Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday, and he was asked a couple of times by the local media there to give his thoughts on the success last season of the young mobile quarterbacks in the league such as Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins.
“Well, it seems to be a popular question to ask older quarterbacks and to me, I say, congratulations on a great first year,” said Roethlisberger during a radio interview with Diarmuid Byrne. “I want to see if they can sustain that consistent level of play, because it’s not easy in this league. Defenses are good, and we have good coordinators that figure players out and so if they can continue to do that, then great for them.”
In a totally separate interview, Roethlisberger was again asked a similar question as it pertains to the league seemingly shifting to more athletic quarterbacks and once again, the Steelers quarterback let it be known that the game is still about being able to throw the football.
“Yeah, that’s the new fad right now, but it never seems to last,” Roethlisberger told Gavin Cummiskey of The Irish Times. “You look at Cam Newton in his rookie year, and he was the greatest thing in the world, but defenses figure you out. You’ve got to stay healthy. As much as it looks good, the Colin Kaepernicks, the RG3s and these guys that run the ball a lot, you don’t have many quarterbacks who have lasted 10, 12 years who are running quarterbacks.
“There is a difference between mobile quarterbacks and being a runner. They get hit a lot. Robert Griffin’s last injury happened when he went to pick the ball up, no one even touched him. That just shows you that to sustain that level of running is going to be hard. It’s still a passing league. Quarterbacks have got to be able to throw the ball.”
So does Roethlisberger consider himself a runner? Absolutely not.
“I wouldn\’t call myself a runner,” he said. “I\’d call myself a mobile quarterback. Its a little different, but it\’s just sometimes for me it\’s about extending the play, because I can\’t give up on the play. My competitive nature, which I think I got from my dad, is just not being able to give up, and so I just want to do everything to help our team win.”
This is the second time since the 2012 season that Roethlisberger has been asked about the success that the young quarterbacks had during their rookie seasons, and he has been consistent with his answers. There is no doubt that Griffin will certainly have to rely more on his arm now that he is coming off of a serious knee injury, and Roethlisberger is right when he says that running quarterbacks generally don\’t have long careers.
Sure, Roethlisberger has taken a lot of hits over the years himself and that is obviously a concern that has been addressed when the team hired Todd Haley to be the offensive coordinator in 2012.
Roethlisberger was asked how his body is currently feeling now as he heads into his 10th season and for the second day in a row he said he feels great.
“Its good,” said Roethlisberger. “It actually feels better than it has in a long time. My knee was bothering for the last couple of years, so now that we\’ve gotten that taken care of it feels better than it has in a couple of years. So I would say that I\’m healthier than I\’ve been in a couple of years.”
As far as the shoulder and rib injury that he suffered last year, Roethlisberger said that while it was certainly painful, the ankle injury that he played with in 2011 was even worse.
“Last year the shoulder was pretty bad but two years ago the high ankle strain was one of the most painful things I ever dealt with,” he said. “It’s hard to play quarterback when you can’t walk. We did get to the playoffs, and I had to wear a huge splint all the way up my leg. It was just uncomfortable.”
Now that Roethlisberger is done with playing ambassador for the league overseas the last few days he will now return to Pittsburgh to prepare for training camp which gets underway in three weeks.