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igor0190
10-08-2010, 10:52 AM
http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2010/10/07/ben-roethlisbergers-private-coach-says-qb-ready-to-go/

Ben Roethlisberger spent the offseason in headlines for all the wrong reasons.

With his four-game suspension over, the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback gets an opportunity to change the tone and titles to the stories of his life. His private quarterback coach told FanHouse that he expects Roethlisberger to get off to a fast and fresh start Oct. 17 when the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns.

"He's ready to go," George Whitfield Jr. said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Whitfield, a highly acclaimed quarterbacks coach who runs Whitfield Athletix, a private quarterback training academy in San Diego, was in charge of training the two-time Super Bowl winner in Pittsburgh during Roethlisberger's suspension

As soon as the preseason ended, Whitfield flew to Pittsburgh to work with the Steelers' QB at Hampton High School four to five days a week until Oct. 1, ending his work shortly before Roethlisberger rejoined the Steelers on Oct. 4. The two worked on footwork, technique and even used film to ensure that Roethlisberger maintained his high-level mechanics.

Whitfield said he was impressed with the quarterback's work ethic and has no doubt he'll be able to step in and perform at a high level.

"He was very much doing everything that was necessary to go out and compete on Sunday. So I know fitness wise, he's there. He was always going 100 mph. He was very adamant in staying in that racehorse mentality," Whitfield said. "You're out here four weeks on your own and then you're going to jump on a moving train, so for him, he understood clearly. Every day he came out there, he knew exactly where he had to be."

Per NFL rules, Roethlisberger was unable to practice with the team, visit team facilities, interact with Steelers' coaches, members of the front office or even communicate with teammates regarding team matters or any football-related issue.

"The Steel City loves him. They genuinely care about him, he's one of their own and people would say hey, good luck, we're with you, we're behind you. They understand he's working his way back."
- George Whitfield Jr. So Roethlisberger turned to Whitfield, a former college and Arena Football League quarterback who coached at the University of Iowa and served as the San Diego Chargers' quarterbacks coaching intern during the summer of 2007 under Cam Cameron.

Even though the Steelers went 3-1 in Roethlisberger's absence, they struggled mightily on offense -- ranking 31st in the 32-team league in passing yards per game. His return is a welcome one, and during his press conference on Monday he noted that his teammates welcomed him back with a round of hugs.

"He had his arms open for four weeks and I think it's special because he understood he had his work to do and their job was to play ball," Whitfield said.

Pittsburgh has a bye this week and Whitfield believes that the extra week of preparation can only help Roethlisberger.

"I was glad that he came back to a bye week, he can get a feel for timing and (the) pass rush," he said. "I know physically and training-wise and preparation-wise, he's ready."

Whitfield said Roethlisberger told him that he worked more in their four weeks together than he normally would have had he trained with the team.

"So he's ahead of schedule there," Whitfield said.

Whitfield also worked with Roethlisberger on some new techniques.

"One thing is, he wanted to kind of figure out how can he be more efficient getting the ball out," Whitfield said. "Ben's got a big strong arm, one of the biggest arms in the league and from our standpoint, working together, it was important for him to be more efficient and how he can get more out of it. So one of those things in layman's terms, he's carrying it a little higher, he's holding it a little higher and that's letting it come out a little quicker and as strong as he is ... he can use more of that big arm."

In terms of how the general public interacted with Roethlisberger when Whitfield was around, the coach had nothing but high praise.

"The Steel City loves him," Whitfield said. "They genuinely care about him, he's one of their own and people would say hey, good luck, we're with you, we're behind you. They understand he's working his way back."

And Whitfield noted that Roethlisberger returned the love and was extremely gracious with all fans. The coach stressed that Roethlisberger was very accommodating and always signed autographs and took time out to interact with everyone. Even after their training sessions together, Roethlisberger would stay almost an hour later to sign autographs, Whitfield said.

Whitfield described Roethlisberger in a positive light.

"Very funny, very open guy," he said. "Very self-aware in terms of who he is and what he means to that city and what his circumstances are. He just wants to earn his way back and I'm excited he's getting the chance to do that.

"My personal experience with Ben was phenomenal. From a professional standpoint, he was always early, dedicated, always engaged in everything that he did. The guy is meticulous. And then off the field, getting a chance to be around him with friends and family and strangers in the city of Pittsburgh, he's gracious. He's an everyday guy. ... A lot of people don't get a chance to be around him or see him behind the scenes, but it really was a phenomenal experience. ... I'm really excited to see how far he can get these guys to go this season."

ejsteeler
10-08-2010, 11:18 AM
Apparently, alot of good things are going on with Ben right now. If he can maintain the values expressed in this article, Ben can very easily become one of the best all time. Yes, I said all time. He is young and in good shape. If he can stay healthy, off his back and becomes as cerebral about the game as it appears he was during his suspension....well, I already said it. :yesnod:

igor0190
10-08-2010, 11:53 AM
Apparently, alot of good things are going on with Ben right now. If he can maintain the values expressed in this article, Ben can very easily become one of the best all time. Yes, I said all time. He is young and in good shape. If he can stay healthy, off his back and becomes as cerebral about the game as it appears he was during his suspension....well, I already said it. :yesnod:

:plus1:
Totally agree...
He has clearly re-dedicated himself to the game. If he stays true to the himself in his personal life as well, we will be in GREAT hands for a long time to come.

LarryNJ
10-08-2010, 12:08 PM
Ben can very easily become one of the best all time.

You're absolutely correct. The way I look at it there's very little difference talent wise when you get to this level. The difference comes down to the mental part, the preparation and study of the game. Those that put in that extra mental time rise to the top. Of course you must have good players and coaches around you also.


Apparently, alot of good things are going on with Ben right now.

Yes lots of good thing are happening to Ben now...it's the Law of Attraction at work now. He's obviously changed his way of thinking. If he stays on course he may very well end up at a parade in Feb. down Grant St.

Farrior Fan
10-08-2010, 12:46 PM
I think a lot will be determined on the first drive against the Browns. If he completes a couple of 10+ yard passes right away then look out. Otherwise he may struggle for a little while, as said earlier there is zero doubt he has the physical ability and everything we have read for a while has said he is working hard so there is a huge reason to be optimistic. But if he struggles then the magnifying glass will be really close on him.

75Steeler
10-08-2010, 12:55 PM
Apparently, alot of good things are going on with Ben right now. If he can maintain the values expressed in this article, Ben can very easily become one of the best all time. Yes, I said all time. He is young and in good shape. If he can stay healthy, off his back and becomes as cerebral about the game as it appears he was during his suspension....well, I already said it. :yesnod:

I hope all of you guys and this article are right about Ben. I hope he has seriously changed within himself and learned lessons from all of this. Cause if he hasn't and the whole thing is a house of cards and a lie then something else will happen and his whole world will come crashing down around him. The bad part is it will also hurt his team and fans who have supported him. As for his abilities as a QB in the NFL, I have no doubt he is one of the best that takes the field on Sundays.

Farrior Fan
10-08-2010, 01:08 PM
If he screws up again he is gone. And so are our chances for a ring over the next 3-4 years. I'm sure the coaches, owners, GM, and veteran players have reminded him of this on more than 1 occasion. When you are told this kind of stuff you have 2 ways to go.

1. screw them I know I'm the best and as long as I can play at a high level they cant live without me.

2. Wow I've been living a pretty wild life and don't want to end up being remembered as a jackass, if I change my ways starting today they will accept me back and we can do great things.

I'm pretty sure he chose #2 and I can only hope he doesn't revert back to #1 cuz we all know that was how he was wired for years.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-08-2010, 02:17 PM
I am so excited to see Ben get back out there, especially behind a better offensive line and hopefully a continued better running game. He was smart to get a coach to work out with during this time instead of just training on his own. Having someone from the outside be able to evaluate and help you improve your techniques is always a good thing, different perspectives keep you fresh and motivated.

cmerrifield
10-08-2010, 02:21 PM
I am so excited to see Ben get back out there, especially behind a better offensive line and hopefully a continued better running game. He was smart to get a coach to work out with during this time instead of just training on his own. Having someone from the outside be able to evaluate and help you improve your techniques is always a good thing, different perspectives keep you fresh and motivated.

:plus1: I hope we kill the browns by 40 and Ben throws for 350 yards

LarryNJ
10-08-2010, 02:42 PM
I think it's pretty obvious that he has changed and I'd be shocked if he screwed up again. It's not a smoke screen, he's sincere.

chisteeler
10-08-2010, 03:46 PM
Ben is no different than any other celebrity that has fallen victim to fame and wealth at such a young age. Granted he was 20 something and responsible for his actions, plus being on a two time Super Bowl winner and being the starting QB surely made him feel invincible. Now that he has reflected and rediscovered who he is and wants to be, then I say, allow him to get on with his personal and professional life and become the man he wants to be...as well as the QB we all know he can be.

Hey Ben, "Do the Nation a favor and lead the way to Seven!"

igor0190
10-08-2010, 05:40 PM
Ben is no different than any other celebrity that has fallen victim to fame and wealth at such a young age. Granted he was 20 something and responsible for his actions, plus being on a two time Super Bowl winner and being the starting QB surely made him feel invincible. Now that he has reflected and rediscovered who he is and wants to be, then I say, allow him to get on with his personal and professional life and become the man he wants to be...as well as the QB we all know he can be.

Hey Ben, "Do the Nation a favor and lead the way to Seven!"

At least he didnt end up like Lindsay Lohan

RIVERS OF STEEL
10-09-2010, 12:48 AM
At least he didnt end up like Lindsay Lohan

at least not yet!

Moondog
10-09-2010, 11:11 AM
I think it's pretty obvious that he has changed and I'd be shocked if he screwed up again. It's not a smoke screen, he's sincere.



That's what I'm feeling. :plus1:

nuclearchihuahuas
10-10-2010, 10:25 AM
If it is a smoke screen I have to say its the best one I have ever seen. I think Ben has realized playing in the NFL is not guaranteed and that his behavior and public persona matter whether they are winning or not. I think he gets it now, I think he has changed and we will see the real human Big Ben and not the arrogant personality that apparently was previously occupying his brain.

steelerschick1220
10-12-2010, 11:22 AM
I am just super, super excited that ben is back. IMO, he seems totally genuine and has changed himself for the better. He was one of the best on the field before, but I honestly feel that now he might even be better.

Go Ben!!!! I hope he throws for four TD's and 400 yards on sunday.