Bill Polian Says Ben Roethlisberger’s Performance Against The Vikings Was ‘Phenomenal’

Bill Polian has been around the NFL for quite some time and has seen his share of a quarterback play both good and bad over the years. During a Thursday morning segment on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Polian praised the performance that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger put on Sunday in London in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

“Ben Roethlisberger put on the greatest single individual display, south of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and Drew Brees, that I have seen in a long time, maybe in my entire career. I mean he was just phenomenal,” said Polian. “He avoided or shrugged off at least four sacks. He made plays down the field that were unbelievable. He was under duress all night from snap one.”

Despite being sacked five times in the game, Roethlisberger completed 36-of-51 passes in the game for 383 yards and a touchdown. In addition, he had the offense just six yards away from tying the game with 19 seconds left before succumbing to the final sack that thwarted the comeback.

“The fact that they were one play away from tying the game tells you a heck of a lot about his competitiveness and his toughness, and his ability to make plays,” Polian added.

Polian really isn’t telling Steelers fans anything new as it relates to Roethlisberger, but he did share his thoughts on rookie running back Le’Veon Bell during the interview and they were good ones.

“On a positive side, the young running back from Michigan State came in and did awfully well, and really gives them hope for the future,” the former NFL team president and general manager said. “He’s a lot better than I thought he was looking at him on film. I had not seen him live last year – saw him as an underclassmen live, but I hadn’t seen him live last year.

“He’s got good feet and good vision, and great finish, and great size. He’s going to be the kind of back that they want.”

In addition to praising both Roethlisberger and Bell, Polian was critical of the Steelers offensive line during the interview and said that it is in “shambles” right now, and that left tackle Mike Adams couldn’t block anybody from the start.

You can hear all of Polian’s thoughts on the Steelers in the audio below.

  • James Kling

    Polian puts his finger on what Colbert appears to be blind to: protecting your franchise QB. Maybe we should swap them and let Colbert be an ESPN analyst?

  • Bob Loblaw

    This makes no sense. This was the guy who was fired because his team went 2-14 after their QB went down.

  • RW

    Your name is amazing.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    He’s stating what we already knew. Great game by an individual doesn’t result us in a gain in win column.

    Also for those who felt like Polian could do a better job than Colbert- remember Polian may be a respectable GM in his time but it is a lot easier said than when you are in a high class-end franchise and you are 0-4, under a lot of pressure. Finances and lack of development. Bottom-line is that Colbert may be an idiot when it come to O-line developments/scutings but he sure have succeed with every other positions on our team. I call this his “kryponite” when it come to certain area.

    Patriots have their secondary. Packers have their LBs. Heck Broncos couldn’t draft for jack when it come to offensive playmakers so they had to bring in Peyton Manning!

  • Jeff

    It’s not that he’s been blind to it. Offensive line has been a pretty big priority in the draft over the last several years. The talent, development, and execution just isn’t there right now.

  • mlc43

    I would agree with this if that QB wasn’t Peyton Manning.

  • Bilgewater D


    Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas, Eddie Royal, Brandon Marshall just to name a few.

    I think these players qualify as play makers even before Peyton came to Denver.

    What they couldn’t do was replace Elway, hence Peyton.

  • James Kling

    True. Taking Gilbert and Adams in R2 was pretty foolish, IMO. We can hope they improve, but wishing doesn’t make it so…

  • Jeff

    “but wishing doesn’t make it so…”
    Damn, I ‘wish’ it did… heyoooooo

  • Bob Loblaw

    There’s no denying that Manning is one of the best quarterbacks ever. Still doesn’t excuse the relative lack of talent that was exposed after Manning went down. There’s a reason Polian is an ESPN analyst right now and not a GM for a team.

    Also doesn’t make sense to get rid of a GM who is widely recognized as one of the best in the league simply because of a bad start to a season.

  • Bob Loblaw

    At the same time, if we hadn’t drafted those two, there’s no telling who might be manning those positions right now. It’s easy to say Gilbert and Adams shouldn’t have been picked where they were when they’re not performing well, but at the time to ignore the need would have made even less sense.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Decker and Royal both are system receivers. Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall, yes you are right, both are great playmakers but how long did it took them to become one?

    Seriously just look toward draft since Cutler got drafted. Bust receivers, tight ends, AND running backs.

    Heck they drafted frickin Tim Tebow!

    Thought you’d get the gist of my point, guess not.

  • treeher

    Remember, if it wasn’t for the Mary j’wanna? Adams had been projected as a first rounder …

  • mlc43

    Nope, you lose a Peyton Manning with no viable back up and you are doomed to have the season they had. They turned it around mighty quick as well.

    As far as our team goes, there has been some horrible team management lately. Anyone that didn’t see this season coming had big blinders on. Sad thing is, there isn’t a possibility of a quick turn around like in Indy.

  • cencalsteeler

    I would not go as far as to say his play was phenomenal. Good maybe, but not phenomenal.

  • DoctorNoah

    I would really like an article attempting to explain how it is that Mike Adams was chosen by this team in the first place. Play after play it was as if he gave up on the block as soon as they happened. I would love a real breakdown of this. It’s just incomprehensible.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    In a theory, again just a theory of mine… arguementative that the rise in playing performance of our secondary has a lot to do with our wide receivers. When you go into mini-camp, training camp, and especially practices you grow and become better from the quality of position you are liable for. Problem with our evaluation truly goes with no saying needed, our lack of pass-rushing.

    I mean go figure! The Cardinals and Bruce Arians thought Levi Brown was “elite”, of course they didn’t have a great stand-up pass rusher (3-4 OLB) so you can’t measure player, an individual when the position they are responsible and liable for are lacking in talent.

    So stay with me when I say this… the idea of us drafting Jarvis Jones to become our next “great” pass-rusher, we are going to be inevitable failure for that. Jarvis Jones is your “prototypical” OLB which means he belong inside for our scheme. Do not be surprised if we draft a true pass-rusher in the upcoming draft.

    As goes for left tackles, this is why I pressed hard for a veteran presence there because our O-linemen are literally adolescents playing together in comparison to league. We LACK the mentality toughness and leadership.

  • Dan

    I would go as far as very good and it is good that we have a QB that is so strong at dodging and pulling out of sacks or else we’d be in a lot worse shape. Ben is also above average at accuracy. But indeed “phenomenal” is a bit strong.

  • Mike Carroll

    Funny you hear this from an outsider. Most Steeler fans did not have much to say about his performance other than the fact he had two more turnovers. I thought Ben played a really good game considering what the protection was like. Phenomenal might be a little bit of an overstatement, but it was definitely well above the line.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Not having a viable backup falls on him, though. Also, a good part of the reason they’ve been able to bounce back is because they tanked that season so bad.

  • Bilgewater D

    Decker was a playa with Tebow and with Manning. He’s actually sucking more this year than in years past.

    Moreno hasn’t exactly been a dog. The gist of your post sucked and was wrong.

  • Ike Evans

    You guys are clowns…..any other qb in the league outside of Aaron Rodgers and Andrew luck could never do as much as been did with that line not blocking….are you kidding me? Good but not great….Ben is a better qb then you are a plumber. Ass clowns be appreciative of Ben because I damn sure remember kordell Stewart, and Neil O’Donnell’s 4 ints, and bubby friggin brister……this level of play isn’t easy to find so if u wanna complain about the million other problems this teams has then fine I agree but don’t complain about the guy that’s been going out there for 7 years with no line getting his ass kicked, winning games, and never blaming anyone else for that ass kicking

  • Josh Knepshield

    Wait…was that last second throw in the superbowl against the cardinals not a phenomenal throw? Thought so.

  • Pete

    It’s too early to say that. Gilbert and Adams need more development (which takes time) and should have to earn their positions. The Steelers O line is going to continue to be a mess for a while.

  • Pete

    Easy on the ass clowns. LOL. Half probably were not born when Brister, Stewart and O’Donnell were throwing the ball. A lot of Steelers fans take for granted the 3 SB appearances and 2 wins in the last 8 years. They don’t remember the Great Drought. Anyone who remembers has perspective because I don’t remember anything more frustrating than watching O’Donnell lose that SB to the Cowboys. This is nothing and the Steelers will get through it as they always do. When Ben is gone, who knows how long it will take to find another elite QB.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    very interesting theory and there maybe something to that.

  • charles

    ‘He was a lot better than I thought he was looking at his game film.’ Mr. Polian I could not agree more, Bell is a game changer.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Hey I have no idea what else. This theory gives me some comforting, as of why things are way they are.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    So.. by your logic, you would consider david Paulson and Jerricho Cotchery both as successful playmakers? Obviously you and I both have different definition of playmakers but that doesn’t make my post any less wrong than yours though.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Thanks for reminding me why I hate the Cowboys so much….well I’ve always hated them actually.

  • Alan Felicia

    Amen! Don’t forget the other QBs us older fans had to watch before Roethlisberger was drafted: Tommy Maddox, Jim Miller, Mike Tomczak, and Kent Graham!

  • Virdin Barzey

    The line became a priority after Ben kept getting injured. That’s not when you should be addressing it. Nevertheless, they did and you can’t second guess the picks now since no one knew how they would transition to the pros. Obviously, not well. My biggest issue is the lack of improvement. We see improvement from DeCastro but not so much with the other two.

  • Bilgewater D

    Trying to compare Paulson and Cotchery to who exactly? Decker?

    Just wrong, plain wrong, and won’t admit it.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You were qualifying Eric Decker and Eddie Royal as playmakers! My explanation of this is that being a playmaker you get quality numbers among 1st downs, YAC, or TDs and that goes for RBs, WRs, and TEs. if you mean by a general, generous definition of playmakers which essentially anyone who can catch, run, or make a play occasionally then yes those players you mentioned are.

    However they aren’t by any mean respectful household names or players who is emerging in the league. On our team, we only have one- Antonio Brown. Even I wouldn’t call Heath Miller a true playmaker, he’s more of an all-around TE who is very reliable in passing downs. Even so, he get many of his cushion catches from benefitical of our opponent respecting our WR corp last season.

    Next time just don’t shutdown the response like Obama and elaborate on why you disagree. Oh yes I did go there.

  • Brendon Glad

    I don’t know where the hell he’s been for the last 10 years. Ben’s had at least 40 games better than that one. He acts like shrugging off 4 sacks is something he’s never seen before. Ben does that every week with that pathetic group of slop on the OL.
    I’d say Ben is playing as poorly as I’ve ever seen him, besides 2006, and if I were rating his performance against Minnesota, I’d call it a C. Very inaccurate for most of the game. And poor ball security once again. But Ben will snap out of it. Just a really crazy comment by Polian.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    not sure it comforts me but it makes sense to me.