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BlitzburghRockCity
10-25-2007, 05:58 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07298/828351-66.stm?cmpid=HBEHTML


Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown passes are up and his interceptions down. Somewhere, Ken Anderson has a hand in it.

The man Bengals owner Mike Brown this week called the most important player in that franchise's history, will return to Cincinnati for the first time as an enemy -- the quarterbacks coach of the Steelers.

"I think everybody's making a bigger deal of it than it is to me," Anderson said yesterday after practice. "It's not like I'm at the end of my playing career and going back to the team that you played for all those years."

Anderson, 58, played 16 seasons for the Bengals and coached for them another 10. He passed for 32,838 yards and 197 touchdowns in his career and ran for another 2,220 yards and 20 touchdowns. Twice he was among the 15 finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He holds the NFL record for highest completion percentage in a season -- 70.55 in 1982.

It might come as no surprise then that Roethlisberger has completed 63.3 percent of his passes this season, which would be the highest of his career. He's also well on his way to throwing more touchdowns than ever; his 13 are just five fewer than his previous high. And his five interceptions are far off the pace of his 23 that led the NFL last season.

Roethlisberger at first looked at Anderson warily because he had grown close to the only quarterback coach he'd known here, Mark Whipple, who was not retained by Mike Tomlin.

"My old quarterback coach, Mark Whipple, and I were very close and still are very close, so it was really tough when he left," Roethlisberger said. "We still stay in contact, get to play golf sometime. So it was really tough when he left, but I think Ken's done a great job of stepping in and being a good quarterback coach for me."

Roethlisberger said Anderson has not tinkered with his mechanics but has helped him improve the mental part of his game.

"He's helped tremendously. He's more of an after-the-game kind of guy. [Tuesday] and Monday, we'll sit down and we'll go over what I did right and what I did wrong. That's where he's made the biggest difference to me.

"Anybody that played as long as he did and played as well as he did, it helps because it gives him credibility," Roethlisberger said. "When he tells you something, you listen to it."

Dick LeBeau was an assistant with the Bengals at times when Anderson played for them.

"I could always tell when Kenny was in there because when the guy would take one step the ball would be on target and right there," LeBeau said.

Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton played cornerback for the Bengals during Anderson's last four seasons there and sees how he has helped Roethlisberger.

"I thought he'd be real good for Ben, coming in as a league MVP, a Super Bowl player, holding the record for the highest percentage," Horton said. "Ben can kind of lean on him as a been-there-done-that kind of guy. If he says something, 'I can trust he knows what he's talking about.' "

Anderson played in Cincinnati from 1971-86. He served as the Bengals' quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator from 1993-2002. He was an assistant in Jacksonville the past four seasons before Tomlin hired him to serve under new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"I think the offensive guys will tell you he's been a big help to Bruce as far as someone to lean on," Horton said.

Anderson downplays his role in Roethlisberger's improvement this season.

"The credit has to go to him and how hard he's worked at it. He's taking care of the football, he's making good decisions with it. I think that's something for Ben that was brought up a lot last year and that's something you always focus on, is taking care of the football, and he's done a pretty good job of that."

Anderson also credits Roethlisberger for his ability to scramble and throw on the run, something Anderson also excelled at.

"He has great escape ability. He's a big guy, he's tough to bring down and he has good instincts as far as leaving the pocket. And he has good vision of the field, he knows where people are. For the most part this year, when he's been moving he's made plays for us and made good decisions with the football."

It's a trait Anderson had as a player as well, no small coincidence.

I was one of the ones that was extremely skeptical when it was announced that Ken Anderson would be the QB coach for this team. I really wanted Ben to be able to keep his previous QB coach and I was thinking with BC gone that he'd be able to let Ben cut loose more. Anderson has done a great job with Ben this year. His TD's are up, his INT's are down, he's feeling the pressure more and being able to escape pressure better, overall he's playing like a much better QB.

stillers4me
10-25-2007, 06:45 AM
And I can tell you for a fact, it's really ticking the Bungles fans off that their golden boy is in Pittsburgh!! :greengrin:

BlitzburghRockCity
10-25-2007, 06:50 AM
I can just imagine how much all those hard core old timers in bungal land who still wear their Kenny Anderson jersey just love seeing him in the black n gold :lol:

floodcitygirl
10-25-2007, 11:10 AM
He does seem to be helping Ben especially since they have similar playing styles. Looks as if Tomlin made a good move with a new coach for him. I'm sure it was a decision that was hard to take.

BBG7
10-25-2007, 11:28 AM
Top...I'm with you. I wasn't too happy to see him hired, but I think he has done a great job helping Ben.

AZ_Steeler
10-25-2007, 11:33 AM
Ben has always felt the pressure and been able to escape it... I personally don't think that has anything to with Anderson because eluding the rush like that is all instinct! :2cents:

Mike Tomlin
10-25-2007, 12:05 PM
i hope we can get Chad Johnson next year, that makes two of their golden boys lol!

steelcurtaingal
10-25-2007, 02:52 PM
Top...I'm with you. I wasn't too happy to see him hired, but I think he has done a great job helping Ben.

:yesnod: i felt the same way

MDSteel15
10-25-2007, 03:57 PM
i hope we can get Chad Johnson next year, that makes two of their golden boys lol!

PLEASE tell me you are pulling our legs? :nono:

floodcitygirl
10-25-2007, 04:06 PM
i hope we can get Chad Johnson next year, that makes two of their golden boys lol!Excuse me for a minute.....:barf:

SteelerSteve
10-26-2007, 12:38 AM
And I can tell you for a fact, it's really ticking the Bungles fans off that their golden boy is in Pittsburgh!! :greengrin::lol:

Koopa
10-26-2007, 01:00 AM
chad johnson is a very good player, y'all just hating because he wears a bengals jersey, if he was here, he would be god to most of y'all

the biggest difference with ben, is that this year his head didn't bang into a windshield........... he's still the same player, making stupid throws at times, he should've been picked off a lot more this year, just the dbs suck that we've played lol.............. i still wish he'd get the ball out quicker and more to heath, he's always looking to make it on sportscenter with long *** throws....... his numbers may be better, but he still has a lot of improving to do..........which is good, cause he does seem like he wants to get better, last year was very good humbling year

also i never minded the hiring of anderson, it was obvious whipple sucked *** and ben was to comfortable, he needed a change so he can get someone to get him improved............ i think the reason most ppl didn't like the hiring was because of who anderson played for........

BlitzburghNation
10-26-2007, 01:11 AM
Excuse me for a minute.....:barf:

:ditto:

SteelerSteve
10-26-2007, 01:15 AM
I doubt Chad would be happy here anyway, he wouldn't be in the spotlight like he is in cincy

BlitzburghRockCity
10-26-2007, 06:11 AM
Chad wouldn't survive on this team, no way. Nobody with a "me first" attitude like he's got would be able to hang in steel town. The first time he started shooting his mouth off about the HOF or guaranteeing this or that and he'd be reprimanded for conduct detrimental to the team.

floodcitygirl
10-26-2007, 09:52 AM
Chad wouldn't survive on this team, no way. Nobody with a "me first" attitude like he's got would be able to hang in steel town. The first time he started shooting his mouth off about the HOF or guaranteeing this or that and he'd be reprimanded for conduct detrimental to the team.I agree TG. Although Chad Johnson is a good player his attitude about his game playing sucks and his antics are ridiculous.