Steelers Ben Roethlisberger A ‘Second-Tier’ QB, According To Recent ESPN Poll

Poll and ranking season continues on and on Wednesday, poll of 26 league insiders resulted in Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being ranked seventh-overall at his position and placed in the second-tier.

Here is the summary for Roethlisberger per Mike Sando of ESPN Insider.

One of the offensive coaches placed Rivers and Roethlisberger in the top tier. He noted that Rivers wins with his mind while Roethlisberger wins with his physical abilities. Several GMs said they thought Roethlisberger had declined into the second tier over the past couple seasons. “If you were there in Pittsburgh, you saw him run the no-huddle, you saw the command, you saw him run and make plays,” a coordinator said. “Other people will not think as much of him. He is a very good quarterback, able to get himself out of tough positions.”

Said one GM: “Ben plays big-boy football — and regardless of what you think, he knows how to win the game.”

Sando explains in his Insider piece that he asked 26 league insiders to grade every projected starting quarterback on a 1-5 scale, with “one” reserved for the best and “five” for the worst. Taking part in the poll were eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches and two position coaches.

The six quarterbacks ranked ahead of Roethlisberger aren’t hard to figure out. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees all tied for first in the poll and those four were followed by Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers.

  • ApexSteel

    The thing about Ben is that he doesn’t do things the way Peyton, Brady, Brees, etc do. He’s not a drop back and take what you give him type QB, he makes his own plays. And since he doesn’t play the way they do, he’s not seen as a first tier QB. Which is ridiculous.

    Ben is an Elite, top tier, first ballet HOF QB he just does it a different way and his game won’t get the respect it deserves until he leads the league by doing it or until well after he retires. Ben oozes unconditional greatness and unless you watch him close enough you don’t recognize it.

  • steeltown

    Wait… Ben is ranked behind Luck and Rivers…. madness

  • Jeff

    But I thought Joe Flacco was the #1 QB in league??? He even said so himself…. I’m confused

  • SteeldudeMT

    BS – The name of the game is championships. Correct? Is that not the goal of an NFL Team and organization in the NFL. Last I checked it is still a team sport not an individual stat game. So…. In light of that, Ben should be #2 right behind Brady. (Brady – 3, Ben – 2, Manning – 1, Brees -1, Rodgers -1, Luck & Rivers – 0!) – PS Rivers??? Seriously?

  • nikgreene

    So, in your opinion Troy Aikman is a better quarterback than Dan Marino? Or, even worse, Eli Manning is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning? I get it, the goal of any sports team is to win championships so it seems perfectly reasonable to judge a team’s success on their ability to win championships. However, to then judge a single player’s worth (albeit one who plays the most important position) on championships won seems a little short sighted.

  • treeher

    Put those guys behind the O line that Ben has had and the poor field position that the defense has given him, and I don’t think ANY of them would rank higher than Ben.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Putting him behind Luck and Rivers I think is a travesty. Rivers is a very good QB, but when you have 2 guys who are so close I think the tiebreaker should go to the ultimate part of the debate…SB wins. How close are they?

    132 GP
    2,646 Comp
    4,108 ATT
    64.4 Comp %
    32,369 Yards
    7.00 AVG
    221 TD
    104 INT
    49 FUM
    92.3 Rating

    143 GP
    2,749 Comp
    4,346 Att
    63.3 Comp %
    34,105 Yards
    7.00 AVG
    219 TD
    122 INT
    49 FUM
    89.1 Rating

    But look at the playoff stats
    9 GP 4 Wins
    11 TD
    9 INT

    14 GP 10 Wins including 2 Super Bowl wins
    (granted one he played horrible and won any way)
    20 TD
    17 INT

    So if you look at one big thing….Ben 4 losses in the playoffs, Rivers 4 wins in the playoffs….That should be a factor IMO. Not to saying that is THE factor, but when you have guys this close it should be A factor.

    When it comes to Luck, that is rep, not performance at this point IMO. Not to say it won’t happen, but at the moment he hasn’t earned that ranking IMO.

  • Kevin Gobleck

    ESPN –

    Story is

  • walter mason

    I would like to see if any of these “top tier” quarterbacks could survive with Mike Adams protecting their blindside.

  • nicthstic

    Super Bowls: Manning 1-2, Luck 0-0, Rivers 0-0, Brees, 1-0, Ben 2-1

  • gene mann

    Again this espn and NFL Network Balony with their so called Ranking BS. Steelers fans don’t really care what they think we know what we have in BEN !!

  • nicthstic

    Unless you have an historic defense, the QB is usually the guy most instrumental in getting a team to the SB. That’s especially true with today’s air it out offense.

  • Brady, Brees, Rodgers and Manning I could understand. Anyone else and there is heavy debate.

  • Aric Brown

    I would rank Ben ahead of Luck easily and just slightly above Rivers and just about dead even with Aaron Rogers

  • Aric Brown

    I dont agree.that he is top tier… Manning Brady and Brees are on a different level… Rodgers and Roethlisberger are at the top of the next tier though

  • ciscoNoDrink

    For the last four years the Steelers have played second their football. No surprise here.

  • Crowned

    People still try to argue that Ben is tier 1 quarterback? lol..

  • lol #SteelerNation

  • ApexSteel

    They play different games.

  • Ben owns a career 67.3% win percentage including playoff games. Phil is at 60.6% also including playoff games. So Rivers obviously knows how to lose with his mind. I honestly don’t care for the way they rank QBs as it’s all about stats. Every real fan in any sport knows stats don’t tell the whole story. I really believe Roethlisberger is the only QB in the league who could have been successful with the offensive line and mostly stale rushing attack he’s played with. What Ben brings to the table goes beyond stats. He’s the toughest QB in the league with the heart and determination of a champion. After we climb the stairway to seven, they can say he’s a tier 3 QB, it won’t matter to any of us Steeler fans.

  • 2443scott

    the other teams and media can pick who they want ..i for one like ben as my qb over any other qb in the game today ….more so then any of the others is because he plays the game the way its drawn up in any back yard or vacant lot or play ground ..he dont need no ref to flag a guy hitting him or touching him or some football commish who would rather it be called something else besides football…they can rank ben dead last and i still want him over any of the so called soon to be hall a famers…not one of them can play the game the way it was ment to be played …they need special rules and secret tapeing to win..

  • John A Stewart

    Ben is a very very good jock and not a student of the game.Under Haley he just started throwing to his check downs.

  • Matt Manzo

    Well said!!!

  • Matt Manzo

    Exactly! Bens only competition is Brady.

  • Weiss Chad

    In order to analyze one player,you first have to analyze what the other 10 players on his side of ball and eleven other players on opposite side of ball are doing first

  • Weiss Chad

    Meaning put any other qb on steelers and show me one that could do what Ben does.Put Ben on any of those other teams and I bet besides the pats he gets you more superbowls than what the qbs of those teams have delivered to there respected franchises.All Ben does is wins is not true..He does an awful lot more than that,that many other qbs in the league can not do.Every system is different.

  • Weiss Chad

    He had his second best year,but nobody sees that cause they went 8&8.Imo his three best years was his Super Bowl years.Its all about the rings.I don’t care what his stats are at the end of the day.All that matters is wins and losses and how many rings.I don’t care if he throws a hundred touchdowns next year.I still wouldn’t call it his best year unless he also wins a ring.

  • steeltown


  • Weiss Chad

    IMO he was two years ago for that year.I couldn’t tell you any qb stats w out looking them up two years ago,and who cares.I can tell you the qb that won the Super Bowl two years ago which tells me outta the 32 qbs in the league he had the most success.Last year is a different story.I don’t think Flacco was top ten.Imo if you don’t win the ring the best you can be is second or the first loser (Peyton)whichever way you wanna look at it.

  • Weiss Chad

    I also realize you were being sarcastic ,I just wanted to put my two cents in.

  • Mark

    “Several GMs have said they thought Ben had declined into the second tier over the PAST COUPLE OF SEASONS.” This is a result of an Offensive Coordinator that has no clue how to coach to the strength of his players. Ben is a lower tier one QB hamstrung by a coach. Can’t blame O Line, running game or any of the 10 other players.

  • Jeff

    Haha, glad you caught the sarcasm. Seriously though, at times Joe shows flashes of being a great quarterback, but his problem has always been consistency. I believe it was that season where he had QBRs in games of less than 1 in multiple games. I’m not big on the QBR stat, but it speaks some truth to just how bad some of his performances were that season. You can’t ignore what he did in the playoffs, but that was the most consistent 4 game string of his life. In my opinion, it’ll never happen again in any 4 game stretch of his career. At least not that good of a stretch. That year, the ravens won despite him in the regular season and because of him in the playoffs.

  • I love when anonymous “insiders” are the source of such analysis/rankings, as if they don’t have their own biases or agendas.

    Anyway, I’m fine with the top four, but I’d put Ben well ahead of Rivers and maybe also ahead of Luck, who still has a lot to prove. But the fact is, you can’t consider QBs in isolation — so much is dependent on the system they play in and the talent around them. Okay, maybe Ben isn’t, and has never been, truly elite, along the lines of those four, but he brings a lot to the game that even someone like Manning doesn’t, and he deserves an awful lot of credit for that.

  • Virdin Barzey

    The sad part is that you can’t get some Steelers to agree that he’s an top tier QB. Is he as good as Peyton, Brady, Brees, Rodgers? I would say no if you put Ben on their teams. However, I believe Ben is better than all of them except maybe Rodgers if you had to put those guys on our Steelers team.

    These fools talking about Ben sees it from their perspective of a traditional QB. Ben is by far better than Rivers and has done far more than Luck who may eventually be better. Not now. There is a lot of hatred for Ben, especially in the media but he did it to himself. Dude has been to three Superbowls but these genius will give all the credit to the defense.

    First he’s not a HOF, next he’s not Elite and now he’s not a top tier. I really don’t care what they say about Ben, since he is all of that and the most important, a winner.

  • steel4real

    One tough SOB. Haters are gonna hate, but at the end of the day he gets results- and respect from his teammates.

  • steelerdre

    I can care less about some ranking I know Ben is a top flight elite quarterback…just look at the numbers (playoff wins and championships).

  • Weiss Chad

    I would put Flacco as a second tier qb right now over his career. Definitely not class I put Ben Rothlisberger in.imo he (Ben)is without a doubt in the top five.

  • Lisa Ryan

    A second tier Q.B. who played in 3 super bowls within 5 years, bite me ESPN.