Steelers Name Ben and Keisel Captains for 2012 Season
Steelers Name Ben Roethlisberger, Brett Keisel Captains for 2012 Season
by Neal Coolong on Sep 3, 2012
The Steelers have announced QB Ben Roethlisberger and DE Brett Keisel will serve as captains for the 2012 season.
This is Roethlisberger's fourth season as captain, serving previously in 2008, 2009 and 2011. It's Keisel's first year as captain.
It's the first time since 2007 the Steelers named two captains, instead of three or more. In 2007, the Steelers named Hines Ward and James Farrior captain. Incidentally, both Ward and Farrior were captains last year, but both were released this offseason.
Ward was a captain from 2005-11, and Farrior from 2004-11.
Keisel has been on the Steelers roster since 2002, and made the Pro Bowl in 2010. His captaincy isn't surprising, given he'll be the most experienced Steelers defender in terms of tenure and the amount of snaps he's likely to take in 2012. NT Casey Hampton has been with the team longer, but will play a limited number of snaps, especially early this year.
At age 30, Steelers QB Roethlisberger in his prime
By Alan Robinson
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger rears back to throw during practice at St. Vincent College during practice Aug. 1, 2012
Ben Roethlisberger looks to be in the prime of his career, throwing the ball with as much zip and accuracy as he ever has during his nine-season career, according to Steelers wide receivers. Mike Wallace didn’t need much time to notice.
“I haven’t been with Ben in a while, and his arm is stronger than when we left last year,” said Wallace, who practiced Monday for the first time since ending his offseason holdout. “He was throwing it pretty far.”
Roethlisberger passed for 4,077 yards last season — second in his career to his 4,328 yards in 2009 — and he might have the best and deepest cast of receivers he has had yet in Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. While he didn’t predict one Monday, he expects a big season.
“I hope so. I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination I’m on the down slope and the end of my career,” Roethlisberger said. “ I hope not, geez. The game keeps slowing down, and you keep figuring things out. I’m just blessed to have a great group of young guys around me that can make plays, so I don’t have to do as much as I used to.”
Roethlisberger is aware he is at the age — 30 — when many quarterbacks peak.
“I set the bar pretty high on myself. No one can hold my level of expectation higher than I do,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll just keep trying to get better, and hopefully, I get there. And if I don’t, I’m sorry.”
Roethlisberger, a three-time Super Bowl participant and two-time winner, isn’t often the lesser- known quarterback in any game, but he will be when Peyton Manning returns Sunday in Denver after missing the 2011 season to injury.
Roethlisberger appears to like that he won’t be the most-scrutinized quarterback for a change.
“We knew the NFL was going to do that,” Roethlisberger said of giving Manning a prime-time showcase in his first game since the 2010 season. “ It was a no-brainer they were going to put him on Sunday night, Monday night, one of the other two, let him play at home.”
Good for Ben and "The Diesel." Kiesel is one of the most underrated players to ever wear a Steelers uniform. The guy has been a rock and a commensurate team guy.
- Charles Harris-OLB, Missouri
- Rasul Douglas-CB, West Virginia
- Chris Godwin-WR, Penn State
- John Johnson-S, Boston College
- James Conner-RB, Pitt
- Nazair Jones-DT, North Carolina
- Garrett Sickels, DE/OLB, Penn State
Ben captains the offense, Brett captains the defense, and Da Beard captains the special teams.
1. CB Sidney Jones, Washington 6'0" 181
2. FS Budda Baker, Washington 5'10" 192
3. OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston 6'2" 244
4. ILB Connor Harris, Lindenwood 5'11 241
5. RB James Conner, Pittsburgh 6'2" 240
5c. TE Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas 6'5" 256
6. QB Chad Kelly, Mississippi 6'2" 224
7. WR Demore'ea Stringfellow, Mississippi 6'2" 212
7c. DE Collin Bevins, Northwest Missouri State 6'5" 286
2015 MNF Executive Champion!
Hall of Famer
Excellent choices and no brainers IMHO
Big Ben brings sense of competitiveness
By Alan Robinson
Published: Saturday, September 8, 2012
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, shown on the sideline against the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium last month, is perhaps the fiercest competitor on the Steelers
How Ben Roethlisberger has fared in games featuring elite quarterbacks:
Date Quarterback Com/Att Yds TD INT Passer rating Outcome
Oct. 31, 2004 Patriots (Tom Brady) 18/24 196 2 0 126.4 Steelers win, 34-20
Dec. 18, 2004 Giants (Eli Manning) 18/28 316 1 2 84.8 Steelers win, 33-30
Jan. 23, 2005 Patriots (Tom Brady) 14/24 226 2 3 78.1 Steelers lose, 41-27 (AFC playoffs)
Sept. 25, 2005 Patriots (Tom Brady) 12/28 216 2 0 93.8 Steelers lose, 23-20
Nov. 28, 2005 Colts (Peyton Manning) 17/26 133 1 2 58.7 Steelers lose, 26-7
Jan. 15, 2006 Colts (Peyton Manning) 14/24 197 2 1 95.3 Steelers win, 21-18 (AFC playoffs)
Nov. 12, 2006 Saints (Drew Brees) 17/28 264 3 0 127.7 Steelers win, 38-31
Dec. 9, 2007 Patriots (Tom Brady) 19/32 187 1 0 86.3 Steelers lose, 34-13
Oct. 28, 2008 Giants (Eli Manning) 13/29 189 1 4 38.5 Steelers lose, 21-14
Nov. 9, 2008 Colts (Peyton Manning) 29/41 280 0 3 59.0 Steelers lose, 24-20
Dec. 20, 2009 Packers (Aaron Rodgers) 29/46 503 3 0 121.9 Steelers win, 37-36
Oct. 31, 2010 Saints (Drew Brees) 17/28 195 0 1 66.8 Steelers lose, 20-10
Nov. 14, 2010 Patriots (Tom Brady) 30/49 387 3 1 97.9 Steelers lose, 39-26
Feb. 6, 2011 Packers (Aaron Rodgers) 25/40 263 2 2 77.4 Steelers lose, 31-25 (Super Bowl)
Oct. 30, 2011 Patriots (Tom Brady) 36/50 365 2 1 97.5 Steelers win, 25-17
In the lobby of the Steelers’ South Side practice complex, a TV is replaying coach Mike Tomlin’s comments that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is a “ridiculous competitor.”
Just down a hallway, a competitor some Steelers believe hates to lose as badly as Manning does – and never bothers to hide it – is getting ready for practice. Except it’s not a normal practice.
To fellow Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich, there is never a normal practice for Ben Roethlisberger, who always finds a way to compete. Maybe it’s the number of passes he can flip successfully into a garbage can or how many throws he can complete in a row.
Table tennis in the locker room? Hates to lose. The miniature basketball hoop that was located close to Roethlisberger’s locker? He will play as many shooting games as possible – best-of-3, best-of-7, best-of-211 – in order to win.
Ridiculous competitor? Yes, the Steelers know one.
“Oh man, I’m playing with the guy right now,” said wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who was floored by Roethlisberger’s competitiveness when he joined the Steelers last season. “I haven’t seen anything like this dude.”
Cotchery includes Brett Favre, his former Jets teammate, in that statement.
“Brett Favre was a very competitive guy. Chad Pennington, oh, man, he was fierce,” Cotchery said. “This guy here? I don’t know where he comes from. Before I came here, I’ve seen images of him breaking his nose and sticking something up it and getting back on the field. It’s crazy. He’s just anxious to get back out there and get his team to a victory. This guy is extremely into it.”
Cotchery was referring to the Dec. 5, 2010, game against the Ravens in which Roethlisberger’s nose was broken on a hit by Haloti Ngata, but he stayed in the game and helped rally the Steelers to a pivotal 13-10 win that helped pushed them to the Super Bowl.
The Steelers’ opener Sunday night in Denver is being billed as Peyton Manning’s comeback game; Roethlisberger was jokingly referred to as “the other quarterback” on a national TV sportscast a few nights ago.
Despite the supposed slight, Leftwich doesn’t believe Roethlisberger will draw any extra incentive from taking on one of the sport’s iconic players.
“You don’t see a whole lot of people compete (in practice) on a daily basis, and that’s what you want,” Leftwich said. “That’s the part that people don’t realize; how highly competitive he is. How perfect he wants to be in games, how he works at the little things so the big things happen. It’s on a constant basis every day. He wants to be able to do this, this and this, because he knows if he can do these things on a consistent basis on Sundays, it’ll make it a whole lot easier.”
Steelers linebacker Larry Foote saw the exact same thing when Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 15-1 record as a rookie in 2004.
Asked to compare Roethlisberger to Manning, Foote said, “Our quarterback is more reckless abandon. He stares down the barrel. He doesn’t blink. He does a great job. Both of them are competitors. To play at this level and have as much success as these two have, you’ve got to be an ultimate competitor.”
Roethlisberger is 1-2 against Peyton Manning, losing to him twice in the regular season (2005 and 2008 but beating him in a January 2006 AFC divisional playoff game. And the two seasons Roethlisberger lost to Manning, the Steelers won the Super Bowl.
“As a quarterback, you always know who’s on the other side of the field,” Leftwich said. “You’re not playing against those guys … but he understands who’s the quarterback for the Denver Broncos. He knows.”