The great film guru Greg Cosell posted on Tuesday about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the changes he has seen in his game from 2007 to last season.
Cosell notes first the escapability of Roethlisberger, which he has become so well known for over the years. Cosell describes the Steelers signal caller as "just plain ol’ country strong" and I think any Steeler fan can relate very well to that description.
Cosell goes on to say that during his film study of Roethlisberger in January of 2009, which encompassed all of his throws from the 2007 and 2008 seasons, that he noticed the game of the quarterback was "uneven". What he means by that relates to the pre snap reads that Roethlisberger made during those two seasons. When Roethlisberger read the defense correctly during pre snap, he was solid with his rhythm, timing and accuracy. When he seemed like he wasn\'t sure pre snap, it led to him being reactionary and relying on his instincts and ability more.
Cosell goes on to note that Roethlisberger has improved over the course of the last two seasons with his pre snap reads, and it has led to him being more disciplined in the pocket as a result. He calls the game of Roethlisberger more consistent now and less random.
Cosell goes on to note that he charted all 60 of Roethlisberger’s pass plays of 20 yards or more from last season and that he found only five of those 60 came outside of the pocket. Although Roethlisberger does own a strong arm, Cosell notes that he also possesses just the right amount of touch as well.
In summation Cosell thinks that moving forward that Roethlisberger will be a more mature and disciplined quarterback, and that we will see less of the sandlot style that has been his signature in years past. Basically because of his ability to make better reads pre snap and his ability to stay inside the pocket and throw with accuracy.
Roethlisberger stated during mini camp that he has no intentions of changing his game going forward. While his pre snap reads have improved, his biggest chore will be translating what he sees to the new offense of Todd Haley. He also has voiced his displeasure of having to learn something new as he is right in the middle of the prime years of his career, but he has no choice but to accept it and move forward now.
As Roethlisberger makes the transition in the new offense, he figures to have the running backs more at his disposal for check downs this year than he has in years past. Instead of trying to extend plays as much as he has in the past, he will be asked to go through his progressions and dump the ball off if nothing is to his liking. The biggest thing the Steelers hope for moving forward, is to lessen the amount of sacks and unnecessary hits that Roethlisberger takes.
Make no mistake, we will still get to see that plain ol’ country strength of Roethlisberger from time to time, as well as him moving outside the pocket to make big plays. If Cosell is right and Haley has his way though, we will not likely see it as much as we have seen in seasons\' past.