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alittlejazzbird
11-08-2007, 02:46 PM
Despite all the snarky "Steelers are a mediocre pretender" media of late, we're not flying completely under the radar.....
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Big Ben May Be Nearing Ranks of Brady, Manning
BY ALLEN BARRA
November 8, 2007

For most football fans, about the only interesting question left to answer in the second half of the 2007 season is whether there's a team out there capable of stepping it up to the level of the New England Patriots or the Indianapolis Colts. That team, if it exists, almost certainly isn't going to come from the NFC, as the Pats' 48?27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on October 14 proved.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' 38?7 dismantling of the Baltimore Ravens last Monday night may have sent a message to New England and to Indianapolis: There's another serious contender in the league, and it's in your own conference. The Ravens aren't that good. They went into the game at just 4?3, but they did have serious playoff hopes, and they were, after all, picked by ESPN the Magazine to win the AFC this year. The thoroughness with which the Ravens were thrashed was reminiscent of the beatings the Patriots have put on their foes this season. Discarding their customary cut-and-slash tactics in the red zone, Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians turned quarterback Ben Roethlisberger loose for a franchise record five touchdown passes and the most points the Steelers have scored this season.

The old saw in pro football is that offense sells tickets but defense wins championships, but nobody really believes that. Since 1978 when the passing rules were liberalized, NFL football has merely been a series of arguments among top coaches on how to make the passing game more explosive. Everybody wants a great defense, of course, but as the Chicago Bears proved in last year's Super Bowl, a great defensive team with a bad passing attack is like a modern army in a desert war with a second-rate air force.

For what it's worth, and it's still certainly worth something, the Steelers currently have the NFL's best defense, better than the Patriots or Colts, leading the league in fewest points allowed (12.3), fewest yards allowed per game (237.8), and fewest passing yards allowed per game (161.8). They are tied for second in the league in sacks (25). So far, the Steelers' 2007 defense is on track to be at least as good as the Super Bowl-winning unit of two seasons ago.

But the Steelers' chances this year depend mostly on Roethlisberger. Age 25 and standing 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 240 pounds, Roethlisberger may be the best young quarterback in the NFL. He may prove to be one of the best young quarterbacks in NFL history. That he isn't recognized as such is probably due to several factors, one being his dreadful performance against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2006 Super Bowl (despite which the Steelers still won) and his ditzy, much publicized motorcycle antics of 2006, on which many blamed his league-worst 23 interceptions and the Steelers' 8?8 record last year. (To be fair, an appendectomy caused him to miss the season opener and a load of practice time; his first three starts resulted in three losses, no TD passes, and seven interceptions.) But Roethlisberger swears that his Mad Max years are behind him, and he's headed for the best season of his four in professional football.

This may be true, but the Steelers under new head coach Mike Tomlin still seem reluctant to let Roethlisberger build up to a full head of steam. If you tell someone that Roethlisberger, since 2004, has been a more effective quarterback than either Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, they'll probably look at you cross-eyed. But the operative word is effective, not prolific. The key stat to measuring passing effectiveness is yards per throw ? how far a quarterback moves the ball downfield, on average, when he puts it in the air. Here's a comparison of Roethlisberger's performance over the last four seasons with the performances of both Manning and Brady over the same period:

Big Ben averaged a phenomenal 8.8 yards a throw in his first two seasons in the NFL and is headed for his third season in four years of eight-plus yards per throw. No one in the modern era ? not Johnny Unitas, not Dan Marino, not Joe Montana, and not Brady or Manning ? has approached such efficiency. Yet Roethlisberger has never been allowed to throw as many passes per game as his chief rivals. Even against Baltimore on Monday night, he threw just 16 passes (completing 13 for 209 yards) to get his five TDs.

The Steelers, from the coming of Chuck Noll in 1969 through the reign of Bill Cowher, which began in 1992 and ended last year, has always had a reputation as a ball-control offensive team. But after two inexplicable losses this season ? 14?21 to Arizona in their fourth game and 28?31 to Denver in their seventh ? it's time for Pittsburgh to stop being complacent about how much they've turned their team around from last season and start acting like a Super Bowl contender.

After this Sunday's home game with the Cleveland Browns (a team they beat 34?7 on opening day), the Steelers have only one tough game remaining all season: December 9 at New England. If the Patriots should slip and lose just one game before the start of the playoffs, the Pittsburgh-New England game could loom large in determining the home field advantage for the playoffs and thus the AFC Championship.

The Steelers may have the best defense in the NFL, and they may also have the best quarterback. It's about time they found out.

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/66090

KYSteelersfan
11-08-2007, 03:07 PM
Nice article. Didn't realize he only threw 16 times against the ratbirds this past Monday. Also, some very impressive stats regarding the yards per throw catagory.

jjpro11
11-08-2007, 03:09 PM
wow.. who said we werent getting any love? lol.. we just need to take it one week at a time and obliterate everything that stands in our way.

1207
11-08-2007, 03:24 PM
I remember in 2001 a certain QB in Indy that struggled mightly in what was his 4th season, I beleive, after having some initial sucess. Does anybody know how he panned out?

SteelerFanInCA
11-08-2007, 03:25 PM
Nice read. Thanks for posting.

Stillers33
11-08-2007, 03:58 PM
wow.. who said we werent getting any love? lol.. we just need to take it one week at a time and obliterate everything that stands in our way.

nice

Preacher
11-08-2007, 04:30 PM
Wow...

What a nice read.

Steelman16
11-08-2007, 04:33 PM
Something nice to read for a change. Amazing!

stillers4me
11-08-2007, 04:36 PM
but but but................what about Carson??????????????????????????

wadester47
11-08-2007, 04:56 PM
Well I will take it! Thanks for the great article I have been a little down , since all we here is pats and colts all the time.

thanks!!!

iloveben7
11-08-2007, 05:05 PM
What a great article

It's about time Ben is getting credit for the amazing things that he does. Does anyone know how long it took before Brady or Manning were the starting QB's of their team?

jjpro11
11-08-2007, 05:31 PM
ben is special in his own way. manning can read and exploit defenses better than anybody. brady has the best poise.. ben is the best at making a play out of nothing. he's basically a magician in football pads.

steelpride12
11-08-2007, 05:40 PM
Ben is finally getting the recongnision he deserves because he works his tail off all year long and its starting to pay off!

Black@Gold Forever32
11-08-2007, 05:49 PM
What a great article

It's about time Ben is getting credit for the amazing things that he does. Does anyone know how long it took before Brady or Manning were the starting QB's of their team?

Peyton Manning started from day one in Indy and never looked back.....He was drafted in 1998.....As for Tom Brady he was drafted in 2000 and didn't start a game his first year....He came in the next year in the Pats third game in which starter Drew Bledsoe was injured and has remained the starter.......

Ben was forced into action in his NFL second game when Tommy Maddox was injured against the Ravens in Baltimore and has been the starter ever since.....

As for the article Ben has always been among the league leaders in yards per attempt so no surprise there.....Only last year he wasn't........Its safe to say Ben is among the top four QBs in the NFL hands down....I would put him third currently and he even has more TD passes then Peyton....But due to Peyton's past rep and the numbers he has put up since 1998.....I would still place Peyton over Ben.......

tony hipchest
11-08-2007, 05:55 PM
What a great article

It's about time Ben is getting credit for the amazing things that he does. Does anyone know how long it took before Brady or Manning were the starting QB's of their team?manning has started every game since being drafted and brady has started since a few games into his 2nd season.

the most important stat for ben being in the upper echelon is staying healthy. ben has yet to start 16 games in a season but hes looking great and tougher than ever, this year.

as for him being mentioned with brady or manning, id just be happy with a pro bowl season.

they can keep calling him a great game manager if he keeps winning sb's.

the article had the great point about the YPA stat as b&g32 pointed out. that stat is often seen as just as telling as a passer rating. this yeards top leaders in YPA are also the top leaders in td's thrown. theres definitely a correlation

43SteelCurtainRevolution
11-08-2007, 06:01 PM
In addition to getting over 8 yards a throw and being one of the most efficient QBs in the league, I'm sure Big Ben can break out of a sack better than any other QB I've seen recently. That's impressive. If we can get a better O-line, just imagine how good Ben will be in the years to come! When Ben has time to throw, like, dare I say, Brady, Ben could easily be one of the greatest Pittsburgh's ever had.

Edman
11-08-2007, 06:06 PM
but but but................what about Carson??????????????????????????

Carson's been exposed this season as an average QB who can put up gaudy FF stats, but can't win despite a decent amount of offensive talent around him.

Defense gets the blame for his failures, but in a game where they aren't so terrible, Carson screws the pooch. Like the saying goes: The Defense allows 36, Carson will get you 35. The Defense allows 17, Carson will get you 10. Ben's a winner, Carson isn't.

Black@Gold Forever32
11-08-2007, 06:11 PM
Thats what cracked me up when people labeled Ben a game manager they never looked as his yards per attempt or TD percentage.....If anybody would have took the time they would have seen that Ben was always very good in those two categories......If he would have the attempts his passing yards and TD passes would have been higher...True his INTs also would have been higher with more attempts.....Last year I give Ben a break due to all the physical and mental set backs.....So his yards per attempt and TD percentage were down last year....

This year though Ben is among the best yards per attempt and TD percentage....The guy is on pace for 40 TD passes....Thats just crazy thinking a Steelers QB could throw 40 TD passes in a season...Plus even though Ben is on pace for over 400 attempts his INTs are way down from last year.....On pace for 12 which is great........considering the style of football Ben plays...some say its careless but I think he has some Terry Bradshaw or Brett Favre in him in thinking he can make any play/throw like those guys did/do.....To me I want my QB to have guts....

steelerbackr4life
11-08-2007, 06:25 PM
Ben has been getting alot of props all week on the local radio sports programs. Many a Jint fan called up today saying how the Jints would be better off with Ben than the Manning they got in the same draft.

jjpro11
11-08-2007, 06:36 PM
ben is now second in the league in passer rating behind only tom brady with a 111.9 rating. gerrard is 3rd with 102.9 and he has 50 less pass attempts than ben.

tony hipchest
11-08-2007, 06:39 PM
Thats what cracked me up when people labeled Ben a game manager they never looked as his yards per attempt or TD percentage.....If anybody would have took the time they would have seen that Ben was always very good in those two categories......If he would have the attempts his passing yards and TD passes would have been higher...True his INTs also would have been higher with more attempts.....Last year I give Ben a break due to all the physical and mental set backs.....So his yards per attempt and TD percentage were down last year....

This year though Ben is among the best yards per attempt and TD percentage....The guy is on pace for 40 TD passes....Thats just crazy thinking a Steelers QB could throw 40 TD passes in a season...Plus even though Ben is on pace for over 400 attempts his INTs are way down from last year.....On pace for 12 which is great........considering the style of football Ben plays...some say its careless but I think he has some Terry Bradshaw or Brett Favre in him in thinking he can make any play/throw like those guys did/do.....To me I want my QB to have guts....

great points. i was looking at bens vs bradys pass attempts this year. ben has 100 fewer pass attempts. he averages 1 td for every 10 attempts. extrapolate that and ben would have 30td's.

but brady has played 1 more game than ben so a more accurate measure will include his numbers from the cleveland game this week.

as far as im concerned ben coulda easilly put up 3-4 more td's against the ravens in the 2nd half.

bens in good company so far this season. he is playing like a 30 year old.

and i totally agree on his mistakes being a product of youth and having favre and bradshaw like characteristics, of a gambler, gunslinger, let er rip mentality.

holmgren commented on favre after the cheifs win saying farve never had that pretty deep ball when he had him. so if favre had room to improve, im sure ben does to.

somebody else i heard compared bens ability to throw across his body to that of elway, and then was saying most qb's cant get away with that. ben always hasnt (although he did last week) elway always didnt either.

now im not crowning him, but its his aspiration to be mentioned with these guys. i read something that indicated he still keeps in tough with marino on a regular basis to pick his brain. :hunch:

as long as he stays healthy, it should be a fun (and expensive) ride.

Mosca
11-08-2007, 06:49 PM
The numbers all work together. The reason BR has a high ypa and few passes is when the Steelers need a yard or two they are going to run the ball, and the Pats and Colts both use the passing game for ball control, while the Steelers use it to gain yards in chunks.

Great read. Let the naysayers yell "game manager" all they want, I'm looking forward to watching BR manage games for the next 10 years, and see ya in the playoffs, suckas.

The Duke
11-08-2007, 06:55 PM
but but but................what about Carson??????????????????????????

He's still a great Pro Bowl MVP :flap:

JDB in N.C.
11-08-2007, 06:56 PM
I really like the way Arians has releassed the reins on Ben this year.

He will grow into an amazing quarterback that way.

My concern is the offensive line playing better. You know Ben was scrambling a lot and eluding the pass rushers to make those plays aqainst the ravens.

Not like Tom Brady who can sit back in the pocket and make a sandwich before he has to get rid of the ball.

tony hipchest
11-08-2007, 07:05 PM
Not like Tom Brady who can sit back in the pocket and make a sandwich before he has to get rid of the ball.brady can impregnate 3 supermodels in the time it takes the pass rush to reach him (im not sure thats a compliment).

cubanstogie
11-08-2007, 07:06 PM
It's still early, but Anderson could wind up making the AFC Pro-Bowl roster as the conference's third quarterback, behind guys named Brady and Manning. What if he does become an all-star, or even better, leads the Browns to the playoffs for the first time since 2002? As far as the future in Cleveland, it could be a Frerotte over Shuler situation all over again


That was from a sports illustrated writer getting ready to "blow" Anderson after 3 straight wins, 2 in which were winless teams. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Ben should be mentioned ahead of Peyton this year. Anderson in Pro Bowl, give me a break. If , and thats a big if, he puts up some good numbers agains us I will start to give him credit.

AFC
11-08-2007, 07:21 PM
Nice read!

43SteelCurtainRevolution
11-08-2007, 07:35 PM
brady can impregnate 3 supermodels in the time it takes the pass rush to reach him (im not sure thats a compliment).

:rofl: Ben could be Brady-like if his O-line protected him better

Great post.

Borski
11-08-2007, 07:37 PM
but but but................what about Carson??????????????????????????

I know, I keep hearing about that Palmer guy being the best in the AFCN, if thats true how is Ben the best in the NFL?? It doesnt make sense! GAHHH!!:sofunny:

MasterOfPuppets
11-08-2007, 07:47 PM
now im not crowning him, GO AHEAD AND CROWN HIS ASS !!! HE IS, WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS !!!!!...............:toofunny:

Preacher
11-08-2007, 07:56 PM
I really like the way Arians has releassed the reins on Ben this year.

He will grow into an amazing quarterback that way.

My concern is the offensive line playing better. You know Ben was scrambling a lot and eluding the pass rushers to make those plays aqainst the ravens.

Not like Tom Brady who can sit back in the pocket and make a sandwich before he has to get rid of the ball.

Yeah...

but Ben came out and SPECIFICALLY thanked his O line for giving him time and protecting him!

:hunch:

Borski
11-08-2007, 07:59 PM
Yeah...

but Ben came out and SPECIFICALLY thanked his O line for giving him time and protecting him!

:hunch:

Ignorance is bliss sometimes

MasterOfPuppets
11-08-2007, 08:04 PM
Yeah...

but Ben came out and SPECIFICALLY thanked his O line for giving him time and protecting him!

:hunch:you sure he wasn't being sarcastic? or perhaps he's sadistic and enjoys being chased by pass rushers....:hunch:i'm not sure of the exact # of pressure Bmore had,but it seemed to me it was about 12 out of the 16 times he dropped back.

The Duke
11-08-2007, 08:10 PM
Yeah...

but Ben came out and SPECIFICALLY thanked his O line for giving him time and protecting him!

:hunch:

Ben always seems to thank the o line no matter what and that's a good thing, but come on dude they're defenders all over you like 50% of the time.

maybe he's happy as long as they don't get him killed on the field. and they got the win so he must be happy about that

Galax Steeler
11-09-2007, 04:15 AM
That was a great article we are finally getting a little love.

fansince'76
11-09-2007, 05:49 AM
Yeah...

but Ben came out and SPECIFICALLY thanked his O line for giving him time and protecting him!

:hunch:

When they get the OL fixed (it will be after this season, unfortunately), and I have a lot of confidence that they will, and Ben actually starts getting some time to throw, watch out, NFL.

alittlejazzbird
11-09-2007, 08:54 AM
Carson's been exposed this season as an average QB who can put up gaudy FF stats, but can't win despite a decent amount of offensive talent around him.

Defense gets the blame for his failures, but in a game where they aren't so terrible, Carson screws the pooch. Like the saying goes: The Defense allows 36, Carson will get you 35. The Defense allows 17, Carson will get you 10. Ben's a winner, Carson isn't.

And yet, did anyone hear Mel Kiper on Mike & Mike this morning? Asked which quarterback other than Manning or Brady he'd start a new team with, he said without hesitation.....Carson Palmer. I. Will. Never. Understand. This.

Not only that, his next choice as "someone who's really come on" and would be worth considering for that list? Derek Anderson. All I can say is, we had better destroy the Browns on Sunday.

SCSTILLER
11-09-2007, 09:04 AM
"Big Ben averaged a phenomenal 8.8 yards a throw in his first two seasons in the NFL and is headed for his third season in four years of eight-plus yards per throw. No one in the modern era — not Johnny Unitas, not Dan Marino, not Joe Montana, and not Brady or Manning — has approached such efficiency"

Great read Jazzbird! This is one stat that blows my mind.

Counselor
11-09-2007, 09:44 AM
And yet, did anyone hear Mel Kiper on Mike & Mike this morning? Asked which quarterback other than Manning or Brady he'd start a new team with, he said without hesitation.....Carson Palmer. I. Will. Never. Understand. This.

Not only that, his next choice as "someone who's really come on" and would be worth considering for that list? Derek Anderson. All I can say is, we had better destroy the Browns on Sunday.

LOL! Gotta love Palmer frenzie. Eventually someone is going to look at the W-L column and notice that Ben is a winner and Carson is not. Derek Anderson is a flavor of the week.

This is great article by the Sun. This is the kind of thing I expected to hear after the Monday Night Massacre of the ravens---I was shocked that there was really no word except---the Ravens sucked. Glad to know someone is paying attention. Thanks for the read.

TackleMeBen
11-09-2007, 10:00 AM
And yet, did anyone hear Mel Kiper on Mike & Mike this morning? Asked which quarterback other than Manning or Brady he'd start a new team with, he said without hesitation.....Carson Palmer. I. Will. Never. Understand. This.

Not only that, his next choice as "someone who's really come on" and would be worth considering for that list? Derek Anderson. All I can say is, we had better destroy the Browns on Sunday.

that is nothing TD on total access said he would take Tony Romo over Ben to start a team with??? hello. what has romo done? at least coach mora was smart and said he would take ben right now...

klick81
11-09-2007, 10:25 AM
It's nice to get your ego stroked, but I don't like it when the media is the one stroking it. It seems to work against the Steelers!

ricksteelers55
11-09-2007, 02:56 PM
I didnt like how Faneca react,by deciding to go publicly against the steelers management,but the more I see our O-Line playin the more I'm convinced that we need to get him signed.We can't afford to lose him our O-Line is so bad I can't even imagine what it would be without Fan

GeneralRobinson
11-09-2007, 08:51 PM
Is Big Ben just getting started?

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, November 9, 2007

Five touchdown passes in 28:09 would seemingly speak for themselves.

But upon further review, Ben Roethlisberger's career game on Monday night was as revealing for the manner in which it was achieved as it was the heights the Steelers' quarterback reached.

Roethlisberger dropped back to pass 19 times against Baltimore.

On two occasions he threw flanker screens, getting rid of the football almost immediately upon receiving it.

On the other 17 attempts, he was sacked three times and flushed from the pocket six times.

In other words, the protection broke down more than half the time it was needed, and still Roethlisberger thrived.

We point this out not to bury the offensive line, but to praise Big Ben.

With little or no running game to rely upon and no time to execute the play as planned more often than not, Roethlisberger completed 69 percent of his passes and found three different receivers for a combined five scores.

Can it get any better than that?

And, what if it does?

It's the Cleveland Browns that Roethlisberger will attempt to dissect tomorrow, but at the same time it's the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts that the Steelers are chasing.

They can go a long way toward securing the AFC North Division championship by beating Cleveland.

But they'll still have a long way to go as far as perceiving themselves as the potential equals of Indianapolis and New England, as a team capable of doing something in a playoff matchup with the Colts or Patriots besides getting beaten.

To make the most of their expected return trip to the postseason, the Steelers are going to have to make up ground in a hurry.

They're going to have to improve their special teams coverage and returns.

They're going to have to get better up front (a lot of teams will struggle against Baltimore's front seven; the Steelers still have offensive line issues, particularly to the right of left guard Alan Faneca).

They're going to have to cover better on the edges (assuming Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Wes Welker, and Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark can actually be covered well enough to make a difference).

Yet those concerns will be minimized to an extent if Roethlisberger keeps pushing his game to previously unattained levels.

The Steelers drafted him to be a franchise quarterback, to stabilize the most important position on the field, to become that most critical of figures, a guy you can win with.

But did they draft him to be the equal of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady?

And can Roethlisberger really become that someday, perhaps someday soon?

That wasn't a question worth considering.

Now, it's a compelling intangible heading into the second half of the season.

Brady and Manning have more experience, more expertise and more of a pedigree.

But what if the athleticism, accuracy and repeatedly lethal play-making Roethlisberger harnessed against Baltimore continues to be conjured up on a regular basis?

Could the balance of power in the conference potentially be altered?

First things first: The Steelers absolutely, positively need to beat Cleveland.

Should they achieve that, it'll be time to ponder not just the ramifications, but the possibilities.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_537243.html

fansince'76
11-09-2007, 09:01 PM
I didnt like how Faneca react,by deciding to go publicly against the steelers management,but the more I see our O-Line playin the more I'm convinced that we need to get him signed.We can't afford to lose him our O-Line is so bad I can't even imagine what it would be without Fan

OK. Who do we cut to keep him? Not to mention that we're going to have to sign Ben to an extension (a huge one, I'm sure) in the near future as well? We'd be better off trying to retool the OL through the draft and FA, IMO.

Elvis
11-09-2007, 09:08 PM
Ben in the same sentence as Manning and Brady?
After last year being his worst year of his short career?
Well... All great QB's have bad times/seasons.. Even Brett Favre has had some down years, but I garentee you one thing... he is a 1st time ballot Hall of Famer and anyone who wouldnt vote him in the first time around,should lose his/her vote.
Do I think that Ben is equal to these guys?... He wins in different ways than either one of those QB's.. he is very mobile and can make throws on the run as well as or better than anyone else. YES... I say he is in the same class as the Manning's and Brady's...
:tt02:

Kittyfish
11-10-2007, 10:44 AM
That was a great read; thanks for bringing it over.

Perhaps OT, but with 20 TD throws so far, Ben has moved from from 7th to 2nd in all-time Steelers passing TD ranks in one half season. According to my SI Anniversary issue, the stats were:

Bradshaw 212 1970-83
Stewart 70 1995-2002
O'Donnell 68 1990-1995
Layne 67 1958-62
Finks 55 1949-55
Malone 54 1980-87
Roethlisberger 52 2004-06

With 20 more added, Ben moves from 52 to 72, ahead of Stewart. Of course, he has a ways to go to catch up to TB with 212, but I found it fascinating that he moved from 7th to 2nd with half a season still to play, in his (incomplete) fourth year, over guys who have played for us much longer. And if Ben plays for us for his entire football career, it's conceivable he could surpass Terry. Is it because the Steelers just didn't pass much in years past (and I do know we are known for running the football) or is Ben just that good? Thoughts?