View Full Version : Roethlisberger shows his toughness in victory over Baltimore

12-09-2010, 06:26 AM
Roethlisberger shows his toughness in victory over Baltimore
By Mark Kaboly
Thursday, December 9, 2010

An NFL veteran such as Hines Ward is used to seeing a bludgeoned and battered Ben Roethlisberger will himself onto the field regardless of the situation or how he's feeling.

Ward was there when Roethlisberger played part of his rookie season with a bum thumb and toes; a sore knee the next year; through injuries from a car crash, a concussion and an appendectomy in 2006; and concussions the past three years.

So when Roethlisberger went into last week's key AFC North game with a substantial foot injury and then refused to leave the game when his nose was rearranged, it wasn't anything new to Ward.

"We know how tough he is," Ward said. "He doesn't have to prove anything to us. We know what Ben brings to the table."

For some of the new guys, though, it's a different story.

Witnessing a tough-guy act from their quarterback for the first time was a revelation for players such as rookie center Maurkice Pouncey.

"He's a warrior in all of our eyes now," Pouncey said. "I already knew how tough he was. It just shows everybody else who had any doubt with him that he's the real deal."

Roethlisberger's nose was broken by Haloti Ngata on the first offensive series of the game. It hindered Roethlisberger's eyesight and breathing. Then there was the blood that streamed down his face and into his mouth.

Still, Roethlisberger didn't miss a snap, leading the Steelers to a 13-10 win and control of the division with four games remaining.

"He's a beast," receiver Mike Wallace said. "He's a soldier. He's a tough guy. Listen, I don't know if I could've played with nose broken like that."

Tight end David Johnson called Roethlisberger the toughest quarterback he has seen.

"I was really shocked because at no time did he show that he was hurt or that he was going to come out of the game," Johnson said. "And I really appreciate that, seeing our quarterback tough it out and play hard like that. It makes you want to keep playing no matter what."

Roethlisberger had his nose repaired Monday by plastic surgeon Dr. Leo McCafferty. The packing was removed as of Wednesday morning, and he was on the practice field a couple of hours later.

According to Roethlisberger, McCafferty said the quarterback's nose bone looked like "Corn Flakes" when he went in for the repair.

Roethlisberger will continue to wear a brace and tape over his nose until the end of the week and plans to play with a clear visor over his facemask Sunday when the Steelers host Cincinnati at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger downplayed earning respect from his teammates by playing in pain and doing so at a high level.

"I hope I don't need to do that," he said. "I hope they know that I want to be out there no matter what."

Still, Cincinnati receiver Terrell Owens called Roethlisberger "soft" during a segment of his reality show with fellow Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco.

Ochocinco didn't agree with Owens then and doesn't now.

"I know how tough Ben is," Ochocinco said. "I have Tweeted about it."

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

12-09-2010, 07:18 AM
I had a couple people on facebook simply disappoint me. They kept saying "Wow, Ben is surprising me tonight!"

Really? Where the hell have you been since the year 2004? Damn, this dude has been playing like this since he put on the beautiful Black & Gold! Love Mr. #7!