The League

Shawn Zobel
Draft Guru

Shawn Zobel

The founder and editor of Draft

Bank on Big Ben


In each of their Super Bowl Championship seasons, both Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu proved that they were the key player to their respective side of the ball for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both players, while not the flashiest or the prettiest, are the type of hard-nosed, scrappy football players that the Steelers have built their franchise around. In back-to-back years, 2003-2004, Polamalu and Roethlisberger were taken with Pittsburgh's first round picks in each respective draft. Both are hard-working, instinctive players who don't go out of their way to be in the limelight, but rather let their play on the field speak for itself.

Each player has had an overwhelming impact on the Steelers' Super Bowl wins. However, when trying to decide which player means more to his team, you have to consider how the team would function without each player. As shown on Thursday night, the Steelers' defense was still able to function when Polamalu went out with an injury, and while obviously not at the same level, the defense could have remained a strong unit without him. Polamalu made some fantastic plays at the beginning of the game, but the rest of the defense stayed formidable when he left and Tyrone Carter filled in to help the Steelers win the game.

In looking at what would happen without Roethlisberger, the outcome wouldn't appear to be a bright one. Whether it's with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon filling in for him, neither quarterback is anywhere near the level that Roethlisberger is on. On Thursday night, Ben carried the Steelers to victory as Pittsburgh's running game was virtually non-existent for the entire night. With their third-string running back taking the majority of the work in the second half, it was on Roethlisberger to win the game for the team. His 363 yards through the air proves just how valuable he was to the team. He and his arm are the reason that the team won.

Now, without Roethlisberger, would the Steelers have won the game on Thursday night? Very likely, no. However, they were able to win without Polamalu. Without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh's offense would be stagnant and un-productive. However, without Polamalu, the defense would still be formidable and capable of shutting down its opponent. While the supporting cast does play a role in whichever player were to be replaced, it was obvious last night that Ben Roethlisberger is more valuable to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

By Shawn Zobel  |  September 11, 2009; 12:49 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers , Quarterbacks , Tennessee Titans Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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