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Old 11-11-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
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Default Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

November 11, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Byron Leftwich watched ESPN's "SportsCenter" the other day, and they listed their top five candidates for NFL Most Valuable Player. Ben Roethlisberger was not among them. "He should be a candidate," said Leftwich, who backs him up at quarterback for the Steelers in more ways than one. "The fact he was not listed is ridiculous. He's one of the elite; '7' can play the game of football, and he's playing at a very high level."

What many believed might be a difficult transition season for Roethlisberger under a new coordinator and a new offense instead has been among his best. His 2,203 passing yards are on pace to break his own team record. His 16 touchdowns are on pace to tie his team record. His four interceptions are on pace to be his fewest other than the five he threw in 2010, when he missed four games and had just 17 touchdown passes.

His passer rating of 101.1 would be the second-highest of his career.

Most importantly, his play has been steadily spectacular while other areas of the team struggled mightily early in the season with the lack of a ground game, an offensive line not yet cohesive and a defense that gave up too many fourth-quarter leads.

Roethlisberger has led game-winning fourth-quarter drives three times, bringing his total (including overtime and the postseason) to 30.

"He's a big reason why we've been in games and why we feel we can win any game," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "That's why we feel we can go to the Super Bowl every year, because we have a championship-type quarterback."

All kinds of dire predictions were made when the Steelers fired Bruce Arians and hired Todd Haley as his replacement at coordinator. Haley came with a reputation that he could be confrontational with his students. Roethlisberger, who considers Arians a friend, was naturally skeptical.

But he bought into the new offense with its high-percentage passes and short check-downs to halfbacks, the lack of deep throws and an increased importance in the ground game. He's thrived and survived in it, his sacks cut way down at 17.

"He's a big-time leader, a big-time competitor, a fourth-quarter killer," Mike Wallace said. "He's the toughest quarterback in the league. ... He picked up the new offense really fast. I feel it's time he gets the recognition he deserves."

Roethlisberger made his second Pro Bowl last season (he turned down a chance for a third after the 2009 season). He's ninth in MVP odds, according to Bovada (www.bovada.lv) at 20-1. Peyton Manning is the favorite at 2-1 followed by Matt Ryan (3-1), Tom Brady (6-1), Aaron Rodgers (7-1), Eli Manning (12-1), Arian Foster and Drew Brees (both 15-1) and J.J. Watt (18-1).

His teammates aren't buying it.

"You see how valuable he is to our team, the plays he's able to make at 6-5, 245 pounds," Leftwich said. "Nobody else makes those type of plays. Nobody else his size is capable to do what he can do -- throw people off him all the time and make a play. Big guys can do that but then they can't move around enough to throw the ball 35 yards down the field to Emmanuel Sanders.

"He's a very unique football player, and I think sometimes by him being unique and the style he plays, he doesn't get enough credit for all the things he does right. He doesn't play the way people perceive the quarterback position to play.

"The great thing about him is he's never changed his game. He can't play someone else's game. If that comes out to winning two Super Bowls and be in three, you'd think people would look at that: Is he getting the job done or not? No one can say he's not. He's won 70 percent of his games."

And this year, he has elevated his own game in subtle ways -- the ways Haley has asked of him. He is also, again, among the most clutch players in the game. He leads all quarterbacks with a passer rating of 121.2 on third down. Tom Brady is next at 110.2.

"Sometimes he doesn't get mentioned with the elite quarterbacks for one reason or another," Keisel said. "We in this locker room consider him the best."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2BtAHoRgy
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

He's rarely mentioned - and wont' be. Byron should be so surprised when he watches ESPN. Its the SAME thing - every single day - over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Luck
RGIII
Romo
Manning
Cam Newton
Vick
Rogers/Brees

Rinse.
Repeat.

Hell - Brady doesn't even get talked about that much on the "shows" anymore. From what i've seen the analysts are really trying to push Luck right now (and Manning) for the MVP up until this point. I think they'd love to see a rookie take it.
They tried pushing RGIII for the 1st few weeks - but its vividly evident, even though he has starpower and potential, he's quite a ways away from winning MVP awards.


---but i agree---Ben should be absolutely mentioned right there with Manning in every single conversation
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

I have said this in another thread but his legal issues, I believe, have hindered his recognition. It's more acceptable to for these talking heads to make him a "finrge" elite player instead. It's just a fact. Unfortunate but true IMO.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

Peyton I can agree with. That man is money. He has a different skill set than Ben. I rate them equal though, despite their different talents.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

If Big Ben leads the Steelers to a #1 seed and they win 7 of the next 8 while playing the way he is playing, he could win it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

I find it funny Luck is even in the conversation. I guess based on situation at on two levels:

Peyton is gone. The Colts sucked last year. Now they don't. A rookie QB named "Luck" is tearing it up. If he plays for the Buccaneers and his name is McFly I bet we don't have this conversation based on the first two facts. Maybe his name is serendipitous.

Additionally, the league loves to love rookie QB's. It fuels the bottomless hype monster and sells jerseys. I wish the guy well, but I think he is currently the product of situation, not accomplishment. But . . . I think Ben was in a similar boat albeit at the advent of rookie QB sensationalism. I don't dislike Luck, I just think it is absurd to start chiseling him a marble pedestal so soon. I think the media is starting to lose interest in RGIII beyond his name, and Luck might be too far behind?

Even though I question the attention they get, I respect Luck and RGIII. May the they prosper (defined by their achievements and not game by game and highlight to highlight week to week in their rookie years).


Quote:
Originally Posted by TRH View Post
He's rarely mentioned - and wont' be. Byron should be so surprised when he watches ESPN. Its the SAME thing - every single day - over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Luck
RGIII
Romo
Manning
Cam Newton
Vick
Rogers/Brees

Rinse.
Repeat.

Hell - Brady doesn't even get talked about that much on the "shows" anymore. From what i've seen the analysts are really trying to push Luck right now (and Manning) for the MVP up until this point. I think they'd love to see a rookie take it.
They tried pushing RGIII for the 1st few weeks - but its vividly evident, even though he has starpower and potential, he's quite a ways away from winning MVP awards.


---but i agree---Ben should be absolutely mentioned right there with Manning in every single conversation
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

He doesn't play pretty or rack up 300+ yards a game so his name isn't in contention for MVP. It's a shame, too.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twentyvalve View Post
I find it funny Luck is even in the conversation. I guess based on situation at on two levels:

Peyton is gone. The Colts sucked last year. Now they don't. A rookie QB named "Luck" is tearing it up. If he plays for the Buccaneers and his name is McFly I bet we don't have this conversation based on the first two facts. Maybe his name is serendipitous.

Additionally, the league loves to love rookie QB's. It fuels the bottomless hype monster and sells jerseys. I wish the guy well, but I think he is currently the product of situation, not accomplishment. But . . . I think Ben was in a similar boat albeit at the advent of rookie QB sensationalism. I don't dislike Luck, I just think it is absurd to start chiseling him a marble pedestal so soon. I think the media is starting to lose interest in RGIII beyond his name, and Luck might be too far behind?

Even though I question the attention they get, I respect Luck and RGIII. May the they prosper (defined by their achievements and not game by game and highlight to highlight week to week in their rookie years).
I completely disagree. Luck deserves the attention that he is garnering.

The Colts were abysmal. Luck has them as the #5 seed. It is more than just his TDs & passing yards; he is the bonafide leader of that team.

Plus, he's not running a watered-down version of the offense (like BB did as a rookie or RGIII is). He is running the entire offense (even the veterans can't keep up with his knowledge of the playbook). Example: Luck has more deep pass attempts than any other QB (i.e. not just "high percentage" screens).

Plus, he is not surrounded with half the talent that RGII is (or a fifth of the talent that surrounded BB as a rookie). Luck is essentially carrying this team on his back.

That comeback against the Packers (down 21-3) encapsulates his year perfectly: MVP-esque.

Do I think that BB should get more accolades? Absolutely. But, that doesn't mean that Luck doesn't deserve the attention he is indeed receiving.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

Ben gets plenty of attention from the analysts. If he can stay healthy all year and the Steelers win 11-12, he will be in the top 3 vote getters with an outside chance at winning.

I mean, to hear Collinsworth talk about him makes you think he has a poster of Ben on his wall.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers make pitch for Roethlisberger as MVP

Someone (Ron Jaworski maybe?) said on Mike & Mike this morning that Ben is having an MVP-type season. I literally said out loud, to myself, in the car "Yes!" as if to say "Finally, someone says it!" There is no doubt that this team would not be much of anywhere if it weren't for Ben's performance so far this season. Whether it ends up being his best statistically or not, this is by far his best season in terms of his impact on games and in carrying his team. There is no real evidence to support that Manning or Luck have had greater value than Ben this season. It's all in the juicy storylines - think about it: when did they talk about Ben Roethlisberger (by far) the most? During the whole scandal/suspension. They eat that shit up. Great QB play by the same guy? Meh.
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