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Ohio Steeler
06-08-2006, 01:48 AM
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In the Super Bowl, Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating of 22.6 was the lowest ever compiled by a winning quarterback.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Statistically, Ben Roethlisberger's last NFL game was his worst.

But the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl has looked like a new man for the Pittsburgh Steelers this spring.

"He's been tremendous this offseason," Steelers quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple said. "I think he's really stepped up as a leader and is controlling the offense and he knows what's happening."

Roethlisberger's leadership is evident. With veteran running back Jerome Bettis gone, the third-year quarterback has taken charge.

Roethlisberger is also showing off a stronger throwing arm after struggling through the late part of the 2005 season with a broken right thumb.

"The thumb's healthy, and that obviously helps," Roethlisberger said. "My whole body feels good. I feel healthy."

He's consistently thrown 65- to 70-yard deep passes this spring. That's almost 10 yards further than his deep throws in the second half of last season.

After missing four games in the middle of the season with knee injuries, Roethlisberger returned for a Monday night game against Indianapolis and broke his right thumb. He aggravated the injury the following week.

Because a painkilling shot would have numbed the fingers on his passing hand, Roethlisberger played the rest of the season with a protective splint under a glove on his right hand.

"It was excruciating," he said. "I couldn't throw a ball without a glove. I couldn't squeeze it. There were practices where I just had to hold the ball in my palm. It was a broken thumb. Every time I took a snap it hurt."

He won't blame his poor Super Bowl statistics on the injury. After all, Roethlisberger compiled two of his top four passer ratings last season in the AFC playoffs.

But in the Super Bowl, Roethlisberger's passer rating of 22.6 was the lowest ever compiled by a winning quarterback, and the worst of his two-year career.

"A lot of people make a big deal about it, but, to me, we won the game," he said. "Obviously, I did things that probably weren't the best, but I also, in my opinion, did some things to help the team a little bit, too.

"The thing is: I always know I can play better. I'll never be satisfied with how I play. I could complete every pass and have a perfect passer rating and I still won't be satisfied. But passer rating is just another statistic. To me, it's not a big deal. My goal wasn't to have a better passer rating; I wanted to play a better game."

Whipple expects to continue to improve in 2006. He sees the strong arm, but believes it's simply a result of a veteran who better understands the value of rest. Whipple says the improvement has more to do with maturity.

"He's being a consummate pro," Whipple said. "I just think the experience from last season has been definitely a positive one. Except for the confidence, which he's always had, I have not seen anything that would say he's going to take a back seat next year.

"Some people say, 'Well, he won the Super Bowl as the youngest guy,' but that won't change him. Look, Tom Brady's got three (rings); (Joe) Montana's got four; the old Steelers got four. That's motivation enough."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/nfl/06/07/bc.fbn.steelers.roethlisberger.ap/index.html

BB2W
06-08-2006, 11:31 AM
Roethlisberger is also showing off a stronger throwing arm after struggling through the late part of the 2005 season with a broken right thumb.

"The thumb's healthy, and that obviously helps," Roethlisberger said. "My whole body feels good. I feel healthy."

He's consistently thrown 65- to 70-yard deep passes this spring. That's almost 10 yards further than his deep throws in the second half of last season.
I like to hear that... I thought he had trouble throwing the deep ball deep enough last year.

steelcity984
06-08-2006, 12:32 PM
God, I cant wait til the season

SteelerFanInCA
06-08-2006, 02:21 PM
I'm really looking forward to Big Ben launching some bombs this year. Glad to hear he is healthy again. That will be the key to success again, his health.