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mesaSteeler
01-26-2009, 06:36 AM
Roethlisberger simply wins
Numbers fail to tell the true value of the Steelers QB, who is on the verge of a second victory on the game’s biggest stage
By JOHN MCCLAIN Copyright 2009 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 25, 2009, 10:39PM
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/6230127.html

Ben Roethlisberger’s value to the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t be measured in individual statistics.

Big Ben’s importance can be measured in one team statistic: victories.

When they play the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, Roethlisberger will try to lead the Steelers to a record sixth Super Bowl victory.

A victory will also allow Roethlisberger to join New England’s Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to win two Super Bowls by their 26th birthday.

Roethlisberger didn’t play well in Pittsburgh’s victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL. He completed only nine of his 21 pass attempts for 123 yards while suffering through two interceptions and failing to throw a touchdown pass.

Roethlisberger admitted last week that he was nervous before that game and wasn’t able to get comfortable.

“It was crazy because if I do get nervous before a game, they usually go away after the first play, but for the Super Bowl, they never went away,” he told Pittsburgh reporters. “I think my play really showed it, too.”

His passer rating of 22.6 was the worst of any quarterback who won a Super Bowl.

“You get the butterflies (and), you feel weak,” he said. “It’s hard to explain.”
Fastest to 50 wins

Roethlisberger didn’t get nervous before playoff victories over San Diego and Baltimore that lifted the Steelers to Tampa.

“I didn’t really feel nervous for these games, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I think the biggest thing is this is my fifth year. That was my second year. Everything was still kind of a big whirlwind. Hopefully, just being five years in and more of a veteran will help.”

Roethlisberger won 50 games faster than any quarterback in history. Including the playoffs, his career record is 58-22 (.725). He has a 7-2 postseason record, two victories less than Arizona’s Kurt Warner (9-2).

If the Cardinals don’t look deeper than Roethlisberger’s statistics this season, they might get overconfident. He completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 3,301 yards and 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a passer rating of 80.1.

He also was sacked 46 times, more than any quarterback in the league.

“You have to take your shots,” Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby said last week about pressuring Roethlisberger.

“That’s with anybody. That’s with him, the running backs and the receivers. You have to take your shots when you get them because they don’t give you many opportunities.

“We have to be physical at the point of attack. That’s their mindset, so you have to have the same kind of mindset. You have to fly around, be disciplined. They wait on you to make mistakes. We have to be solid all the way around.”

More than anything, what Roethliseberger brings to the table is leadership. He’s tough, takes a beating and delivers big plays in crucial situations, making him the ultimate blue-collar quarterback for a blue-collar town.

“I tell people all the time, he’s a good quarterback but he’s one heck of a football player,” receiver Nate Washington said. “There’s a difference in those two. That’s what Ben does, he prides himself on making plays.”

Roethlisberger has the respect of his teammates and coaches.

“Ben’s a special guy,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s at his best in the midst of the most difficult adversity, in other years and in this year.”
Big and mobile

Opponents respect Roethlisberger, too, none more than the Ravens, who lost to Pittsburgh three times this season.

“It’s his ability to make plays is why he is who he is,” Baltimore outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said after the Steelers won the AFC Championship Game.

At almost 6-6, Roethlisberger looks like a pure pocket passer. But he moves well for his size and makes plays on the run.

“I’ve always enjoyed getting out of the pocket, rolling out, making plays,” he said. “It’s hard for guys to cover for a long time. We play backyard football sometimes.”

On Sunday, Roethlisberger will play against his former Steelers offensive coordinator, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. At times, they had a tumultuous relationship, but now it’s mutual respect.

“I certainly respect the player that he’s grown into,” Whisenhunt said. “I hope that our time together contributed a little bit to that. He was always very good with me and worked very hard.

“I was very lucky to have him as a quarterback, especially my first year as a coordinator and what we were able to do.”

john.mclain@chron.com

Kaeg
01-26-2009, 06:45 AM
Two things: I heard on one of the sports shows (I forget which) that Ben has 51 victories. It says here 58. Also Warner's post season record listed as 9-2. I've seen it many times recently at 8-2. Can anyone clarify either of these? Thx.

stlrtruck
01-26-2009, 08:06 AM
I believe that is including his playoff victories.

markymarc
01-26-2009, 09:23 AM
What better way to end the season than getting another victory. I just have a good feeling about Ben and him performing well in his 2nd Super Bowl. Super Bowl MVP anyone :tt02: