Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Pittsburgh's Big Ben: The Underappreciated Quarterback

In the discussion of the best current NFL quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers surely dominate the talks. Had Peyton Manning not retired this year, his inclusion would have been a no-brainer. Even 27-year-old Cam Newton receives little consideration, understandably because of his potential and success early in his career.

Image source: breitbart.com

Sometimes relegated to the next tier is underrated Steelers superstar and two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.

The vaunted defense of Pittsburgh has been deemed the reason for the franchise’s stellar success the past decade. But as Big Ben’s game continuously evolves, people have no choice but to take notice and appreciate his offensive acumen.

For the longest time, Roethlisberger has had to rely on his physical gifts to throw accurate passes, shed would-be sackers, and extend plays when things break down. But through the years, he has learned how to recognize and read defenses, and then use subtle motions to control defenders.

As Roethlisberger learned how to complement his physique with intellect and discipline, the offensive production of the Steelers has also seen a boost. Big Ben led all starting quarterbacks in passing yards per game at 328 last season, and the past 21 contests in which he started and finished, Pittsburgh averaged 30.1 points per game.

Probably the only accomplishment remaining for Roethlisberger is a league MVP award. While he has gone on record to say that he plays for Super Bowls and not personal accolades, an MVP trophy would be amazing next to the Super Bowl trophies.

Image source: sportsngiggles.com

Duval Love
is a former NFL offensive linesman who played for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals. Visit this LinkedIn page to learn more about Mr. Love.