Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Wants To See If Young QB\’s Can Follow Up Their Rookie Seasons

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took the league by storm as a rookie in 2004 when he rattled off 14 straight wins as a starter after Tommy Maddox went down injured in the second game of the season. Despite losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game that season, Roethlisberger showed that his rookie season wasn\’t a mirage as he led the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl championship in only his second season in the league.

Now, at 31 years of age and entering his 10th season in the league, Roethlisberger said in an interview on Thursday that he wants to wait and see if those young quarterbacks can do it again in their second season before he lavishes each of them with high praise.

“People ask me all the time about these young quarterbacks,” Roethlisberger told the USA Today after wrapping up his first OTA session of the 2013 season on Thursday. “Let\’s wait. One year does not mean a lot in this league. Let\’s see what happens in two, three years.

“I\’m not trying to take anything away from them. I think they did some great things last year, and they all have the potential to be great quarterbacks. But you don\’t want people to jump on their bandwagon so fast and put so much pressure on them to live up to those expectations. My advice to them is to keep doing what you\’re doing, playing as hard as you can because people will keep trying to build you up and it could get tough.”

As Jarrett Bell points out in the article, the young quarterbacks that Roethlisberger was referring to are of course Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. Three of those quarterbacks led their respective teams to the playoffs as rookies in 2012 with Kaepernick leading the San Francisco 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Ravens in his second season, but first as a starter.

While the selected quotes certainly make Roethlisberger come off as a grumpy old quarterback that is shaking his fist at the younger quarterbacks playing in his front yard, I think that the Steelers quarterback is just trying to keep them all grounded and keep everything in perspective. Context is everything, however, and unfortunately we don\’t have the full audio or transcript of the interview to objectively judge the comments. Like it or not, others already are.

Although the Top 100 Players of 2013 show that is currently airing weekly on the NFL Network means absolutely nothing, we already know that Roethlisberger was ranked the 12th overall quarterback on the list this year. Of the four other quarterbacks listed above, the only one that ranked lower than Roethlisberger is Kaepernick. Perhaps that is what has the Steelers quarterback a little miffed, but we are only speculating. If he is indeed miffed, he has a right to be.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Stephen Dale

    Ben makes a valid point. It helps when a Q-back has a solid team around him, too.

  • mem359

    I’m sure that some writers will try to make a mountain out of this molehill.

    The NFL is all about adjustments. Remember how a while back defenses couldn’t stop the wildcat for a week or two, and then they could? Ben is just pointing out that with more tape on these young QBs, they could see a lot less success this year compared to last.

  • steeltown

    I think Russell Wilson was a great story last season, but he’s right… I think the League, the fans and the media are enamored with rookie QB’s.. look at Cam Newton he was the biggest and best thing to come out of college after his rookie campaign, then a year later, nowhere to be found in the media, no one was talking about him because Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson were playing well… lets see what happens in 2013 and 2014 with these young guys

  • dgh57

    They all have to worry about the so called Sophomore Jinx!! LOL!!!

    Of the 4 QBs mentioned I would say RG3 & Luck would have the hardest time repeating last year because they don’t have as good a team surround them that Kaepernick & Wilson do. But you never know anything can happen!

  • Steve

    Kaepernick’s top WR is gone, wots of wuck. Lets see in a few years if any of them are still around.

  • Steve

    It helps when a QB has a good O line and running game which the Steelers had neither last year.

  • steeltown

    I sort of agree.. I think the Colts were riding a lot of emotions last season. Not to say Luck isn’t a good QB because he sure appears to be.. and I think Wilson is the real deal and that Team is pretty young and talented, tough Division though

  • Sylky_Mcnasty

    Kaepernick wasnt a rookie nor is he currently subject to a sophomore jinx. Why is he being addressed in this discussion. Kaepernick had a season & half of practice before becoming a starter. Not a fair comparison.

  • steeltown

    yea, I think people forget that

  • Sylky_Mcnasty

    Last I checked, there were ONLY 4 Rookie QBs last year that started. Tannehill, Wilson, Griffin, & Luck.

  • dgh57

    Good thing they traded for Anquan Boldin, drafted WR Quinton Patton, and TE Vance McDonald to make up their loss!

  • Sylky_Mcnasty

    Plus lets not discount that they have a 1st Rd WR on the roster in AJ Jenkins. They have guys who may not be as highly acclaimed but they arent going to field a WR Corp that lacks talent. As well as the fact that they have RBs for days and have one that might line up at WR from time to time.

  • SteelersDepot

    Michael Walsh above must have forgotten the Steelers playoff win in 2004. Shall we forgive him?

  • SteelersDepot

    Ahem, Kaepernick started 7 games last year during the regular season. Did you miss that?

  • Jon Crissinger

    And Cousins. But yes Kaepernick was in his second year

  • Jon Crissinger

    I think he was trying to point out Kaepernick wasn’t a rookie

  • Sylky_Mcnasty

    Kaepernick was drafted in 2011….so yea.

  • Sylky_Mcnasty

    Ah yes I forgot that Kirk started one game after he had that comeback victory when RGIII was concussed. Poor Cousins. He will have a sophmore slump and it wont be his fault.

  • westcoasteeler

    No way…

  • JC

    Ben is right. The fans and media are so quick to crown a young QB as an elite player. The only young QB I can say with certainty will be an elite QB for the next decade is Andrew Luck. He’s intelligent, accurate, and doesn’t rely on his legs to win. RGIII scares me because he takes too many hits trying to run. Wilson and Kaepernick play for teams with elite talent but we’ll see if they can sustain their success.

  • JC

    100% agree.