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Old 09-09-2008, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default And why not Ben

You can have Peyton, and Romo, too. With no Brady around, Big Ben is NFL's brightest star


Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will miss the rest of the season with a left leg injury. See story, Page D-3Everything changed at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady crashed to the Gillette Stadium turf, clutching his left knee, the impact was felt all the way to Pittsburgh. Instantly, the Steelers became a more serious threat to make the Super Bowl. Instantly, Ben Roethlisberger became the NFL's best quarterback.


There's another quarterback you'd want more now that Brady is out for the season?

You can have Peyton Manning or Tony Romo.

I'll take No. 7.

I don't want anyone else trying to lead the Steelers through the AFC, which suddenly seems so much less formidable now that the powerful Patriots had a leg cut out from under them.

No one at Steelers headquarters yesterday was celebrating Brady's bad luck even if his injury significantly lessens the Patriots' Super Bowl hopes. NFL players are card-carrying union brothers. "You never want to see anyone get hurt like that," said veteran quarterback Charlie Batch, who has had his share of injuries, most recently a broken collarbone in the preseason that put him out for the season.

If anything had the Steelers in a mood to party one day after their 38-17 smack-down of the Houston Texans, it was seeing Roethlisberger breeze through the team's South Side complex without so much as a limp. He, just as easily as the great Brady, could be finished for the season. Within an hour after Brady went down after taking a hit from Kansas City Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard, Roethlisberger took a pop on his right knee from Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye on the next-to-last play of the first half.

At first, the hit looked bad. Roethlisberger tried to bury his face in the Heinz Field grass, clearly in pain. Who knows what offensive tackle Willie Colon was thinking when he rushed over to help him up? Colon and guard Kendall Simmons had tried to steer Okoye clear of Roethlisberger and were sickened when they saw him crash into the franchise. I know what I was thinking: The season could be over.

I'm guessing I wasn't alone.

Batch said Roethlisberger was pretty shook up at halftime, at least until the docs checked him out.

That made several hundred thousand of us, the 64,000-plus at the stadium and the countless Steelers fans watching on television.

Who really could relax until Roethlisberger jogged onto the field for the first series of the third quarter and promptly lead the Steelers on another touchdown drive?

"After seeing it on film, it could have been another Tom Brady thing," Simmons said after an afternoon team meeting. "Ben said he was all right today. I'm just thankful he was able to pull his leg back enough in time."

Roethlisberger isn't just very good.

He's very lucky.

"That's a quarterback's worst nightmare, someone rolling up your leg like that," Batch said. "That and when someone hits your arm as you're throwing. There are times you know you're going to have to take a hit and you can kind of prepare for it. But there's nothing you can do when someone gets your leg like that."

Even if Roethlisberger's knee did ache a bit yesterday, it's safe to say he felt better than he did after a lot of games the previous two seasons when he was sacked 93 times, more than any AFC quarterback. In addition to the Okoye hit, he was sacked twice by defensive end Mario Williams, once landing on his throwing shoulder, which is never a good thing for a quarterback. Other than those plays, though, his offensive line did a good job keeping him clean.

Just as he predicted it would.

"I'm excited for those guys so they can silence the critics who are talking bad about them," Roethlisberger said during training camp. "I have all the faith in the world that they'll protect me."

It's fun to think about how good Roethlisberger will be this season if he stays healthy. He was just about perfect against the Texans, completing 13 of 14 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns, both to wide receiver Hines Ward. He also wisely picked his spots scrambling, running just twice, the first time for 17 yards on a third-and-4 play on the Steelers' first possession.

"He looks to me to be all the way back to where he was in our workouts after the Super Bowl year, before the [motorcycle] accident," Batch said. "He was on fire then. Every pass was right there. Every decision was the right decision. It's the same way now, and he's just going to keep getting better and better."

Think about that for a second.

Roethlisberger became the first quarterback in NFL history to go 13-0 in the regular season as a rookie in 2004.

He became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl in '05.

He made the Pro Bowl and set Steelers records for touchdown passes (32) and passer-rating (104.1) last season.

And he's going to keep getting better?

Why not?

I ask you:

Why can't Roethlisberger take over for Brady as the NFL's brightest star?
"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Anatole France
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: And why not Ben

Why can't Roethlisberger take over for Brady as the NFL's brightest star?
Because he doesn't chuck it 40-50 times a game for 300+ every week. Not that he couldn't, either - that's just not the way the Steelers roll. In a lot of people's minds, passing yardage means more than anything else when evaluating QBs (hence the ongoing and unjustified media love affair with Palmer, this week notwithstanding). You can thank the rampant Fantasy Football mentality of more than a few sportswriters for that.

Last edited by fansince'76; 09-09-2008 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
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Default Re: And why not Ben

great article.

but sb notwithstanding, it is hard to discredit mcnabb and brees (not saying either of them are number one-two- or three, but they are definitely top 5 and ahead of palmer).
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: And why not Ben

palmers lucky to be top 10
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: And why not Ben

Originally Posted by St33lers View Post
palmers lucky to be top 10
Palmer really sucks especially if he keeps playing like he did against baltimore.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: And why not Ben

Palmer's star is fizzling out.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: And why not Ben

I had Brady for my SFNFC ffl matchup......fortunately though, my opponent had Palmer.... *chuckle*
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Old 09-09-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: And why not Ben

u luckedout there mr. mel

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