Peter King has changed his tune on Ben::
When I watched Roethlisberger last year, I thought, "Flawed quarterback.'' When I watched Roethlisberger on Sunday, I thought, "Franchise quarterback.''
I didn't like his lackadaisical decision-making last year, or his declining accuracy, or what I'd heard his teammates say about his work ethic. Maybe it was right, and maybe it wasn't. But Roethlisberger wasn't the most popular guy in his own locker room last year, and he needed a change. He got it.
I thought Roethlisberger was frosty this summer when I questioned him about his poor play last year, but he made no excuses, saying only he was sure he'd play better this year because, "Naysayers,'' he said. "I thrive on them. If it's my fault, I'll take the responsibility, and I didn't play well last year. But I'm devoting more time than anyone knows to getting back to being a great player.''
Maybe Ben was a little frosty after he read King's QB rankings last summer
Ben Roethlisberger 17th? What gives? From Year 1 to Year 2 of his career, his completion percentage dropped 3.7 points; from year two to three it fell 3.0 points. His TD-to-interception ratio, plus-eight in 2005, dropped to minus-five last season. He is profoundly inconsistent. I say he's a C-plus player until I see six or eight straight weeks of the same guy.
(King ranked Ben behind, among others, the sainted Carson Palmer (#4), Vince Young (#7), Jay Cutler (#10), and Chad "Rag Arm" Pennington (#14))
Let's hope part of Ben and this team maturing includes not getting caught up in all the kind words - yesterday's first half was a repeat of the team not being mentally ready for the Denver game and would have been a loss if that performance would have been on the road.