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Old 01-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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Default Bradshaw remains the best

Bradshaw remains the best

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/...10-Steigerwald

I will still take Terry Bradshaw. Believe it or not, we're coming up on the 40th anniversary of the Steelers' drafting of Bradhsaw. He was the first player picked in the NFL draft on Jan. 27 , 1970.

Ben Roethlisberger just completed a season in which he became the first Steelers' quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards and was voted MVP by his teammates.

Roethlisberger has had some spectacular moments in the past year and has made jaw dropping, last-second throws to win games while he was putting up some pretty impressive numbers. Some people have suggested that he's the best quarterback in Steelers' history.

Not yet.

Bradshaw is still the best quarterback I've ever seen. I know that you're not allowed to say he's better than Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Johnny Unitas or 10 or 12 other quarterbacks. But I still have never seen anyone who could throw a football the way that he could.

If you get into a statistics war, Bradshaw gets blown away by Marino and Montana, but he also gets blown away by Neil O'Donnell and no one with a brain would suggest that O'Donnell deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with Bradshaw.

Forty years ago, Bradshaw was designated the savior of a team that had just finished 1-13, had five winning seasons in the previous 29 years and was moving into a new stadium.

Roethlisberger was brought in to a team that was two years removed from playing in the AFC Championship and was expected to spend at least a season watching Tommy Maddox.

He ended up having the best rookie season ever by an NFL quarterback and won two Super Bowls in his first five seasons.

Bradshaw completed 38 percent of his passes his rookie year. He made up for that by throwing six touchdown passes and 24 interceptions. He never had more touchdown passes than interceptions in his first five seasons and in his eighth season he had 17 touchdown passes and 19 interceptions.

But forget the stats. He was playing a different game because bump-and-run coverage was permitted.

There was a telling moment during what would be the Steelers' winning touchdown drive against the Packers a couple of weeks ago. Roethlisberger was intercepted but the play was called back because of an illegal contact penalty.

Hines Ward had been knocked down about seven yards into his route. The replay showed Ward looking almost indignant as he was getting up. He couldn't believe that somebody would knock him down while he was trying to run his route. There was no such thing as an illegal contact penalty when Bradshaw was throwing all of those interceptions in the early to mid 1970s.

Roethlisberger's greatness comes from his amazing ability to keep plays alive with his scrambling. You've seen him pump faking and directing traffic while he moves around in the pocket.

What he sees downfield is worlds away from what he would have seen in 1975. He sees receivers running around trying to separate themselves from defenders who are not allowed to lay a finger on them. If he can stay upright long enough, there is no way a defender can prevent a receiver from getting open.

When Bradshaw scrambled, he saw his receivers being knocked off their routes and off their feet no matter how far downfield they were. Bradshaw was a great scrambler but his scrambles usually ended with a run because it was unlikely that any of his receivers could get free in time.

I was sitting in a sixth level, end zone seat at Three Rivers Stadium in 1972. The Steelers were playing the Cleveland Browns and they were backed up to the goal line directly below me. Bradshaw dropped back into the end zone and threw a pass to Ron Shanklin, who was running a deep post.

Shanklin caught the ball at the 50, just as my jaw was dropping from the throw. The pass went 55 yards in the air and there was no arc. It came in helmet high, just out of the reach of Browns safety Erich Barnes. I had never seen a football thrown like that.

Neither had Barnes, an All-Pro, who was in his 13th season.

He was quoted in the Cleveland Plain Dealer the next day as saying that he had never seen anything like it. He had Shanklin covered and was looking up for the ball and couldn't believe that it came in just under his nose.

CBS has been running a promotional spot during their telecasts celebrating their 50 years of televising NFL games and one of the highlights is Lynn Swann's leaping, bobbling catch against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. You've seen it a million times, but you've probably always focused on the catch.

The next time you see it, watch Bradshaw. He takes a short drop and ****s the ball by his ear and flicks it 50 yards in the air on a rope. I actually made a point last week to hit rewind on my DVR so I could watch it again.

Bradshaw never lined up in the shotgun formation and he never had more than three wide receivers on the field with him at one time. He got a chance to play for a few years with the relaxed rules but he had to learn to play in a system that made it impossible even for Hall of Fame quarterbacks to complete 55 percent of their passes.

He could run, too. Go to you tube.com and search for Terry Bradshaw highlights. He starts running about two minutes and 30 seconds in.

Oh, by the way. He still has twice as many Super Bowl rings.

John Steigerwald writes a Sunday column for the Observer-Reporter
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

I don't know. I think Ben has really gotten the upper hand. And he has tons of upside.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

I'd have to say Roethlisberger is my choice as well.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

In my opinion, Ben is the first true franchise QB the Steelers have had.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

Two entirely different eras. With the difference in rules and athletes, I don't think it would be fair to compare them. IMO, Ben has until 2014 to get two more rings to say that he's as good or better. I do know that Bradshaw had the better deep ball hands down. Maybe the best of all time!
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil-Still-Rules-14 View Post
In my opinion, Ben is the first true franchise QB the Steelers have had.
Terry Bradshaw wears 4-SB rings, is in the HOF on his first ballot, and at one time held the national high school javelin distance record of 245 feet! He launched long bombs with cruise missile accuracy. Additionally, he was one tough SOB and never missed games unless he was a hospital admission!

C'mon Man!

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Old 01-10-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

Forget about it......No quaterback ever had the power Brad had......Not even close....He had the best arm ever in the history of football.......Ben cant throw over 55 yards......Bradshaw could throw 80 yards without taking a step.......

This article is spot on........Back then there was no pansy whining........

Ben got his niche going and he is a great qb.......But he doesnt have near the physical tools Brad had..........
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

I'm a huge fan of Big Ben, but I grew up watching Bradshaw and like the writer of the article, I haven't seen ANYONE who throws the ball like Terry Bradshaw did. It truly is a different game than it was back then. You look at some of the other QB's of that era and none of them have stats like todays QB's. Terry's QB rating was just over 70, Ken Stabler & Joe Theisman were a little over 75 and Captain Comeback of those days, Roger Staubach was at a gaudy 80! Based on those numbers, none of those guys would be able to start on a contending team these days. But Bradshaw called all his own plays and played in a game where the wide receivers were harassed just about every moment down the field. God forbid if Swann or Stallworth got loose and got a step behind a cornerback. NO ONE threw a deep ball like Bradshaw did. If you don't think so, look up "Terry Bradshaw" on youtube and watch the first highlight video that comes up. It's AMAZING the shear number of deep 40-50 plays Bradshaw completed with seemingly no effort. Off the wrong foot, on the run, no room to step up, whatever...absolute ROPES. Rarely do you see the ball thrown "up" at all. Even the one in Superbowl X when he got knocked out on the play. That ball went about 65 yards in the air.. All I know is that when the Steelers needed to score to win games, Bradshaw always pulled it off....4-0 in the Superbowl, stats be damned.
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

Quote:
Originally Posted by wootawnee View Post
Forget about it......No quaterback ever had the power Brad had......Not even close....He had the best arm ever in the history of football.......Ben cant throw over 55 yards......Bradshaw could throw 80 yards without taking a step.......

This article is spot on........Back then there was no pansy whining........

Ben got his niche going and he is a great qb.......But he doesnt have near the physical tools Brad had..........
Drama Queen Ben doesn't have anywhere near the toughness that Bradshaw had either. I'll never forget Super Bowl 10 when Bradshaw was knocked unconscious as he let loose a 64 yard bomb to Lynn Swan to win the game.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bradshaw remains the best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil-Still-Rules-14 View Post
In my opinion, Ben is the first true franchise QB the Steelers have had.
Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! None of my business of course, but how old are you?
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