Ben Roethlisberger Says He\’s Not Going To Change His Game

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger met the media on Wednesday following the morning mini-camp practice and answered questions about his age, style of play, the offense and of course Mike Wallace.

The Steelers quarterback was asked if anyone has every told him in the past to just go down and take a hit or run out of bounds. “Yeah, all the time. My mom, my wife, my grandma,” said Roethlisberger. He was next asked if changing his game by taking less chances is part of protecting him more this upcoming season. “I\’m not going to change my game,” said Roethlisberger. “Coach can do what he wants to add protection and do things like that, but I\’m going to play the game the way I know how. It\’s worked OK for me so far.” When asked specifically if there was anything that he can do this year to stay healthier, Roethlisberger said, “Nah, I haven\’t even thought about that yet. I don\’t think there\’s this big revelation like I need to do this, or do that. It\’s just, don\’t take hits, but I don\’t know how not to do that.”

The remarks made by Roethlisberger are not too surprising as he is telling the truth when he says that is the only way he knows how to play the game. Since being drafted by the Steelers, Roethlisberger has shown his ability to extend a play like no other quarterback currently in the league. During his eight years in the league he has 363 completions that have gone for 20 yards or more and owns a career third down completion rate of 61%. To go along with that, he also owns a 47% successful play rate on third downs when he passes.

Now not all those stats were from extending the play or holding onto the ball longer than he should, but a good chunk of that success is attributed to just that. Unfortunately the gift that the 30 year-old quarterback has, combined with less than stellar offensive line over the years, has resulted in him taking 314 regular season sacks. These sacks, or near-sacks at times, have taken a toll on him physically. Most recently it was the ankle injury he suffered against the Browns last year that took the biggest toll on Roethlisberger. Although he only missed one game as a result of it, it severely limited his mobility and his accuracy.

Roethlisberger noted today that the new offense being installed by new offensive coordinator Todd Haley will give him the ability to check down to his running backs more, should the need arise. That is not the first time we have heard that this off-season and it likely will not be the last either.

While the Steelers have stocked up on offensive linemen via the draft the last few years, you can bet that Haley likely intends to get Roethlisberger to get rid of the ball more quickly than he has done in the past. This plays into the comments made by Art Rooney II after the 2011 season, in which he said that his star quarterback needs to tweak his game. Part of that tweaking looks to come in the form of the offense trying better to establish a successful running game early on. Roethlisberger has mentioned as much in previous interviews, even though he seems against the notion of running more.

It will be interesting to see just how much Roethlisberger attempts to extend plays this upcoming season and what the response is, if any, from Haley, who has done a good job over the years with the Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs at keeping the sacks down. Of course he has never had a quarterback like Roethlisberger that has made a solid career out of extending plays and taking hits. Something has to give here, one would think.

  • Cols714

    Good for him. He’s gotten to 3 Super Bowls doing it this way, I see no reason for him to change.

  • Jprankster2005

    I don’t want him to change, The way he makes plays last longer are some of the main reasons we have been so good….. I think with a better O line, He can make those same plays without getting hit as much…………

  • RIP

    I agree, Ben has to be Ben but I hope he his sacked a lot less. He get hit a lot and that should stop

  • Phantaskippy

    Every QB alters his game as he ages. Either by choice or from necessity.

    Ben will either stop getting hit or stop being able to make those plays, you can’t keep shrugging off injuries forever.

  • Steel Hurtin

    Ben is a great qb, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I look for him to lead us back to another 2 superbowls!!

  • SteelersBall

    I am changing my screen name fromSteelersBall to Steel-Balling in honor of Ben. I hope Haley doesn’t take the broken/extended play training out of the playbook.

  • Jefferson St. Joe

    Its fair to ask him to improve some parts of his game, but asinine to ask him to change it.

    Example: I think he can improve his pre-snap reads so he better knows where to look and what to read when the play starts. This will result in the ball coming out faster and him getting hit less.

    But; if the play breaks down; if the defense isn’t giving him what he read, if the offense needs bigger chunks; we want him extending plays and taking big chunks out of the defense.

  • Harold

    THIS (right here) is the reason why the Rooneys brought in Todd Haley. Bruce Arians had lost control of Ben. They had to protect their franchise QB. You don’t do that by changing his style of play. You do that by calling smarter plays. By putting Ben in a situation where his WR’s get open quickly. So that he CAN get rid of the ball quickly. Ben is not saying he’s going to revolt against Haley’s play calling and go rogue on every passing down. He’s saying if nobody’s open his instincts are going to kick in and he’s going to scramble. And I don’t want to change that about Ben.

    Also, our interior OL talent level just improved dramatically. That should allow Ben to see the field better and step up in the pocket (rather than fleeing outside). So many times, Ben had no chance. Pressure just pouring in. Immediately. Up the middle.

    Ben will be fine. He’s a team guy. He’s not going to mutiny. Once Haley’s plays start working and the Steelers start scoring more points and winning, Ben is going to be the happiest guy in the world.

  • ben is only 30. Its not like he is 35 or 36 like Brady and Manning.

  • asmitty56

    Go ahead Ben don’t change your game. Hopefully you won’t have to run around anyways. But damn it if you get sacked and there is an open dump off pass to an RB so help me..

  • asmitty56

    That being said, some pieces of his interview was sarcastic which he is pretty known for to get back at the media. ex.. Ben saying he doesn’t know how not to take hits.

  • PoKey21

    He Shouldnt Change! And NO ONE should try to make him Change! His style is to keep the play alive as absolutely long as he can. For the most part he gets the job done. Granted he does take hits, which is a problem. I dont know if its teachable, but he needs to work on his awareness. He hurt his ankle by getting tackled from behind. Once he sees a player go by he needs to know hes not fast enough to make it to far before hes caught. Other players need to be screaming and warning him (if at all possible). I dont think he needs a quicker release, but he does need to remember where all the safety outlets are on each passing play, especially in a new offense. I would say he gets the most beat up when the pocket just collapses on him due to the weak Oline. So most of all I think the young Olinemen need to grasp the system, and gel together fast. If all those things are accomplished Big Ben wouldnt even get hit a quarter of what he does.