coach) Jim Tressel, to play quarterback for Youngstown State University. During the 1996 season George watched from the sidelines as a redshirt freshman in the backup role. Not knowing if the ball was going to be in his hands, the following season George transferred to Division ll Tiffin University to play for Coach Wolfe and the Dragons. George chose Tiffin University for one reason, it was a chance for him to be closer to his private quarterback coach, Tom Kiser. Having a chance to work and train closely with Kiser through those four years were bigger to George than transferring to Akron, Bowling Green, Miami (OH), Toledo, or accepting walk-on opportunities at Ohio State, Michigan State or Penn State.

Upon graduation from Tiffin University George accepted Coach Kirk Ferentz's offer to join on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football staff. While at the Univerisity of Iowa, George coached future NFL standouts Bob Sanders (Colts), Dallas Clark (Colts), Nate Kaeding (Chargers), Ladell Betts (Redskins), Robert Gallery (Raiders), Eric Steinbach (Browns) and Aaron Kampman (Packers).

After a successful season with the Hawkeyes, George felt come back to football as a player. As a result of his relentless training and hard work, he began to garner interest from some Arena League teams. During a three year period from 2003-2006, George had short stints with four different teams, the Chicago Rush, Bossier - Shreveport Battle Wings, Louisville Fire, and the now defunct Memphis Xplorers. After the 2007 season George made what he has called "one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make," and hung up his cleets for good.

During the summer of 2007 he was an intern under Cam Cameron, who at the time was the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers. George worked with all the quarterbacks on the Chargers' roster including a young standout rookie quarterback named Philip Rivers. It was the countless hours on the field and film room with Coach Cameron and quarterbacks coach John Ramsdell, that George learned the meticulous approach and understanding in building a fundamentally-sound quarterback from scratch. Spending months absorbing the teaching and tutoring of Rivers by Cameron and Ramsdell, George learned the importance of communication, precision and most importantly, leadership.

Since retirement as a player George is still closer to the game than ever. In 2004 he established Whitfield Athletix, a specialized quarterback training firm based out of San Diego, CA. George works mostly with high school students based primarily in the Southern California region training them in the ways of the quarterback position helping them to enhance and develope their skills from the very basic levels to the complex levels often times using training methods used by NFL quarterbacks. Not all of George's clientel come from Southern California, there are many young athletes that fly in from all over the United States just to be trained by what some have described as "the most knowledgeable and disciplined quarterback trainer" in the nation.

Thus far George has trained quarterbacks from 20 different states. Former collegiate standout and Cincinnati Bengals first round draft pick Akili Smith looked to Whitfield to help revitalize his slumping career. Since 2004 over 30 of his quarterbacks have gone on to make a collegiate team at some level.

This fall George has been trusted to prepare two of college football's most intriguing quarterback prospects. Louiville's Hunter Cantwell and Rice's Chase Clememt. Since the end of their football seasons, both quarterbacks made San Diego their "training home". Both quarterback are developing rapidly, improving on their mechanics and exceeding expectations along the way.


Inside 'The Rock Tour'
By Bruce Feldman
Originally published on ESPN.com
May 27, 2010 @ 10:49AM ET


Getty Images
Tony Pike is one of the QBs developed by Whitfield

Next month thousands of high school football players will visit college campuses in hopes of catching the eye of coaches. Some will arrive at these schools already armed with scholarship offers -- but most will not. These kids, at the very least, can expect to pick up a few tips, see roughly where their talent level measures up to other football players their age and hopefully meet some famous coaches and that experience will last a lifetime. The camps are supposed to be set up for instructional purposes, but in truth, they are de facto try-out camps.

George Whitfield, a self-described "Quarterback Builder" in the San Diego area, has devised a plan to try and maximize the football camp scene. Whitfield, a former Arena Football QB, is leading a group of 25 athletes (most of them quarterbacks) on a 10-day journey on a chartered bus trip to 10 colleges on the east coast known as "the Rock Tour." The group flies from California to Miami on June 12, which kicks off a tour that goes from UM to FAU to UF to FSU to Georgia to Alabama to Kentucky to Ohio State to Penn State and then finally onto Maryland. All of the school visits, save for the tour of the FAU facilities, will include camp workouts.

Why is it called the Rock Tour?

"When I was initially talking about this idea, I had five or six quarterbacks in the training session and I explained the concept," said Whitfield, a former Tiffin University QB. "I talked about how we're going to go every day and bus it to the next place. And then I heard two kids talking and said, 'That's kinda like what rock stars do. This is like a rock tour, isn't it coach?' So I honed in on that analogy. It's travelling, doing your absolute best for that audience, putting on a show, packing up, travelling to the next place, unpack and put on another show and then go and go and go."

Most of the high schoolers are Californians, but there are kids from nine different states on board. The cost per camper is $2,200 (or $220 a day) all expenses included. That cost though does not include the flight to Miami or back from Maryland. Whitfield said to charter the bus itself (with the driver) is $8,500.

"It's exciting," he said. "We have a lot of kids that have a chance to emerge. These guys have the chance to make 10 unofficial visits. At a place like Ohio State, they'll have 45 or 50 colleges in attendance with MAC schools. Plus, these guys will band together and be friends for life I know it. They'll be tight after this."

Whitfield worked with a host of college coaches to help map out the tour. "Coaches told me they'd spend an extra hour with my guys and do a quarterback presentation and show them how we coach our guys or the head coach is going to spend some extra time with us," he said.

The Rock Tour also helps build his brand as a private QB tutor, a field which has really boomed in the past decade. Steve Clarkson is the biggest name in that industry, but different private quarterback coaches are popping up all over the country now. Whitfield, who helped groom Hunter Cantwell and Tony Pike, generated some buzz on the internet a few months ago when a 15-minute video he did offering possible training tips to revise Tim Tebow's throwing motion went viral.

"I spoke to quite a bit of media, but I don't think I got any QBs as a result of it," Whitfield said. "I think it helped me more credibility wise. It essentially put a suit-and-tie on me. A lot of college coaches and some QB coaches in the NFL watched it and it was fascinating to meet some of those guys."

Whitfield staged his first Rock Tour last year. He didn't use a bus. Instead, he had eight fathers rotate driving five SUVs on the 2,200-mile trip. The group featured mostly underclassmen quarterbacks. "They now understand that it's a different type of pace," said Whitfield. "Normally, you hit a camp for two days. This year they understand we're going 10 days in a row. They know to make sure that Day 5, 6 and 7 feels like Day 1, 2 and 3.

"We're hitting more powerhouses this year. Miami, FSU, Florida, Ohio St. and Alabama have all won national titles in the last 10 years."

One of the QBs on last year's Rock Tour, Robert Partridge, parlayed the trip into seven college scholarship offers after his performance at Ohio State's camp, Whitfield said. Partridge ended up signing with one of those schools, Miami of Ohio.

The most touted prospect going into this trip is Mikhail Miller, a 6-3 quarterback from Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Miss. Miller is joining the camp in Miami, but is actually flying to San Diego on June 1 for five days to train with Whitfield. "His parents were really nervous," Whitfield said. "If he's gong to be in front of that many schools we want to make sure he's ironed out. We'll train 4 or 5 hours a day."

Miller already has offers from Ole Miss, Memphis, Arkansas State and UAB, according to his father. "This is going to be a good learning experience for him," said Mikhail's father Hubert. "We went online and researched it."

"We want to see what's out there for him. Because he has played baseball every summer, he has been short-changed and this will allow him to get some exposure."

The exposure part is the key.

"There are several big events quarterbacks can partake in around the country," Whitfield said. "For instance, the Elite 11 camps and Dream Maker competitions are prestigious and national draws. This tour, however, is the truest 'dream-making' opportunity for an aspiring athlete. Is there a bigger opportunity, more pragmatic than working out and throwing for actual decision makers? These guys are going to perform for legendary coaches at national powerhouses for ten days straight, and literally have the ability to come off the field with a scholarship offer."

"Imagine being 15, 16, 17 years old and Nick Saban pats you on the back after a drill, two days later Jim Tressel says "great pass." Twenty-four hours after that, you walk off the field with Joe Paterno. This is an experience every sports fan would die to be apart of, not just up-and-coming quarterbacks."

09-01-2010, 01:34 PM
This is a great interview. Ben is starting to get it. I like what I am reading.

09-01-2010, 01:53 PM
This is a great interview. Ben is starting to get it. I like what I am reading.
I was waiting for you to weigh in.

09-01-2010, 04:00 PM
I like that Ben won't be getting any cross tattoos or wearing cross necklaces. He'll just be wearing a bracelet that says live like you were dying.

I'm not dogging him, but I thought this was a weird crossover.
No to tattoos and necklaces. Yes to bracelets.

Anyhoo, I buy into it. He's played along the gray line a bit and slipped over too far. I think that has pushed him back a safe distance from it happening again.

09-01-2010, 04:19 PM
I wish Ben would have said, 'Sometimes I think I would like to tell the people the truth about what really happened that night, but......'

09-01-2010, 04:22 PM
I wish Ben would have said, 'Sometimes I think I would like to tell the people the truth about what really happened that night, but......'

So the media can restart the Ben Roethlisberger feeding frenzy? No thanks...

Captain Lemming
09-01-2010, 07:06 PM
This is a great interview. Ben is starting to get it. I like what I am reading.

It is funny when "I" quoted scripture about the benefits of "discipline" and I said it looked like Ben was gaining those benefits, many ripped me.

Looks like Ben has spent reflective time in the good book himself. I now wonder if he read those verses I quoted too, and whether it contributes to his inner peace.

09-02-2010, 03:03 AM
This is a great interview. Ben is starting to get it. I like what I am reading.

It is funny when "I" quoted scripture about the benefits of "discipline" and I said it looked like Ben was gaining those benefits, many ripped me.

Looks like Ben has spent reflective time in the good book himself. I now wonder if he read those verses I quoted too, and whether it contributes to his inner peace.

I know it's easy to make jokes. It's easy to be cynical. Man gets in trouble...man finds God. I get it. With that said, Ben has Christian roots and like he said he stepped away from them. Ben became his own god. That didn't work out to well for him. He was humbled and got back to his roots. In scripture and his faith he found peace. Everything I'm reading sounds like Ben is getting it. If Ben can stay grounded and actively involved in his faith I see good things for Ben. If he once again buys into his own press and pushes away...Ben will be playing for Oakland or Folsom Pen.