Ben Roethlisberger Is An Elite Quarterback With Little Respect
Ben Roethlisberger is a gamer. He is the epitome of the very word. He is an elite quarterback with little respect. In conversations about greatness, his name is rarely mentioned.
The definition of gamer is sometimes lost in translation. In today’s world of online gaming and mobile device addiction, it’s easy to think of bright colors and flashing lights, when the word gamer is mentioned. But the meaning isn’t lost on Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger. He’s a gamer and one of the best of all time.
Love him or hate him, Roethlisberger has the attitude needed for the modern quarterbacking position. Defenses have evolved a long way since the invention of the game. Linemen are huge and fast. In the blink of an eye, they can be in the backfield causing havoc. Linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks are sent from blitz packages that can knock out the average quarterback. A defensive back’s mass combined with his speed–4.56 seconds for the 40-yard dash–can produce up to 1600 pounds of tackling force.Year after year, Roethlisberger takes the sacks and keeps going. The Steelers’ quarterback has suffered injuries this year that would put the average player on the shelf for the season. But not Big Ben. He lives for the intensity of the game. He thrives on the competition. He came off the bench against the Cleveland Browns to pass his way into history. He was supposed to be used only if something went terribly wrong. Roethlisberger had suffered a mid-foot sprain the week before.
Roethlisberger passed for 379 yards in the Steelers beat down of the Browns. According to ESPN, Big Ben now holds the NFL’s best regular-season quarterback relief performance, eclipsing Wade Wilson’s 374 yards from 1990. Even Roethlisberger was amazed at his performance, after Jones’ injury.
“I kinda surprised myself. My foot was basically black and blue early in the week.”
He played as though he was never injured. He amassed 286 yards on 18-of-23 passing in the first half. The week before the game, Roethlisberger wasn’t considered the starter and didn’t have as many reps with the team as Jones.
“I had a lot of mental preparation,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of physical preparation. We let Landry get most of the reps. I did do some stuff throughout the week. In a situation like that, you just have to get as many mental reps as you can and count on the guys around you. I thought that was the best part. I thought the guys around me played great.”In that same game, Roethlisberger, two weeks after passing Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas on the NFL’s career passing list, passes the man who won four Super Bowls in the 1980s with the San Francisco 49ers. Joe Montana, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, is now behind Ben Roethlisberger.
As much as some people want to throw a shoe at their flat-screen when he’s playing, Roethlisberger is a gamer.
Why doesn’t the signal caller in Black and Gold get as much attention as the other elite quarterbacks? Is it the off the field issues that keep him out of conversations about records and greatness? Could it be that the NFL looks at Pittsburgh as a team grounded in gritty defense and glorious running backs?
Ben Roethlisberger deserves to be thought of as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. But the accolades and recognition is always slow. Benjamin is one of only two quarterbacks to throw for 500 yards twice in their career. That should be enough to get tongues wagging and heads nodding. But alas, the notoriety never comes.
Until he becomes a respected figure under center, Roethlisberger will just have to settle for more Super Bowl rings.
[Feature Photo by Jared Wickerham / Getty Images]