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SteelersWoman
09-18-2009, 06:26 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09221/989716-150.stm

Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post Gazette
August 09, 2009



This is one of those things you might be thinking but generally don't express, as it carries with it an evident blasphemous component. It did not occur to me explicitly, but when it appeared in print from a reliably eloquent, consistently insightful correspondent, one Gordon Bloom, it looked an awful lot like the truth.

Ben Roethlisberger is a better quarterback than was Terry Bradshaw.

That was No. 6 among 10 random observations Bloom mailed me in the spring. He uses a manual typewriter, the U.S. Post Office, and an uncommon lucidity. Several times a year, he sends me a list of random sports and political observations, each its own literate jewel.
This was No. 2 from that batch.

"More and more, the Pirates' 16 losing seasons seems a fantastical thing, like some element of 'magical realism' straight from the pages of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: a village where it rains for four years, a colonel with 17 sons by 17 different wives, a woman who ascends to heaven while folding bed sheets, a man who walks 50 years for the chance to marry his beloved. The losing streak seems like something only a flight of fancy could produce. But unfortunately for local baseball fans, it's all too real."
God I wish I'd said that.

Obviously, as I'm in no position to edit Mr. Bloom then, here is the entirety of No. 6.

"Ben Roethlisberger is the greatest quarterback in Steeler history -- better than Terry Bradshaw, better than Bobby Layne, even better than the great Jimmy Finks.

Bradshaw was a great quarterback, but he was also surrounded by a greater number of outstanding players than Ben has around him. During the most productive years of Bradshaw's career, eight or so of his fellow teammates were future Hall of Famers, not to mention his head coach. I can't think of eight players on the present Steeler team who are likely candidates for Canton. Ben is getting it done with a very good team, but not a team so excellent that virtually everywhere you look there is a future Hall of Famer. Which is why I say that, in my opinion, Ben's overall football talent surpasses even that of the great number 12."

I spent part of this training camp week putting this argument to current and former Steelers coaches and officials and some journalists old enough to judge, not indicating whether I agreed or not. Ben's better than Brad either got minimal resistance or solid support, though not always for attribution.

Only Art Rooney Jr., who scouted Bradshaw and most of his Hall of Fame entourage, offered nominal caution, but nothing that achieved the level of flat disagreement.

"Ben is a work in progress," Rooney said. "Bradshaw was just an outstanding athlete. He was a champion javelin thrower, which takes a lot of coordination. In those days, guys took physicals on the treadmill. He was among our top four or five guys with his capacity on that. Toward the second half of his career, the rules in the league changed (to benefit the passing game) and he kind of blossomed into the new rules. I saw him on TV one time and they were asking him about his career and he just held up four fingers. 'That's all I have to say,' he said. I kind of liked that."

Bradshaw won four Super Bowls, which is his signature statistic, not only because it's the most important statistic, but because the balance of Terry's numerological profile, though distinguished, is hardly sensational. He threw almost as many interceptions (210) as touchdown passes (212) in his 14 years with the Steelers. In his first five seasons, he threw 48 touchdown passes and 81 interceptions. In Roethlisberger's five years, the corresponding numbers are 101 and 69.

But it has to be more complicated than that, right? Is Ben better than Brad?
"He's on his way," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who put more responsibility on Roethlisberger than ever before last year, with the result being Ben's second Super Bowl victory. "Terry's record stands for itself, and it's not like there aren't Hall of Famers on this team. Hines Ward is probably headed there. And Troy (Polamalu) too. James Harrison, if he has a couple more years like last year. Terry won four Super Bowls."

But there were likely more Hall of Famers in Bradshaw's huddle -- Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, and Terry Bradshaw -- than there might be on all the Steeler rosters of which Ben will part.

"I've thought for a long time that Ben was better, but I never wanted it attributed to me," said one former club executive whose career coincided with Bradshaw. "What Ben's done is amazing and he's done it from Day 1. Bradshaw, as a rookie, threw six touchdowns and 24 interceptions. Plus I think Ben is a better leader. He gets things done in all kinds of adverse situations. Terry was not that confident. He was fragile in his relationship with Chuck Noll. Rarely did he bring the Steelers from behind."

Statistical guidelines on what exactly constitutes a come-from-behind win are not always uniform, but it's instructive to note that the Steelers list 19 comebacks [20 with the latest Titans game] as authored by Roethlisberger in his five seasons, the 19th of which won Super Bowl XLIII, where most sources credit Bradshaw with 19 for his entire career.

Ben's won more games (51) in his first five years than any quarterback in NFL history, and the club records for touchdown passes in a season (32), passer rating in a season (104.1), career completion percentage (62.4) all belong to him. But while the top three seasonal passer ratings in Steeler history all belong to Ben as well, there are a myriad of additional stats that appear to favor Ben when they probably really don't.

It's not terribly relevant, for example, that Ben has seven [8 with the Titans game]300-yard performances in his career while Bradshaw had only four, because the nature of offensive football has evolved so dramatically toward the passing game in 35 years. Remember as well that Bradshaw called his own plays, was the MVP of two Super Bowls (two more than Ben) and was the league's MVP in 1978 (once more than Ben).

All that said, and staring blasphemy in the face, I think I agree with Mr. Bloom.

Scorp
09-18-2009, 06:31 PM
Do we have to wait for Ben to get 2 more titles? Hmmmmm.

K Train
09-18-2009, 07:02 PM
no 4 rings today is like 20 back then.

people will be in denial but its true, its alot harder to win like that in todays game

HUNT4SEVEN
09-18-2009, 07:32 PM
IMO when Ben gets 4 rings then we can have this discussion......

DanRooney
09-18-2009, 08:23 PM
Ben is the better QB

Big T
09-18-2009, 08:44 PM
Yes Terry was great but Ben is definitely a better QB

BlacknGold Bleeder
09-18-2009, 08:59 PM
no 4 rings today is like 20 back then.

Hasn't won 4 quite yet... but I don't know if that is going to be the standard for this measurement.You can't just measure a QB's success by SB wins,if you do then Marino sucked,which we all know wasn't true.

Dean Denton
09-18-2009, 10:45 PM
Hasn't won 4 quite yet... but I don't know if that is going to be the standard for this measurement.You can't just measure a QB's success by SB wins,if you do then Marino sucked,which we all know wasn't true. Marino didn't suck, but he's not better then Ben. Like I have said before, for years it was Marino never won the big game becuase of lack of running game...Well Ben won a ring with no running game. So whats Marino's excuse? I mean really, he always had a great Def, his 85 Dolphins beat the 85 Bears and yet fell to a not very good New England team....No, I think Dan is money and a great pocket passer (The Best), but because he only had 77 rushing yards in his 17 years, that cost him. You need to be more versatile and Marino was not. Ben is going to finish his career as the best QB of all time. And yes, he's better then Bradshaw. Bradshaw sucked for a lot of years. Bens has only played bad in a few games in five years. Do the math....

Big T
09-19-2009, 12:09 AM
Best ever? Iffy....One of the best ever? No doubt

greennick
09-19-2009, 12:24 AM
IMO when Ben gets 4 rings then we can have this discussion......

We will, WHEN he does. So, in 2 years?

Dean Denton
09-19-2009, 02:17 AM
Best ever? Iffy....One of the best ever? No doubt Fair enough, but what QB has had a better first 5 years? Ben is pacing to be top three, if not #1....

steelers4life66
09-19-2009, 09:07 AM
Big Ben for President!!!!!:cope:.........In ten yeas or so that is.:lol:

LarryNJ
09-19-2009, 09:19 AM
It's a toss up now, but in a couple years I think Big Ben will make this a non debatable issue.

Callax
09-19-2009, 10:29 AM
I grew up watching Bradshaw and think his issues that were not addressed until later in his life ( ADD) contributed to his early career struggles. He was a wonderful quarterback surrounded by several HOF players, but he did not play in a pass oriented offense until the latter part of the 70's when rules were changed to open up the offense to be more pass friendly.
He was also a fairly large player in is day for a QB or any other offensive position (6'4", 225 lbs and could run in the 4.5 range)
He was an athlete and had a hard time adapting to the Pro game
(I am not making excuses for him)
Bradshaw messed up his elbow and should have been able play at least 2 more years if not for the injury and surgery.

Having said that:
I believe Ben Roethlisberger will be a HOF QB and will most likely as revered (if not more) as Bradshaw. He has put up great numbers and has the opportunity to win at least 2 more SuperBowls if not more... He is rather young to have won 2 SB's and, barring any lingering or career threatening injuries, he could be in several more SB's
He will easily have much better numbers (stat wise) than Terry, but that should not be the only criteria to judge the worth of a QB...
4 SB's is a very good number to start...
The quality of the teams and how well they did season after season is another...
Kind of hard to argue against the 70's Steelers, one of the best runs of all time in the NFL.
If Ben got hurt and was done for his career, I think he would (barely) make the HOF with his present numbers.... Something like RB Terrell Davis of Denver, if he'd played a few more productive years he'd be in the HOF ( He's not in HOF, right???)

Ben puts up some more solid numbers without winning any more SB's I think he will be a HOF
At 27, he could play another 10-15 years but he'll never last that long if the OL keeps playing as poorly as it is...
HE'll need some protection cuz one of these hits will result in a season ending injury/concussion that will shorten his career.

Better QB.....
I would say Ben over Bradshaw
But I would LOVE to see Terry's Blonde Bombin' Gun throw in today's Pass Happy NFL!!

roosterray
09-19-2009, 12:12 PM
Ben has a ways to go, however; if you compare Superbowl stat lines of his first 2 vs. Bradshaw, they are very close. Terry was very good in the last 2 superbowls. Where now Ben is coming into his own. The trend is eerily familiar. If he continues to progress and get a couple more, I bet the experience and talent will be better. Holmes and Wars are no where near Swan/Stallworth in speed and size, with Wallace we are now faster yet to match Holmes. We just don't have that leaping ability of Swan. :tt02:

IX 9/14 96 1 0
X 9/19 209 2 0
XIII 17/30 318 4 1
XIV 14/21 309 2 3

XL 9/21 123 0 2
XLIII 21-30 256 1 1

Sir Blitzelot
09-19-2009, 07:14 PM
I still think Ben needs one more Super Bowl victory until he is considered better than Bradshaw, but he is certainly on his way.

SteelerNC
09-19-2009, 09:10 PM
Bubby Brister tops my list....:)

TheButt
09-19-2009, 10:27 PM
I also grew up watching Terry. Terry had a much stronger arm then Ben does now. When Terry threw the ball you knew it was going to be on the money. With Ben you kinda hold your breath sometimes. Terry also called his own plays , he was a true leader.



Wait 5 or 6 more years and then we can judge. It does seem Ben gets better every year.
We will see how good he is when his legs starts to wear out and he cant improvise like he does now. As it stands now Terry is the superior QB. In my IMO.

KSSteelerfan
09-19-2009, 10:43 PM
IMO when Ben gets 4 rings then we can have this discussion......

:plus1:

tuggysteel822
09-20-2009, 12:32 AM
Ben doesn't have the HOF locked up yet. But one thing you gotta think about, but doesn't play into the HOF or anything great, he's adapted to so many different offecsive schemes and systems that makes it hard to be successful sometimes. Though he's dominated. And another thing that I think nobody mentions is the center. Bradshaw had Webster snapping to him most all those years and he undoubtedly developed some continuaity with iron mike. Ben doesn't have that luxury (Hartings, Mahan, Hartwig) and who knows who else. I always think that is a big deal with any qb. But ben obviously doesn't hav any issues there.

Ben will finish his career as a first ballot hall of famer and will win at least one more SB from here. As for this debate, I think Bradshaw will be the better qb. Steelers fans hated him at times and he dealt with deprssion and all that other negative **** that didn't affect his play. (not using that to his defense, just how big of a distraction that would be and he was able to succeed still.

I love ben, and I love this debate. I have a feeling that ben does too and quietly compares himself to Bradshaw and wants to be better in the fans eyes. He wants to be te best ever. Period.

blackngold29
09-20-2009, 04:25 AM
Bradshaw 4, Ben 2. Bradshaw also called his own plays, although Ben excels in that area too. The score speaks the loudest though. According to a PTI interview Ben's goal is 5.

tuggysteel822
09-20-2009, 04:02 PM
Bradshaw 4, Ben 2. Bradshaw also called his own plays, although Ben excels in that area too. The score speaks the loudest though. According to a PTI interview Ben's goal is 5.


That's true. I didn't think about that. Bradshaw did call his own plays and still played as well as he did. Good point.

Dean Denton
09-21-2009, 04:16 AM
How many 4th quarter come backs did Bradshaw finish with? How many wins did he have after five seasons? Ben is the better QB.

tuggysteel822
09-23-2009, 03:40 AM
How many 4th quarter come backs did Bradshaw finish with? How many wins did he have after five seasons? Ben is the better QB.

I don't think that a QB comparison can be based solely on 4th qtr. comebacks and total victories over 5 yrs. If Ben were to fall off the wagon and lose it somehow, in no way right now is he "better" than Bradshaw.

Dean Denton
09-24-2009, 05:28 AM
Terry had more HOL players on his team then any QB will ever see in football again. In no way could Terry have taken last years Steelers to a SB, let alone win it....Please......

tuggysteel822
09-25-2009, 03:02 AM
Terry had more HOL players on his team then any QB will ever see in football again. In no way could Terry have taken last years Steelers to a SB, let alone win it....Please......

So basically you're saying that the players around him are the only reason he played like he did and won those four SB's? Even though Ben has had 5 good years and won 2 SB's (didn't do much in the first) and has the comebacks in his pocket, you can't say that after a few years he's better than Bradshaw who played a long career, and was successful during that time. I'm the biggest Ben fan, and I wouldn't want anyone else back there, but you can't accurately compare the two until ben's career is over.

Plus you look at thr fact that nobody on thr 70's dynasty teams were HOF'ers atthat time, neither are any guys on this team. Hines will be, Holmes has thr potential as long ad he keeps up production and makes plays. Thr defense speaks for itself. So from the HOF angle, there's not much to stand on. But I just think you gotta give it more time.

--- Added 9/25/2009 at 01:02 AM ---

Terry was a phenominal athlete. Not as big or strong as Ben, but he def does not get thr credit he deserves. Great athlete. Not to mention that he was that "missing piece" the team needed when Joe Gilliam was starting in his place. Steelers fans will never give him his due.

Dean Denton
09-25-2009, 07:49 PM
So basically you're saying that the players around him are the only reason he played like he did and won those four SB's? Even though Ben has had 5 good years and won 2 SB's (didn't do much in the first) and has the comebacks in his pocket, you can't say that after a few years he's better than Bradshaw who played a long career, and was successful during that time. I'm the biggest Ben fan, and I wouldn't want anyone else back there, but you can't accurately compare the two until ben's career is over.

Plus you look at thr fact that nobody on thr 70's dynasty teams were HOF'ers atthat time, neither are any guys on this team. Hines will be, Holmes has thr potential as long ad he keeps up production and makes plays. Thr defense speaks for itself. So from the HOF angle, there's not much to stand on. But I just think you gotta give it more time.

--- Added 9/25/2009 at 01:02 AM ---

Terry was a phenominal athlete. Not as big or strong as Ben, but he def does not get thr credit he deserves. Great athlete. Not to mention that he was that "missing piece" the team needed when Joe Gilliam was starting in his place. Steelers fans will never give him his due.I'm not basically saying it, I am saying it. And what I said was, No way does Terry win a SB with last years Steelers. (Ben didn't do much his first year) Really??? He didn't lose until the AFC title game. Not bad if you ask me. Terry struggled to win consistently for what, his first 4 or 5 years? And in the end, 212 TD's and 212 INT's is hardly numbers that put him into elite status among the leagues all time greats. Yes I know Terry made big plays in every 4th quarter of every SB he was in, but again I think its more about the team around him and not the innate talent like Ben. This comparison between the two is based off where Terry ended and what Ben has done to this point. Not only does Ben shatter the comparison, but Ben shatters comparisons to every other QB after 5 years too. Ben is pacing to be among the top three QB of all time. (not just in wins, but caring his team) That is something Terry will not get close to because of the talent that has already come through the league. In the end, IMO Ben will be miles ahead of Terry in every way. And I think in asking most people they would take Ben to lead them over Terry. Can you even think of the blow outs Ben would put together with a team like the 70's Steelers? I get dizzy just thinking about it.

tuggysteel822
09-26-2009, 06:28 AM
Let's hinge everything on last years team. Lol

know what, screw this debate. I enjoy watching thr steelers and specifically watching ben.

Can't argue with ya dean.

Dean Denton
09-26-2009, 09:47 PM
Let's hinge everything on last years team. Lol

know what, screw this debate. I enjoy watching thr steelers and specifically watching ben.

Can't argue with ya dean.No one can....lol

Scorp
12-08-2010, 08:17 PM
Ben's goal is 5.

Well he better play his *** off, cause he has a long way to go. He needs to play like the real leader that always win or mostly wins. Yes, Sunday against the ravens he did just that. :cope:

chisteeler
12-10-2010, 01:22 PM
Throw out the stats of both players for a minute, plus the Super Bowl victories and ask yourself the amount of teams in the league when Bradshaw played compared to the amount of teams that are in the league now with Ben playing. The competion in the league and the other 52 guys on each QB's team in my opinion dictats the the success of each player (note Manning & Brady).Now, take into account individual ability and athleticism and I say they compare rather even. Bradshaw did things in his career that Ben struggles to do (or hasn't reached the point in his career yet) like calling his own plays and arm strength. Ben extends the play and has better 4th quarter come back ability. They were and are both tough as nails and struggled at times with leadership qualities on and off the field. So to answer the question, I say that they are very comparable to being equal.

Zachintosh66
12-10-2010, 01:36 PM
Stupid Redneck vs a Stupid ******* :lol:

Zachintosh66
12-10-2010, 01:38 PM
Bubby Brister tops my list....:)

What about Slash :lol:

Zachintosh66
12-10-2010, 01:38 PM
no 4 rings today is like 20 back then.

people will be in denial but its true, its alot harder to win like that in todays game

:plus1:

Zachintosh66
12-10-2010, 01:42 PM
Terry did get 4 titles, but with a far superior offense than Ben has had...

As far as actual QB play, I'd take Ben anyday...

steelchamp204
12-10-2010, 01:46 PM
Lets all remeber that Bradshaw is the reason why the steelers are the steelers and we have the amount of respect by other teams and fans.If we neverwon 4 back then, we wouldnt have had all the respect we do today. Yea Ben is a good qb, but you cant compare him to Bradshaw until Ben atleast gets three. And Im not going to crown him a 3 time sb qb yet.

chisteeler
12-10-2010, 02:21 PM
Stupid Redneck vs a Stupid ******* :lol:

So hopefully when Ben retires our next great QB will just be a Stupid Redneck ******* :yellowthumb:

nuclearchihuahuas
12-10-2010, 05:01 PM
Imagine how good Ben would be if he had the offensive line Terry Bradshaw had. Then ask yourself, which is the better QB. IMHO Ben is much more talented and has accomplished a lot more with a lot less to work with.

--- Added 12/10/2010 at 03:01 PM ---


So hopefully when Ben retires our next great QB will just be a Stupid Redneck ******* :yellowthumb:

Just so long as he can play ... I am fine with it :lol:

Blazedby92
12-10-2010, 06:13 PM
Terry's talent vs. Ben's talent
I'll take Ben, no question
Era's are way to different, just like Franco vs. Bettis
If Ben played in the 70's they would have won in '76 IMHO, running back or not, look what he is winning with now Ben has shown he can put a team on his back and carry them and he is only getting better.
Critisize Ben for SB 40, so what how do you think they got there, it wasn't all defense.

Terry was good later in his career but I guess who wouldn't be if you had a D-fense that got you the ball back more times than none.

Root4Stlrs
12-11-2010, 12:16 AM
Terry's talent vs. Ben's talent
I'll take Ben, no question
Era's are way to different, just like Franco vs. Bettis
If Ben played in the 70's they would have won in '76 IMHO, running back or not, look what he is winning with now Ben has shown he can put a team on his back and carry them and he is only getting better.
Critisize Ben for SB 40, so what how do you think they got there, it wasn't all defense.

Terry was good later in his career but I guess who wouldn't be if you had a D-fense that got you the ball back more times than none.

I have to say Ben is the better QB of the two. Bradshaw had such a great team around him. You knew the Steelers were going to win the big ones every time they stepped on the field. They are from different times so they're not exactly comparable but I can't imagine Terry doing now what Ben is doing.