2013 MNF Executive Champion!
Round 1, Pick 25 (25): Artie Burns, CB; Miami
Round 2, Pick 27 (58 ): Sean Davis, S; Maryland
Round 3, Pick 26 (89): Javon Hargrave, DT; South Carolina State
Round 4, Pick 25 (123): Jerald Hawkins, OT; LSU
Round 6, Pick 45 (220) (Compensatory Selection): Travis Feeney, OLB; Washington
Round 7, Pick 8 (229) (From Giants): DeMarcus Ayers, WR; Houston
Round 7, Pick 25 (246): Tyler Matakevich, OLB; Temple
Except Aikman had Emmit Smith and Michael Irvin as well as the Dallas O Line of the early 90s...
1 CB Vernon Hargreaves Florida 5-10 204
2 DT Austin Johnson Penn State 6-4 314
3 SS Jeremy Cash Duke 6-0 212
4 LB Jaylon Smith Notre Dame 6-2 223
6 WR Moritz Boehringer Germany 6-4 227
7 OT Brandon Shell South Carolina 6-5 324
7 RB Tre Madden USC 6-0 223
DE David Onyemata, LB Ian Seau, FS Jordan Lomax, CB DeAndre Elliott,
QB Jeff Driskel, TE David Morgan, OG Spencer Drango, OC Mike Matthews
2015 MNF Executive Champion!
In comparison withe Ben, the numbers are pretty similar (with Ben having played 2 fewer seasons at this point) Ben has the edge statistically though. According to Pro Football Reference, in two fewer seasons, Ben has thrown for more yards, more TD's and with a higher completion percentage than Aikman. He also has a higher Yards/Attempt and Yards/Completion.
Aikman is 3-0 in Super Bowls, and Ben is 2-1.
Aikman's a HOF'er, Ben's a HOF'er.
I'd have to say that Ben will be a Hall of Famer when he is done. Some will say he had a bad Super Bowl in XL, well John Elway had a couple of Stinkers before he won two. Ben easily could have been the MVP in SB XLIII. There really isn't another QB that can do what he does and he hasn't peaked yet. Another 4 or 5 good years and his H.O.F. credentials should be cemented.
Does Pittsburgh Steelers Roethlisberger Have Any ‘Big Wins’ Left?
by Craig Gottschalk
Recently, Brenden Driscoll of NPC penned an article talking about the “title window” and whether or not it is closing in on the Pittsburgh Steelers. The argument centers on franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He’s only 32, in his prime, and has quite a few years for the Steelers to build a more potent offense and stout defense to get them back into Super Bowl winning form.
Pondering this notion lead me to another thought – “Does Big Ben have any big wins left in him?”
The root of this thought is not grounded in his ability. We all know Roethlisberger is a Top 5 (Top 10 for you haters) quarterback in the NFL. Steeler Nation has witnessed time and time again his ability to command the offense, make effective throws, and extend plays that turn potential sacks into 30 yard gains. The thought with Big Ben at the helm is that week in and week out he gives this team the best chance possible for a win.
But as offensive coordinator Todd Haley continues to refine the offense and shift Roethlisberger’s playing style more into what he (Haley) wants, is Haley also taking away one of Roethlisberger’s greatest strengths? And therefore, isn’t he taking away his ability to win games? I’ve always been a critic of Haley from the very start. But this is less of a criticism as much as it is an observation. There’s no doubt that Ben’s adjusting and performing well in the revamped Haley offense.
The demand to have Ben stand in the pocket, deliver the ball quickly and avoid a sack is starting to really take hold. Pushing suspect play calling by Haley off to the side, Roethlisberger did incredibly well in 2013. There’s no doubt that Big Ben has become more efficient with the quick short pass (bubble screen not included). And, it’s effective in slicing up chunks of yards. But, has this style of offense crippled his big play making ability? I would like to think that his ability to scramble, dodge tackles, and hitting a receiver 20 yards downfield into broken coverage is purely instinct. But, it’s not. By keeping him locked into the pocket for the majority of a game, how comfortable is he really in scrambling and accurately slinging the ball down the field? How many times did his over shoot an open receiver last year when he did scramble?
It’s my belief that Ben Roethlisberger is a very different breed of QB. He thrives when the chips are down and his back is pinned to the wall. He’s had 23 4th quarter comebacks, and 32 game winning drives according to Pro Football Reference. They came most frequently in 2005 and in 2008 – the two years the Steelers won the Super Bowl, with one of those game winning drives happening in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIII. All of those drives encompassed him scrambling and dodging and finding the open guy to keep the drive alive. It’s not methodical. It’s not pretty. But at those times (and in those two years) he always seemed to get the job done. It’s not rocket science. And, it’s not ‘the magic’ that I see so many critics spout out when saying that ‘the magic is gone with Big Ben.’ It’s just who he is, and it’s not him that’s the problem by not being able to deliver in a loss.
There are two factors that might be contributing to this – the defense has struggled to keep games close in order to give Ben a fighting chance in the second half of a game. Yes, I said he thrives when his back is pinned to the wall. Being down a TD in the fourth with three minutes left is your back against the wall. Being down three scores in the fourth quarter is just getting stepped on. Rarely will a team come back from that. And then, when the offense gets some scores to close the gap, the defense can’t hold. The other factor is what has been discussed already – he’s out of his element the majority of the game by being forced to stay within the pocket and just get rid of the ball. That kind of switch has to mess with an athletes mind, a poo poo to the critiques who dog him for that like he’s some kind of damn robot who can just switch it on and off.
The style of play that is meant to extend his career is potentially keeping him back from reaching his full potential as a quarterback and Super Bowl bound quarterback. A sick twist, and one I continually hope that is adjusted as much as possible to get Ben the freedom to scramble once again. There’s always a risk for injury at any given time, and I would rather see the risk happen in moments where Ben is giving them a chance to win a game and make big plays – not in moments where he’s committed to the pocket and it collapses around him faster than a cave in.
The title window is far from closing for the Steelers. Just think of that window having a storm window screen in front that they need to bust through. They have an opportunity with a younger team to use speed and raw skill to give them a hot push into a playoff scenario. That offensive line will get better too. I see Ben not only overcoming the defense as an obstacle, but also the style of play he’s been forced into.
It could also end disastrously, but I’m still putting my money on the Steelers and #7 that they can make a few more playoff pushes and get at least get to Seventh Heaven.
Not forgetting Big Ben's tackle
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com
Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" proved to be a landslide winner in a recent ESPN.com poll of the Steelers' most memorable plays, and that was a foregone conclusion.
A discussion of the other two most memorable plays in Steelers' history generated a lot of debate and for good reason.
There were so many worthy ones that did not make the final three, from John Stallworth's over-the-shoulder touchdown catch in Super Bowl XIV and any number of Lynn Swann grabs in the Super Bowl to Troy Polamalu's interception for a return touchdown in the 2008 AFC Championship Game.
"Where is Ben's tackle?" Polamalu asked when I talked to him about the greatest plays in Steelers history and specifically James Harrison's 100-yard interception return in Super Bowl XLIII.
That is a great question.
Of all the plays that did not make the final three, none received more nominations or mentions from Steelers fans via Twitter than Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown-saving tackle in a 21-18 win over the Indianapolis Colts in a 2005 AFC divisional playoff game.
And of all the great plays Roethlisberger has made over the last decade none may be more significant than his tackle of Colts cornerback Nick Harper following a Jerome Bettis fumble as the Steelers were going in for the game-clinching touchdown.
It was such a stunning turn of events with the underdog Steelers poised to seal an upset over the Peyton Manning-led Colts, and only a shoestring tackle by Roethlisberger saved Pittsburgh from one of the most devastating losses in franchise history.
As for Roethlisberger's take on his best-ever tackle, he said, "Because it's a quarterback making a tackle I think that's why it's so unusual. But in the grand scheme of championship runs, if I make that play and we lose the game no one's talking about it. But because we won the game it became such a big deal."
That is precisely why it is such a big deal.
The Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl for the first time since the dynastic teams of the 1970s, and there is no telling how things would have played out beyond 2005 if they had lost that game.
The Steelers had endured so much playoff heartbreak under coach Bill Cowher. Losing a game they had dominated at the now razed RCA Dome might have allowed serious doubt to creep in about whether they could take that final step from contenders to Super Bowl champions.
The Steelers did get some help after Roethlisberger's tackle, most notably from Mike Vanderjagt.
The Colts kicker shanked a 46-yard field goal attempt on the final play, sending the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game.
And there was no stopping them from that point with Bettis' fumble becoming a mere footnote to his retiring as a Super Bowl champion.
"It was just so unbelievable when it happened," Roethlisberger said of one of the defining sequences of his career, "and it was just find a way to make a play."
He did and the rest is history.
Steelers, Roethlisberger running out of time to do new deal
Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2014
When it comes to contracts, the Steelers have one very clear rule: Once the regular season starts, no new deals will be done.
For quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has two years left on his current long-term contract, that means there’s not much time to get the kind of raise he surely covets, especially in light of the current quarterback market.
Despite a cap number of $18.895 million, Roethlisberger will earn only $12.1 million in 2014. And while I often follow the word “only” with an “(only?)” when throwing around numbers like that, as quarterbacks go Roethlisberger is grossly underpaid.
Plenty of other guys who haven’t played nearly as long nor accomplished nearly as much have broken the $20 million-per-year barrier. Roethlisberger meanwhile carries the risk of injury (which is quite high given his age and playing style) while waiting for a deal that reflects the current state of the franchise-quarterback market.
The Steelers are content to carry a cap number bloated by multiple can-kicking restructurings, knowing that the next contract will cost them plenty of money. And while they’ll extend quarterback deals with two seasons left, there’s been no indication of progress on a retirement contract for Roethlisberger.
It doesn’t mean progress isn’t being made. Both sides have remained largely quiet about the status of talks, a truce of sorts after a series of reports last season from the league’s in-house media operation suggested Roethsliberger may want out of town. That prompted the player to declare he’ll never leave — and it prompted some (me, at least) to wonder whether the Steelers leaked the story, knowing that Roethlisberger would react by professing the kind of commitment to the Steelers that could make it easier to get him to accept something much less than a market-value deal.
If it worked, no one knows. And no one likely will know until a deal gets announced and then the numbers are dissected to see whether he signed a Tom Brady-style “take one for the team” contract that pays out $30 million to sign — or whether Roethlisberger accepted a Colin Kaepernick-level contract that continues to underpay the player as the market is poised to explode, fueled by a new trend of annual salary-cap spikes.