The League

Dawn Knight
Author

Dawn Knight

The author of Taliaferro: Breaking Barriers and a high school English teacher.

Big Ben, whatever

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Although he was found not guilty of sexual misconduct this summer, it was not the first time Ben Roethlisberger's choices brought unwanted negative attention to himself and to his team. Like Roger Goodell, I think Roethlisberger's behavior in Georgia this summer was bad enough to warrant a six-game suspension.

That suspension, which was reduced to four games for good behavior, will be up on October 17, when the Steelers play rival Cleveland. Already 3-0 without their starting QB, Roethlisberger's return is highly anticipated. But I have to wonder what difference he will actually make. A good quarterback, I'd never put him in the great category. He's not a Peyton Manning or Drew Brees: quarterbacks whose presence is vital to their team's success. I don't doubt that the Steelers will have a strong showing this year, but that would also be the case with Charlie Batch or Dennis Dixon at the helm - or my fellow Indiana University alum Antwaan Randle El, who played QB for the Hoosiers.

The Steelers are made up of strong players on both sides of the ball, players like Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward, who will continue to power the offense; and defensive anchors like Troy Polamalu, whose million-dollar locks are a Steel Curtain trademark. These players have already demonstrated the Steelers power this year. Roethlisberger's return will do little to change that.

By Dawn Knight  |  September 28, 2010; 8:50 AM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Roethlisberger's good but not great? Not a Manning or Brees? Please. He's won the same number of Super Bowl's as these two guys combined. And Roethilisberger's presence isn't vital to his team's success? Do you actually think the Steelers can win a Super Bowl with Batch or Dixon "at the helm"? I like Charlie in there, but Roethlisberger DOES make that much of a difference. And of course the Steelers are made up of strong players on both sides of the ball. When did Manning and Brees start playing a starring role on defence for their respective teams? Did they win their Super Bowls totally on their own? How many Super Bowls must Roethlisberger win in order to be considered in the "elite" category with Brees and Manning? How many times have Brees or Manning led a Super Bowl-winning drive like Roethlisberger's final drive against the Cardinals? Why isn't that drive considered "legendary" like Elway's one against the Browns (not even a Super Bowl game of course), or Montana's against the Cowboys? Ben's "drive" occurred in the biggest game, and on the biggest stage of all. And does either of Manning or Brees have Roethlisber's elusiveness that extends plays into positive yardage? Manning's obviously a great quarterback, but why does no one ever criticize him for his "happy feet" back there? He sometimes looks like he's holding a grenade with the pin pulled, and not sure what to do with it. But the criticism for Ben (or lack of respect) is never in short supply it seems. And Roethlisberger's return will of course make a major difference to the Steelers' success this year. His production on offense will relieve some of the pressure on his defence by sustaining ball control, and produce more touchdowns on a consistent basis, obviously allowing his defence and special teams more room for error when all is said and done. For anyone to say he's not a "great" quarterback in the "elite" quarterback only proves you simply haven't been paying attention to what he's already accomplished in his football career, and to say his return will have little impact in a positive way for the Steelers is beyond belief.

Posted by: steelerssuperbowl7 | September 28, 2010 10:07 AM

Um, Dawn, sweetheart, Ben was not found "not guilty", because he never went to trial. Learn the law.

How vital was Peyton Manning when he won his Super Bowl ring? Pull those games up?

Um, no, they won't win a Super Bowl with Dixon, Batch, or Randle El at quarterback. Use your brain, OK?

Posted by: keithjfro | September 28, 2010 11:32 AM

So Dawn is teaching children and yet she can't do enough research for a blog on a newspaper site to present factual commentary?

Roethlisberger was never charged, so there was no need to find him "not guilty". In fact, according to the Georgia D.A., there was not enough probable cause to determine that a crime had even been committed. Dawn, you can actually look that up on the internet - it's not that difficult.

As for your comparisons of Roethlisberger to Manning and Brees, I think the more knowledgeable gentleman who posted above said it best.

Posted by: Celt1798 | September 28, 2010 2:55 PM

I would take Ben over any of the above mentioned QB's. There are quite a few top QB's. He is a big time QB with size, mobility and a gun of an arm.

Ben has served his time and was not even arrested. Time to put that crap to rest and start chuckin the ball.

Oh yea, and one hell of a defense. It is a team game, last time I looked.

Posted by: ballgame21 | September 29, 2010 12:58 PM

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