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alittlejazzbird
09-19-2007, 03:49 PM
Roethlisberger emerging as an elite quarterback
Updated: Sep19, 2007, 02:12 PM EDT By Jeff Mroz
Special to NBCSports.com

Ben Roethlisberger should be smiling widely. His Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0 and have blown away the Browns and Bills. Big Ben has thrown 5 TDs, and that total could be higher had he not been replaced by Charlie Batch once each outcome was secure.

Roethlisberger is coming off a 2006 season where everything that could have gone wrong seemed to do just that. Off the field, he had a scary motorcycle accident and an appendectomy. On the field, he suffered a severe concussion and threw more INTs than TDs. The 8-8 season was a major disappointment following a Super Bowl. Then, Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, one of the NFL's best, stepped down.

Despite all this, Roethlisberger made it no secret in the off-season that he wanted to be more involved in the offense. So far, this involvement is not only evident -- it's also successful. Like all QBs, Big Ben meets with his offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, during the week to discuss the game plan. This year, however, for the first time in his career, Roethlisberger has more input as to which plays are included and thrown out. Now, Big Ben is running plays that he wants to run, plays with which he is comfortable.

Mike Tomlin's new coaching staff has allowed Roethlisberger to have his way on Sundays as well. Arians lets Big Ben call protections as well as audibles, based upon where he thinks a blitz may be coming, or where he sees a weakness in coverage; much the same way Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Tom Brady do on their respective teams.

Some people say that Ben is managing the game well. Managing a game is not a compliment to a QB. All managing a game means to a QB is that they did not screw up, make any big mistakes or make a nice play here and there. A QB does not want to manage a game. A QB wants to control a game.

So far, Roethlisberger has been controlling games. He has set the protections effectively, allowing more time to throw the ball deep, stretching the field and defense. With the safeties feeling threatened by getting beat deep at all times, this opens up more room for RB Willie Parker to run.

Big Ben has also been equally effective audibling. The Steelers, who play host to the undefeated 49ers on Sunday, have had few negative plays and Roethlisberger has only been sacked twice. He has thrown the ball away instead of making ill-advised throws -- something that plagued him last year -- and has continued to convert big third downs, allowing his defense to rest.

Big Ben looks extremely comfortable. Last year, it seemed at times as if he saw the rush instead of the receivers. This year, his pocket presence is superb, and he is feeling the rush and seeing the receivers.

Roethlisberger is finding the open receiver the majority of the time. With great defensive schemes and so little time to throw, this is a lot harder to do than people think.

Roethlisberger has been able to find the one-on-one matchups, which an NFL receiver is going to win almost every time. He throws the ball outside the numbers with great precision and timing (outs, corner routes and fitting the bench route in between the corner and safety in Cover 2). Another trait that makes Roethlisberger difficult to defend is that he spreads the ball around. He has completed passes to nine receivers -- four wide receivers, two tight ends, two running backs and one fullback. The top-notch QBs make the game look easy because they are able to find the open man or the void in the defense quickly and consistently, and deliver the ball accurately. This is what Big Ben has been able to do.

Roethlisberger wanted this responsibility. He wanted to be the reason the Steelers sink or swim. You have to love that confidence in your leader. The Steelers have followed his way, and Roethlisberger is not only controlling the games, he is dominating them. Big Ben is the face of the Pittsburgh Steelers. With only one year left on his contract after this season, the Steelers have no choice but to sign him to an extension. The organization will reportedly make signing him to a long-term deal this off-season a top priority. Given the going rate for top-tier NFL quarterbacks, Roethlisberger's contract would almost certainly guarantee more than $30 million and be worth close to $10 million annually.

As the Steelers determine how much to pay their star QB, we will learn a lot about how much Roethlisberger wants to win. How much money will Big Ben want? He is certainly entitled to try and sign for as much as possible. He deserves the maximum he can get. But will he take significantly less so the Steelers have more to spend on the surrounding talent?

Fellow Pittsburgh superstar, Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, could have taken the maximum contract allowed in the NHL, but decided to take substantially less so he could be on a competitive team every year. Tom Brady did the same with the Patriots a few years ago. Roethlisberger should follow the same mold as Crosby and Brady. If Roethlisberger is worried about the "lost" money in the contract from signing for less, he can more than make it up with endorsements -- endorsements that may not be there if he takes the max and the Steelers have no money to spend on top-notch surrounding players.

The more he wins, the more playoff games and Super Bowls he's in...and the more his face is on TV, the endorsements will follow. This is another situation that Roethlisberger can control. He will have to choose between money and the chance to be the QB of a perpetually winning team. Here's hoping Big Ben's decision works as well as those he has made so far this year.

Jeff Mroz is a quarterback from Greensburg, PA who was the football captain at Yale in 2005. Following graduation, he signed with the Dallas Cowboys, where he stayed until August, 2006. He was on the Philadelphia Eagles roster from January-May, 2007.

http://www.nbcsports.com/portal/site/nbcsports/menuitem.6f806e473b4cb158fb00ec22493c2d04/?vgnextoid=66140994c1e15110VgnVCM10000075c1d240RCR D&cpsextcurrchannel=1

ShutDown24
09-19-2007, 04:16 PM
Sure, he is emerging as elite as far as stats go. He as already in an elite group were few who are playing right now are with him though and that's Super Bowl wins.

Atlanta Dan
09-19-2007, 04:28 PM
Ben has rebounded from his mid-2006 slump and played proficiently against the Browns & Bills.

But (to paraphrase the statement I will not repeat verbatim by Winston Wolf to Jules Winnfield & Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction) "let's not start sucking each other's [popsicles] quite yet, gentlemen."

In other words, it is still early and there is serious work that remains to be done

tony hipchest
09-19-2007, 04:40 PM
:jawdrop:

http://i132.photobucket.com/albums/q23/shortyshane_2006/popsicle.jpg

seriously, does this paragraph have to be inserted into every single ben article to this day?

Roethlisberger is coming off a 2006 season where everything that could have gone wrong seemed to do just that. Off the field, he had a scary motorcycle accident and an appendectomy. On the field, he suffered a severe concussion and threw more INTs than TDs. The 8-8 season was a major disappointment following a Super Bowl. Then, Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, one of the NFL's best, stepped down.

we know, we get it.

Edman
09-19-2007, 04:45 PM
We'll need more evidence. And I'm sure Ben is not sold on his performances just yet, either. He even said so himself. Let's see how he fares against the Ratbirds and Belichump's diabolical schemes in New England. It would be awesome to see him have success against those teams.

Hines0wnz
09-19-2007, 05:00 PM
We'll need more evidence. And I'm sure Ben is not sold on his performances just yet, either. He even said so himself. Let's see how he fares against the Ratbirds and Belichump's diabolical schemes in New England. It would be awesome to see him have success against those teams.

I agree. Once he has had quality games against the better teams (win or lose) then we can truly believe and enjoy.

tony hipchest
09-19-2007, 05:14 PM
I agree. Once he has had quality games against the better teams (win or lose) then we can truly believe and enjoy.i saw a ton of quality games in 2004-2005 and even a few last season.

i think ive seen enough. last year was the anomoly, not this year.

we have never seen how "elite" qb's such as favre, manning, and brady rebound from injury because they have never missed a start due to injury. however they are the exception and not the rule. if they were hurt and struggled upon return, i think they would be given the benefit of the doubt.

Hines0wnz
09-19-2007, 05:22 PM
i saw a ton of quality games in 2004-2005 and even a few last season.

i think ive seen enough. last year was the anomoly, not this year.

we have never seen how "elite" qb's such as favre, manning, and brady rebound from injury because they have never missed a start due to injury. however they are the exception and not the rule. if they were hurt and struggled upon return, i think they would be given the benefit of the doubt.

McNabb would be a better comparison to Ben methinks.

steelpride12
09-19-2007, 05:58 PM
Let's not call him elite till he beats premier teams like the raven, Broncos and Pats who all have great defenses not the bills and clowns.

TackleMeBen
09-19-2007, 06:33 PM
McNabb would be a better comparison to Ben methinks.

yeah they both seem to stick their foot in their mouths when the media puts a microphone in their face...lol :flap::flap:

NateC
09-19-2007, 06:35 PM
Ummm.. Big Ben Roethlisberger is Elite Ben can make all the Throws and is Mobile. Yes A bad season but Peyton Manning Has had Bad Seasons. Brady Hasnt but I think we can All Agree Brady is the Best QB in the league. Big Ben is As Good if not better than Carson Palmer Easy... Any other QB's you wanna name Over Big Ben? im thinking about it Hard... and if you say something dumb like Hasselback or Romo im gonna Laugh... Big Ben is Elite. Period. (This is Based on the freaking best Performance by a QB in the Playoffs Since... Freaking Montana. See (2005))

What More Can Ben do?? Win more Super Bowls? Ok Fine lol thats what im Hoping we are hoping for. The thing is we already know he can do it. So .. its awesome to Have Big Ben Roethlisberger At QB.

I was Mad at him in 06 But plenty Empathetic and Sympathetic to his injuries and so on.... I Still think After the Opener or at least After Bens Struggles Batch Should have continued to Start and Ride his High. That Was Cower's fault in my mind. You got a young QB who is very pridefull. Let him Keep his Pride by saying " COACH IM READY LET ME IN" But then be smart as the Coach and be like " Hey We are gonnna give you a few more days/weeks to get you back 100%.. AKA going for the Knee Surgury in 05 and waiting to come back strong . Lol only we were loosing with Tommy Gun. We coulda been winning with Batch. My 2cents on 06 and Bens Shakey Season. Pfttt. It happens..

steelwolf21
09-19-2007, 10:25 PM
:jawdrop:


seriously, does this paragraph have to be inserted into every single ben article to this day?



we know, we get it.


Yeah its soon gonna join the Gardocki never had a punt blocked and Hines Ward is one of the best blocking recievers in the game as the most over- used quotes in the history of sports!:tt02:

Galax Steeler
09-20-2007, 03:50 AM
I think ben is becoming an elite quarterback if he can continue what the has done so far then he will be ranked with the best.

delhess
09-20-2007, 08:31 AM
i have felt that ben has been criticized plenty for his mistakes. last year was a bad year all around. he had some good performances however. i would love to know how many of those interceptions were in do or die situations, and how many were tipped up by receivers. it would be great to compile those stats sometime.
not to mention terrible field position due to poor special teams play and fumbles. last year was a bad year all around. and we still ended up 8-8. we would have been a playoff team in the nfc. all qbs have down games/years.

ben is gonna have down games again. the question that remains to be seen is if he has learned enough to continue to throw the ball away or take a sack instead of a turnover. if he tries to force a win when it isn't going well and has poor performances because of it, will it hurt his confidence and the teams confidence in him? you could go into a slide that way.

i thought d mcnabb would have a great year w/ his back against the wall, and everything to prove, but it looks like that year could fall apart fast for the eagles. lets hope ben is smart enough to see the big picture. if he is i think he could go down in history as a GREAT qb.

for a guy that has a 15/1 season and a super bowl season under his belt, it's astounding that he has nothing but upside, but so it seems. i love coach's comments about him, and the attitude of trust. that can do great things for a talented young qb.

i also hope ben can help the team win by financially helping them out. that says a lot about a player like brady, and the true champions understand what it means to win, and what it takes. bettis did the same thing with his contract, and i could see ben follow in his footsteps.

Here's hoping Big Ben's decision works as well as those he has made so far this year.

Dragonrider
09-20-2007, 09:01 AM
Lest we forget, he also has Ken Anderson as a QB coach. I think that helps with all the small things that make him successful. I don't know why so many are surprised by his success. He has shown this ability from the beginning.

TackleMeBen
09-20-2007, 09:52 AM
well they consider Palmer an elite qb.. and he hasnt even made it to the superbowl.. so i guess we could say that ben had the ability to be one also.

rog
09-20-2007, 09:57 AM
well the consider Palmer an elite qb.. and he hasnt even made it to the superbowl.. so i guess we could say that ben had the ability to be one also.

Super Bowl he has not even won a playoff game.

TackleMeBen
09-20-2007, 09:59 AM
Super Bowl he has not even won a playoff game.

well then i rest my case then... :wink02:

HometownGal
09-20-2007, 10:09 AM
Sorry to rain on the parade, but I do not view Ben as an elite QB YET. Until he shows consistency behind center as Ass Chin and Peytoon have over an extended period of time, I'm going to stick with my belief that he is headed in that direction but hasn't reached that tier just yet.

delhess
09-20-2007, 11:22 AM
Sorry to rain on the parade, but I do not view Ben as an elite QB YET. Until he shows consistency behind center as Ass Chin and Peytoon have over an extended period of time, I'm going to stick with my belief that he is headed in that direction but hasn't reached that tier just yet.

i would have to agree hometowngal, i think a lot of it rests on what he does from here on out.

TackleMeBen
09-20-2007, 11:29 AM
if he wants to be an elite qb then he better stay out of the bars and in the film room more:wink02:

duma
09-20-2007, 11:42 AM
Let's not call him elite till he beats premier teams like the raven, Broncos and Pats who all have great defenses not the bills and clowns.
Agreed. SF at least has a better D then either of the previous two games. Let's see how he handles a [slightly] better D. He has to get a TD everytime he is inside the 20's this week.

BurghZ0n3
09-21-2007, 11:02 AM
Wishing Ben could build a good chemistry with new WRs, just like he did in 2004-2005 seasons . Then we'll be back on track...maybe 15-1 again....? :thumbsup:

alittlejazzbird
09-21-2007, 08:09 PM
Wishing Ben could build a good chemistry with new WRs, just like he did in 2004-2005 seasons . Then we'll be back on track...maybe 15-1 again....? :thumbsup:

I think he's definitely getting there....Ben to Santonio is starting to look like a big time deep threat, and Hines can do it all. I think Nate is back on track too.

GBMelBlount
09-21-2007, 08:52 PM
i saw a ton of quality games in 2004-2005 and even a few last season.

i think ive seen enough. last year was the anomoly, not this year.

we have never seen how "elite" qb's such as favre, manning, and brady rebound from injury because they have never missed a start due to injury. however they are the exception and not the rule. if they were hurt and struggled upon return, i think they would be given the benefit of the doubt.

Ben hit the trifecta last year. Accident, appendix, concussion. I was very concerned he might never be right again. Needless to say, I am very excited about how he's played his first 2 games! :tt02:

steelpride12
09-21-2007, 09:39 PM
Ben hit the trifecta last year. Accident, appendix, concussion. I was very concerned he might never be right again. Needless to say, I am very excited about how he's played his first 2 games! :tt02:

I don't regret to say he is back in Elite mode and is making himself a name so far as a "good QB" who can carry this load to another superbowl win i just wanna see him beat good defenses and show he can play under any condition (raven Statium)!

Elvis
09-22-2007, 11:28 AM
I for one am glad that Big Ben has rebounded. Now, we must just win baby and prove that super bowl XL was Not a fluke. Of course its not just 1 player that is gonna win a tittle is it? Our running game needs to run the ball better in the 1st halves of our games. And Ben has no business passing the ball 29 times in one half either, he passed 29 times last week in the 1st half. That is not ballance on offense and when it matters most against good teams it is gonna be a bad thing for us.
:tt02: