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Steelers Roethlisberger-one year wonder or for real-opinions


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LATROBE, Pa. -- You know you have to hand it to the Pittsburgh Steelers' star quarterback, 23-year-old Ben Roethlisberger.

The kid shoots for the moon.

"I want to be the best that ever played," Roethlisberger said this week following an hour-long autograph session, which followed 30 minutes of media interviews, many of which, these days, include some form of what is the Big Question around here: Can Big Ben avoid a sophomore slump? All of which, by the way, followed a two-hour practice in near-90-degree temperatures at St. Vincent's College.

Roethlisberger had had his dinner, and now he was talking about how intense his hunger is even after the most successful debut season for a quarterback in league history (15-1, including playoffs). He has Pittsburgh in the palm of his hand. What he really wants, though, is just a spot in Canton.

"I want to be mentioned with Marino, Kelly, Montana, Elway -- all of them," he continued. "When I retire I want to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

"I'm never satisfied. None of that is going to be possible if I'm satisfied with where I am. I'm a big fan of you either improve or you regress. You never stay the same. I always want to improve."

Ben Roethlisberger is doing everything he can to avoid a sophomore slump. This offseason, Roethlisberger did the only sensible thing: Since he'd like to be regarded among the all-time greats, he spent a lot of his free time around them, picking their brains. Whether it was golfing or dining with Dan Marino (to whose first year Rothlisberger's most often was compared), or hanging in NASCAR pits with Jim Kelly, he made it a point to consume every morsel of information and insight possible.

You have to hand it to the young man. He keeps good company. Roethlisberger met Marino about a year or so ago at a golf event for Mario Lemieux, Kelly at the regular season finale at Buffalo. He's hooked up with each several times since. If it's got anything to do with quarterbacking, chances are they've discussed it with the new jack. The passion of Pittsburgh. Expectations. Life in the limelight. Leadership. Roethlisberger said of Marino, "It was amazing how much he's helped me. He's a true mentor to me."

Now Roethlisberger isn't about to toss 48 touchdown passes,

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As the Raiders did to PennyBoy in the playoffs in 2002, the Jets defense did to Big Ben in the first regular season game last year.

Totally exposed his weaknesses.

The Pats employed a defense very similar to what the Jets did and he was virtually invisible in the AFCC game.

Big Ben's first 4 games this year should tell a lot.

Is he the real deal or a pretender like PennyBoy after being exposed?

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There is some added pressure on him with the way The Jets and Pats handled him in the playoffs to show something- Steelers play to a conservative game and have not asked the QB to do too much will probably help him if they can continue to run the ball well

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Big Ben will be a great QB, imo. He wore down as the season went on because he was a rookie.

Don't forget Big Ben only averaged 20 pass attempts per ball game.

Shut down the running game and force him to throw, especially 3rd and long situations.

Where the Pats got caught off guard in the Halloween game was getting caught stuffing the box on 1st down and falling for the play action pass.

I believe his 1st two TD passes came on 1st down.

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Don't forget Big Ben only averaged 20 pass attempts per ball game.

Shut down the running game and force him to throw, especially 3rd and long situations.

Where the Pats got caught off guard in the Halloween game was getting caught stuffing the box on 1st down and falling for the play action pass.

I believe his 1st two TD passes came on 1st down.

Just don't count that game then when discussing Ben vs the Pats. :wink:

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Don't forget Big Ben only averaged 20 pass attempts per ball game.

Shut down the running game and force him to throw, especially 3rd and long situations.

Where the Pats got caught off guard in the Halloween game was getting caught stuffing the box on 1st down and falling for the play action pass.

I believe his 1st two TD passes came on 1st down.

I realize pat fans have to find something wrong with Big Ben to make them feel like thier system QB is better. But the kid was a rookie for christ sake. He will be great Tx and unlike Brady he will be remembered for being an important reason for his team winning and not a system QB.

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I realize pat fans have to find something wrong with Big Ben to make them feel like thier system QB is better. But the kid was a rookie for christ sake. He will be great Tx and unlike Brady he will be remembered for being an important reason for his team winning and not a system QB.

Where did I state "something is wrong" with Big Ben?

He had a tremendous rookie season at a position very few rookies excel. I'm not knocking him at all and I still think he has all the tools to be a great QB.

Again, the only point that I was making is he only had to throw the ball 20 times a game because of the Steelers running game.

That's a fact and not a knock.

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Big Ben has all the talent he needs. Just a question of how hard he is willing to work. He needs to mature some. He could suffer a bit of a smackdown this year due to his cockiness. Then again, he could also back it up. Either way, I expect him to have a long successful career.

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i was never that impressed by him. most of the big plays he made were scrables, broken plays, and a few play action passes. teams that kept him in the pocket and made him throw the ball against a 'true' coverage gave him fits.

keep him in the pocket and slow down the run - keys to beating him. i am with Tx on this one.

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i was never that impressed by him. most of the big plays he made were scrables, broken plays, and a few play action passes. teams that kept him in the pocket and made him throw the ball against a 'true' coverage gave him fits.

keep him in the pocket and slow down the run - keys to beating him. i am with Tx on this one.

The guy is big and quick with a big arm. He can make plays outside the pocket.

The guy was a big winner as a rookie. Not sure what you were looking for. Tx only suggests that teams will adjust to him. I'm sure that he suggests that Ben lacks the ability to adjust to that.

It's pretty hard to question his physical talents. They are so abundantly clear. What throw can't he make?

God help us all if Billy B ever gets a QB like this guy. No diss on Brady.

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Tx only suggests that teams will adjust to him. I'm sure that he suggests that Ben lacks the ability to adjust to that.

It's pretty hard to question his physical talents. They are so abundantly clear. What throw can't he make?

God help us all if Billy B ever gets a QB like this guy. No diss on Brady.

That's exactly what I am saying.

The guy has demostrated he has all the physical tools in the world to be a great QB.

Let's see how he responds when teams consistently take away his strengths.

And BTW Meddle, until he demonstrates he can do this, I will take Brady anyday of the week and twice on Sunday. :wink:

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The guy is big and quick with a big arm. He can make plays outside the pocket.

The guy was a big winner as a rookie. Not sure what you were looking for. Tx only suggests that teams will adjust to him. I'm sure that he suggests that Ben lacks the ability to adjust to that.

It's pretty hard to question his physical talents. They are so abundantly clear. What throw can't he make?

God help us all if Billy B ever gets a QB like this guy. No diss on Brady.

he had the benefit of the best running game in football as well as the best defense. he was never asked to 'win' the game much like dilfer on the 2000 ravens. both the D and the running game can only get worse from where they were last year. only time will tell what '05 will hold for ben, my guess is a step back from last year, especially when he is called on the carry the team.

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he had the benefit of the best running game in football as well as the best defense. he was never asked to 'win' the game much like dilfer on the 2000 ravens. both the D and the running game can only get worse from where they were last year. only time will tell what '05 will hold for ben, my guess is a step back from last year, especially when he is called on the carry the team.

Who are these QB's who carry their teams? No, I don't expect the kid to "carry" his team. That's a pretty high standard.

I was not questioning the fact that he was backed by a good team. No matter how you choose to slice it, he was a rookie QB who won tons of games. He also has GREAT ability. What is it that he cannot do physically?

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