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floodcitygirl
10-26-2007, 12:26 AM
The maturation of Big Ben
BY SHANNON RUSSELL | SRUSSELL@ENQUIRER.COM
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He may already own a Super Bowl ring, but Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is finally coming into his own.

That’s the consensus some Bengals came to regarding the fourth-year veteran, who’ll be in town Sunday with the Steelers for a 1 p.m. AFC North showdown at Paul Brown Stadium.

“He looks a lot more in control of the offense, a lot more comfortable in long yardage situations,” Bengals defensive tackle John Thornton said. “You can tell he looks a little different. He’s a little slimmer. He’s running a whole lot better.”



Roethlisberger’s weight is listed the same as last season (241 pounds). It’s the Steelers’ coaching personnel that changed.

New head coach Mike Tomlin, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson have unfettered Roethlisberger by giving him more responsibility.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger and Arians collaborated to rewrite the Steelers’ offensive playbook this summer and create a bigger role for the quarterback.

Roethlisberger’s heightened presence includes “more planned use of the no-huddle offense, more use of three and four receivers on first and second down with the quarterback under center and not in the shotgun, and more freedom to change the blocking protection and the play at the line of scrimmage.”

The plan was, in part, designed to diminish the 23 interceptions Roethlisberger threw last season.

Thus far Roethlisberger has thrown five interceptions in six games, which puts him on pace to nearly cut his picks in half by the season’s end.

The quarterback has completed 105-of-166 attempts (63.3 percent) for 1,303 yards with 13 touchdowns and the five interceptions. His passer rating is 101.1.

During his Wednesday conference call with the media, Roethlisberger said things “have gone well so far” under the new coaching regime.

“I feel a lot more comfortable in the system. I think it’s made us more of a productive offense and been a little bit more unpredictable. I like the things that Bruce (Arians) has done, and I think all of the guys have taken it very well,” Roethlisberger said.

The team has also responded well to Tomlin, from his new time schedule to his un-Bill-Cower-like demeanor. Where Cowher was more apt to “yell or scream at you or something,” Tomlin is more of an encourager who will say 'You’re going to be OK,' " Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger, who’s within reach of a slew of Steelers records, comes to Cincinnati off a second Steelers road loss. He was 24-of-35 passing for 290 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions against Denver. His passer rating was 108.0.

The four touchdowns tied a career-high he set in the season opener at Cleveland, and the passer rating marked the 24th time he has had a rating of 100.0 or better in a game.

“Ben is playing really well,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “I told our guys this morning, ‘He’s playing like a huge Doug Flutie, a big, strong Doug Flutie right now.’ He’s making guys miss him in the pocket and he’s coming out making real positive plays.”

After a mistake-prone first half in Denver, Roethlisberger engineered a comeback by throwing two fourth-quarter touchdown passes that knotted the score with 1:10 to play. But Jason Elam booted a 49-yard field goal as time expired to win it for the Broncos.

The Bengals’ 28th-ranked pass defense is allowing 249.2 yards a game and will have its hands full with the Steelers’ pass game. Roethlisberger’s main targets have been Heath Miller, Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward.

“(Roethlisberger) definitely looks more comfortable than he did in the past,” Bengals safety Madieu Williams said. “He’s getting the football to his playmakers and they’re doing a good job for him.”

Sunday marks Roethlisberger’s second trip to the area in three weeks. He was in Oxford during the Steelers’ bye week to have his jersey number retired at Miami University. It was the first RedHawks football number retired in 34 years.

His energies are now tuned to the Bengals, a team Pittsburgh has beaten six straight times in Cincinnati.

“Regardless of the records and where we are in the standings right now, both teams need this win,” Roethlisberger said.

BlitzburghNation
10-26-2007, 12:38 AM
Nice read FCG,,,,,,,,,,,,:bigthumb:

SteelerSteve
10-26-2007, 01:32 AM
Great read, I love reading about Ben:bigthumb:

AZ_Steeler
10-26-2007, 04:05 AM
If he could only reduce the number if INT's and hang on to the ball when he's getting sacked! Other than that Ben is having a good year and is looking quote comfortable in the pocket again :bigthumb:

floodcitygirl
10-26-2007, 10:47 AM
I thought it was interesting to hear a little about what his competition has to say about him.

GoBenGo
10-26-2007, 05:18 PM
Thanx for sharon!!
I can't read enough about Ben!
What more do you say? The dude is THE MAN!
Best QB There Is ! 'nother slap to Eli and Phil! the gap widens

BlitzburghRockCity
10-26-2007, 06:27 PM
If he could only reduce the number if INT's and hang on to the ball when he's getting sacked! Other than that Ben is having a good year and is looking quote comfortable in the pocket again :bigthumb:

Up until the bronco game he was doing good with the int's..but that hanging onto the ball under pressure; man that drives me nuts. :eyecrazy:

NOVA STEELERS
10-30-2007, 09:58 AM
Nice read, thanks for sharing...........