Motivation for Ben Just Keeps Mounting

Ben Roethlisberger could play this weekHe’s hurt all the time. He hasn’t had a fourth quarter comeback in forever. It was his fault Mike Wallace left because he couldn’t throw it deep enough for him. He makes the wrong audibles. He was too ‘chummy’ with Bruce Arians and he is clearly the reason the team lost Super Bowl XLV and went 8-8 last year.

Ben Roethlisberger is a lot of things, but he isn’t Atlas. He is a human being after all and after being hailed as the savior of the beloved Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise in 2004, he’s delivered on the field more often than not but yet his issues off the field still resonate with people which I find sad.

Some of what I mentioned in the opening is true. Roethlisberger cost his team at the end of games in Dallas and at home against Cincinnati with late game interceptions. While there were moments in each of those games where other Steelers certainly had a hand in the failings of the team, Roethlisberger is the QB and as such either gets the credit or gets the blame and he clearly fell into the latter.

I always find myself having to defend Roethlisberger on a periodic basis like this because there are so many who just love to pile on him for a myriad of reasons and often without much in the way of facts to support them.

Roethlisberger was having a Pro-Bowl caliber season before getting hurt against the Chiefs last year. He still ended up throwing 26 touchdowns to just eight interceptions and had a passer rating of 97 which was more than four points higher than his career average.

I often wonder if the injury that he sustained wasn’t as much mentally destructive as it was physically. Newly married and with a baby just under two weeks away, perhaps the sense of mortality was a factor and I can’t argue that one bit. No business of mine the way a person feels at a certain time so I can’t hold that against him.

Of course he received the usual ‘drama queen’ moniker when he revealed how serious the injury was but I’m pretty sure he could have cared less. He has often been ‘over the top’ but again, I’ll take it with everything else he brings to the table.

This week the NFL Network named Roethlisberger the 61st best player in the league as they count down their Top 100 which is so subjective it isn’t even funny. Honestly, I really could care less about these rankings because they are nothing more than an attempt to get people to pay attention to the NFLN between the draft and the pre-season.

For Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, I hope the list serves as one thing and that would be motivation. How much more can this guy be slighted by the so-called ‘experts’ before he just gives up? Maybe he has already and I couldn’t blame him. People hold grudges a long time and that’s their prerogative but for some reason perfection is expected of Roethlisberger but not everyone else. Welcome to being a QB in the NFL right?

This is year two now of the Todd Haley offense. There can no longer be any excuses made about the wrong audibles and whether or not Haley and Roethlisberger are ‘getting along.’ ¬†Go play the damn game and get over it. Roethlisberger only has so much time left in his career and should not waste it being pissed that Bruce Arians is no longer there. Leave that to the fans.

The motivational factors for Roethlisberger heading into this season are mounting. From the hated Ravens winning the Super Bowl behind Joe Flacco to the lack of respect from around the league and the drafting of his “successor”, Roethlisberger should have plenty of fuel for his motivational fire.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.


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7 comments on “Motivation for Ben Just Keeps Mounting

  1. Good article.

    I, too, have always felt that the entire world does not give this guy (Roethlisberger) the proper credit he deserves as a football player. It’s pretty amazing to me, really.

    Sidenote: The common phrase is “couldn’t care less”, not ‘could care less’. Just for future reference.


  2. Ben doesn’t get enough credit which in my opinion is a shame. But it started when he was a rookie, when the Steelers were 15 and 1, the trainer got more credit that year then Ben. It was all about the Defense and the Bus, not taking anything away from them but if you think Tommy M was taking them to 10 and 6 that year, you would have to be Tommy Guns Mama, because until Ben trotted out that year we were looking at a high draft pick. It wasn’t the Jaw, or simplification of the offense Ben made plays. Fast forward to the next year we win the super bowl Ben has a bad game in the SB but we won. But the three games prior all road games as the sixth seed Ben was lights out, up until that point no other QB had a better rating in the postseason for three games, btw that was only year two. Then we have the bike injury this hurt his legacy if you will but it shouldn’t have along with other unproven claims that I won’t bring up. Then we have the super bowl against the cards, in that game Ben was lights out and should have been the MVP but once again politics. The last few years Ben’s QB rating stays between 90 and 100 with a suspect line for the most part. Ben could retire now and he should be in the Hall of Fame, his whole career has been about winning and if he stays healthy he will continue to do so. So Ben if your out there buddy start throwing the freaking ball away every once in a while.

  3. Ben is 61st best player in NFL in 2012 ????
    How ???
    He led a mediocre team to a mediocre season, missed games, threw INTs late in season to lose playoff chances. Credit where its due, and blame where its due. I’m not convinced his 2012 should have earned a spot in top 100 at all.

    • If the list of the top 100 players is based soley on 2012, I would still have Roethlisberger in the rankings. If it is based upon career to this point, it’s a no-brainer.

      Yes the Steelers were 2-3. Ben didn’t give up 34 points to Oakland, didn’t blow a 4th quarter lead in Denver and didn’t give up 26 to Tennessee though, but God forbid we ever blame LeBeau for anything. BR still threw for 3,200+ yards, 26 TDs and eight picks. Pretty damn good for a guy dealing with prima donna receivers and one helluva tight end. He was also the highest rated passer on third downs as well prior to the injury. My article does not give Roethlisberger a pass however. I flat-out said he has to play better in the fourth quarter and can’t turn the ball over as he did but blaming him for the 8-8 season is not seeing the real issues of the 2012 team.

  4. PS: I keep hearing how the big guy was having a pro bowl caliber season til he got hurt. After 5 games, the Steelers were 2-3 with losses to Titans and Raiders. Then they won 4 in a row. Cool. Next was 5 losses out of 6 games. Where do you see a Pro Bowl leader ????

  5. Hey “Pops”

    Love to debate Ben with you, and I do back up my points. Ben let this team down last year, peiod. He’s a selfish me first athlete, and if he wasn’t a “QB” with a 100 million dollar contract, he would have been gone long ago. He’s embarrassed this franchise several times, and I guarantee you the Rooneys haven’t “forgiven” him completely.

    Every time he gets in front of a camera its inevitable he’s going to give some back handed compliment to one of his agendas, ahem….Haley.

    Once the media labeled Bens offense “dink and dunk” …Ben made sure that he wouldn’t allow it, not in his offense..

    He made comments at or around the dallas game last year, “we need to go downfield more” “Haleys offense isn’t a big play offense” “its more dink and dunK”

    Several times he let the media know, mostly unprovoked “I WILL NOT CHANGE”

    This is selfish, and ignorant..Haleys changes aren’t black and white, nor are the Rooneys desires. They are merely playing the odds, using their brains and coming to the conclusion that Ben can’t last a season holding the ball every time a WR isn’t open immediatley. He will not finish a season, period. Ben hasn’t improved an area that could help this on his own…Throwing the ball when its supposed to be thrown, to a spot, timing/accuracy routes. He doesn’t do it on all throws, he doesnt’ trust myself. and if you or anyone disagrees with this you don’t watch football or Ben play. Or you don’t understand the game. I havent missed one snap in Bens career. He would rather wait for a reciever to break open, after the inital route, than trust his arm and brain to get the ball to a semi covered wr. It is what it is, thats Ben, he chooses to go with what god gave him in both the body department, and brain department, choosing not to improve neither. He’s content. Well I’m not, as a fan of this team and as diehard as anyone, I’m a little annoyed with his lacksadaisy tude’…He could be the best of this era if he put the time, and effort in to improve. The problem is, he doesn’t believe he needs to, and ignorant fans that don’t know the game don’t have anything else to go off of and back Ben on everything.

    I’ll own all day everyday on this subject “Pops”, and twice on Sundays.

    • Not sure when I became ‘Pops’ but Ive been called worse… You’re absolutely correct in that you can debate me all day on this subject. You appear to be a smart guy with good football knowledge and insight so at best we’ll end up in a stalemate. I openly admitted in the article that Ben has to play better. He cost the team two games down the stretch plain and simple. I don’t deny it one bit. When he plays well, I write it and when he doesn’t I write it.

      Ben has never been a classic quarterback and this is where people like yourself often go within the debate over him. He’s a sandlot QB and the Steelers knew it when they drafted him. Exactly why Cowher wanted Rivers. Here’s the problem for the Ben-haters though, would you rather have been playing muscial QBs the last nine years and still be sitting here with four rings or have Ben? Its the same question that will be asked when he’s gone and once again there will Mark Malones and Bubby Bristers at the helm until we find another franchise QB.

      Yes, he embarrassed the organization. I’ve never denied that and I will never condone his behavior one bit. If the Rooneys have not forgiven his actions then that’s their business. Ben has never been accused of being the most quality individual in the locker room or anywhere else for that matter but there are plenty of other Steelers who are far from qulaity individuals as well. DO they get a pass because they aren’t the QB?

      I’m always open for debate. It’s part of why I do this. I love the Steelers and I know you do as well. That doesn’t mean we’ll agree or disagree on everything but such is the nature of the beast. Respectfully, ‘Pops’

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