View Full Version : On the Steelers: Roethlisberger makes strides in passing

01-05-2011, 04:48 PM
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ben Roethlisberger grimaced and leaned over to knock on his locker, which is made of wood.

This was no time to start jinxing the Steelers quarterback who has discovered the elixir that cures interceptions and sacks, even if inquiring minds wanted to know the secret to avoiding them.

"Maybe it's just lucky, maybe it's just not taking too many of the crazy chances I took before," Roethlisberger said. "But I don't feel I'm playing a different style of ball. Maybe I'm just making better throws."

His past 158 throws have not been intercepted and, of his 389 passes this season, only five were picked off. That is an interception rate of just 1.3 percent, the lowest of his career and the first time under two.

This, even though he played with two rookie receivers, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, especially during the second half of the season when those two moved up to 3-4 behind Mike Wallace and Hines Ward.

Rookie receivers can kill a quarterback, but there only was one major, obvious error committed by them when Sanders did not recognize a hot route and thus broke up a pass intended for Hines Ward at a critical moment of their 20-10 loss at New Orleans. But then, veteran receiver Santonio Holmes cost them a game last season when he ran the wrong route and Roethlisberger was intercepted for a touchdown in a three-point loss at Cincinnati.

"You have to be a little more careful," Roethlisberger said about playing with rookies. "But those guys are good. You try not to put them in a situation to have to worry about it -- you know, those high balls and balls to the side, stuff like that; those are the ones that usually get tipped and picked. If you can try and put it on them, it usually eliminates that.

"Those guys are doing a good job of running the routes and doing the right things, so it makes it easier for me."

His sacks also are down this season, from 50 in 15 games last season (3.33 per game) to 32 in 12 games this season (2.67). That is a drop of nearly 20 percent, and, while Roethlisberger credits his line, there are other factors.

One, he has scrambled away from pressure more successfully this season. Roethlisberger ran 34 times for 176 yards, third most on the team. That is his second-highest rushing total of his career, exceeded only by his 204 in 2005. His 5.2-yard average per rush also is second only to his 5.8 of 2005. Last season, Roethlisberger ran 40 times for only 92 yards.

A second factor is his knack for getting rid of the ball more quickly. He acknowledges consciously trying to do that, and it especially seemed to work well the past two games.

"The line did a great job this week, especially picking up the blitzes and different things," Roethlisberger said. "But, if you get the ball out of your hands quick -- I took a couple of check-downs this week, and little things -- you get the ball to playmakers."

His coaches have noted in the past that many of Roethlisberger's sacks came not because of poor protection but because he holds the ball longer than most, trying to extend a play and find an open receiver.

"My style of play is to try to make a play, and that usually entails holding onto the ball," he said. "Sometimes, it works, sometimes it doesn't. Maybe this last game there weren't any real scramble pass plays. Maybe that's just the way the game worked out, that there wasn't any particular reason."

He finished with 3,200 yards passing, his fifth consecutive season over 3,000, extending his team record. His 97.0 passer rating was the fifth highest of his career and also represents the top five best in team history.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11005/1115570-66.stm#ixzz1ACSXeW5W

01-05-2011, 05:29 PM
It appears to me that Ben Roethlisberger is primed up to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to their Superbowl number 7. Just like on his jersey.
Cannot help it, I am a true believer, that likes to express himself.


01-05-2011, 05:37 PM
If the Steelers offense can play like it has the last 3 weeks even going back to the Jets game they lost where they still looked pretty good then they are going to be very very tough to beat in the playoffs. The offense it appears along with the o-line the last 3 weeks against the Jets,Panthers,and Browns has really appeared to hit it's stride and if they can carry that momentum going into the playoffs I dont care who they play they will be very very tough to knock out...

01-05-2011, 06:06 PM
Quite honestly the offense isn't really a big concern anymore, atleast not as big as it used to be. If Ben can continue to play like that, and there's no reason to think he can't if he gets protection, we'll be a beast in the post season. The better the protection is, the better Ben plays. Over the last month or so the protection has been continuously better each week and that translates into Ben and the offense moving the change and owning time of possession. I'm all for quick strike offensive plays like we saw last week, but I also really enjoy those clock eating drives. It's those types of drives that are so key in the playoffs. The more you can keep the other teams offense off the field the better.

01-05-2011, 07:25 PM
I noticed at home against Carolina the bulb seemed to turn on. He appeared to be reading the defense better and just had much more pocket awareness...

But I'm a homer so who knows! hahhahhahaahaahaha

01-05-2011, 07:55 PM
Well, with those Lester Hayes gloves he has on, he is the king of the pump fake. His receivers have been getting open and he hasn't been getting mauled the last 3 games or so.

Amazing how a QB progresses when he isn't running for his life on every play.

01-13-2011, 03:49 PM
Thursday, January 13, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

That four-game suspension NFL commissioner Roger Goodell delivered to Ben Roethlisberger to start the season might have had another effect that few could have anticipated. It helped to improve his throwing motion.

Roethlisberger took the month he could not appear at the Steelers' facility to work with quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr., and he tinkered with his delivery.

"He worked extremely hard when he was off on his accuracy and changed his motion a little bit, and it's paid off for him all season," said Bruce Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator.

"He shortened his delivery a little bit and worked extremely hard with George Whitfield in that time, and George helped him out fundamentally. It was kind of like a golfer changing his stroke, it was minor but he really gets it out faster."

A quicker release has been cited for Roethlisberger's career-low five interceptions and his 32 sacks, which, while not necessarily low over 12 games, represents an improvement over his previous four seasons.

Roethlisberger has not thrown an interception in his past 158 passes, or since the last time the Steelers played Baltimore, Dec. 5.

The quarterback explained that the delivery change was simple and one many quarterbacks use -- instead of holding the ball in two hands chest-high, he now brings it up closer to his chin, which results in less movement and a shorter windup.

"Holding the ball higher," Roethlisberger said, "helps me what [Whitfield] calls 'keeping it loaded' rather than keeping it down low where I used to hold it and then you have to wind up ... you get it out quicker."

Whitfield, who runs a private quarterback-training firm in San Diego, suggested the change to Roethlisberger when they began working together in September. He had used the same motion since high school, and no one suggested he change, likely because he had been so successful.

"I had heard of it before but I never did it because I didn't think it mattered," Roethlisberger said. "I tried it because I had a bad elbow problem, and it solved that problem, too. I don't know what it is, but my elbow doesn't seem to hurt as much."

Roethlisberger also learned to drive off his right leg more, although it became more difficult when his foot was broken.

"I just worked on being able to drive with that leg, pushing off a lot better. That's why the foot is such a big deal and, when it hurts, you can't drive into it well."

Roethlisberger said he had "a little setback" with his right foot Tuesday when it hurt him, but Wednesday it "felt great again.'' He said he will continue to wear his protective shoe and also wear the plexiglass visor to protect his broken nose long as he can see through the snow.

Through the suspension, his broken foot, his broken nose and the loss of both starting tackles, Roethlisberger has had what Arians said, "I think this is his best year."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11013/1117585-66.stm#ixzz1AwzuRbEP

01-14-2011, 02:03 PM
Friday, January 14, 2011
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amid the frightful images of Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed in Ben Roethlisberger's mind this week there is this happy thought:

"My agent is always passing on little things to me to give me a little extra motivation," Big Ben was saying the other day during a private moment in his corner of the Steelers' locker room. "He told me there's no one left in the playoffs this year who can catch me, but that I can still catch someone. I like that."

We're talking Super Bowls here. Roethlisberger won two in his first six seasons with the Steelers, making him one of just 10 quarterbacks in the 44-year history of the Super Bowl with multiple titles. Should he and the team make it three next month in Dallas at Super Bowl XLV, he would equal former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and the man he considers the NFL's best, the New England Patriots' Tom Brady. A little extra motivation? How about a lot?

"I might never win the passing title or be the league MVP," Roethlisberger said. "But I'm OK with that. I just want to win championships. I've got a lot of fingers left for rings and I want to win a lot more championships. When I'm done and they look back on my career, I want them to be able to say he won the big games. That will mean more to me than anything."

Roethlisberger will play in another of those big games Saturday when the Steelers meet the Ravens at Heinz Field. With all due respect to the Steelers' great defense, he's the No. 1 reason to like the home team. He and Brady are the best big-game quarterbacks of this generation.

"I love this time of year," Roethlisberger said. "All eyes are on you. It's win or go home, obviously. I welcome that. I relish that. I want the ball in my hands when the game's on the line."

The most recent pass Roethlisberger threw in a postseason game won Super Bowl XLIII after the 2008 season. It came at the end of an eight-play, 78-yard drive -- 88 yards if you account for a holding penalty against guard Chris Kemoeatu that left the Steelers facing first and 20 at their 12-- that was absolutely Elwayesque. His 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23.

"That's hard to fathom unless you've actually done it," Roethlisberger said. "That's something you dream about as a boy, driving your team down the field to win the big game. It's what you live for as a player. It's not like we ran it in. We threw it all the way down the field. That last one was a tough throw. It also was a great catch by 'Tone."

Roethlisberger is 8-2 as a postseason quarterback. The losses were to Brady and New England in the AFC championship game after his rookie season in 2004 "when I didn't know what to expect and played horrendously" and to Jacksonville after the 2007 season. Roethlisberger also is 8-2 against the Ravens and has beaten them six consecutive times. One of those wins came in the AFC championship game at Heinz Field after the 2008 season, a night when he hit Holmes with a 65-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 13-0 lead on their way to a 23-14 victory.

Roethlisberger has plenty of good memories of beating the Ravens. There was the game in Baltimore last month when, playing on a broken foot and after getting his nose broken early in the first quarter by a shot from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, he hit running back Isaac Redman for the winning 9-yard touchdown pass with 2:51 left. There was the game in Baltimore in 2008 when he found Holmes for the winning 4-yard touchdown with 43 seconds remaining. There was the game in Pittsburgh in 2007 when he threw five touchdown passes in the first half and finished with a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

"I guess the one that stands out is the pass to 'Tone down there," Roethlisberger said. "We started that drive inside our 10, if I remember right. To do that against that defense in that stadium with everything that was at stake ... "

Just about all of Pittsburgh is counting on Roethlisberger to provide more wonderful memories Saturday. I'm guessing he will show up for the 4:30 p.m. kickoff even if he said he would prefer not to play the Ravens "because they're that good." Certainly, his teammates are depending on him. They have great respect for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, but they think Roethlisberger gives them an edge at the most important position. They are right.

"I've seen and heard a few of the guys say, 'In 7 We Trust,' " Roethlisberger said. "That's an unbelievable honor. I don't take that for granted. But I do take that pressure. I want to be that guy for this team. I want to win for my teammates."

It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

In 7 We Trust ...

I can't think of a quarterback I'd trust more this time of year.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11014/1117833-87.stm#ixzz1B2PmdtUo

01-14-2011, 02:23 PM
Starting to feel good!!!!