Roethlisberger Aiming For Improvement, Not Perfection Early In Season


One of the easiest assessments any fan can make about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense through two weeks is that it’s not been ideal. They haven’t finished enough drives, their third down conversion is in the gutter, and statistically, they have one of the worst rushing attacks in football. But Ben Roethlisberger’s focus isn’t on fixing everything immediately but seeing progression over time.

“No one is going to be perfect,” Roethlisberger told reporters via Steelers.com. “We’d like to be as good as we can be. We know there’s going to be mistakes. But if we can continue to make improvements, like you said, that’s important. You don’t want to be playing your best football right now. You want to find ways to win football games and keep getting better.”

His mindset isn’t one where teams need to come hot out of the gate. As long as everything clicks by season’s end, where every game is critical, they can make a run at the Super Bowl.

“Hopefully your best football is played in December and January.”

That doesn’t mean Roethlisberger and the rest of the offense sets their expectations low. He says they set the bar so high it is nearly impossible to attain.


“I don’t know if it’ll ever get to our expectations. If we expect perfect and put the bar really high, we should set goals that are almost unattainable.”

One goal that has been clear over the past several season is scoring 30 points per game. Through two weeks, the sample size is obviously limited, five teams are above that benchmark. Pittsburgh isn’t one of them, sitting in 11th place league-wide with 23.5 per game. The Steelers averaged 24.9 points last season.

They’ll have a chance to give that number a jolt this Sunday against the, who are allowing the fifth most points per game, 26 a game.

For now, baby steps. Get better on third down, continue the strong red zone play, and the big point totals will follow.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • RMSteeler

    I don’t know when/if they can average 30 per game without help from the defense and special teams. Mike T also likes to have Ben take knees when the team is in the red zone and leading like 24-20. Sportsmanship, you know.

  • treeher

    Can’t argue with the getting better part, but winning is what gets you home field in the playoffs and Stillers need those home games.

  • ND_Steel

    I understand what he’s saying, but there are only 16 games. Just feels like…’meh, we’ll just try to improve right now’. I’m not about always comparing to Brady/Belichick, but they seem to just strive on details and would not accept this momentum building attitude, that one moment is more or less important than another.

  • RickM

    Makes sense. Belichick said pretty much the same thing a month ago, that even when they win they know there are things didn’t work and can be improved. That’s the reality of playing against other quality professional athletes.

    As for the 30 points a game, that sounds nice but there are times when you don’t need the 30 points to win. Todd Haley strikes me a a little more of a conservative play caller than some other OC’s when we have a decent lead. I have my doubts that any offence he ‘runs’ will average 30 a game. He doesn’t tend to step on other teams’ throats.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    I’m not even stuck in 30 per se. Just as long as they score more points than the other team every game. 😎
    All seriousness I just want the O to be more CONSISTENT. Meaning that every time they go out (especially vs the Ratbirds) we can expect 21 or 24 or 27, whatever.
    Just don’t NOT show up in the big games.

  • Mike Madorma

    Big Ben looks wrong in a purple shirt

  • Jason

    Perfection is our goal but excellence will be tolerated.

  • francesco

    I’m still waiting for Steelers to go 16-0
    in my lifetime.

  • SteelCityDefense

    I HATE THE FACT THAT BIG BEN GOES ON THE RADIO AND TALKS ABSOLUTE BS. He calls players out, he calls coaches out, etc etc. This time he says “In the past I’ve done that, where I’ve tried to keep guys happy, and it creates a bad issue, whether it’s a turnover or a bad play because someone else is open and I’m trying to force it,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly appearance with 93.7 The Fan Pittsburgh. “At the end of the day, if it’s going to hurt the team, I just kind of say, ‘Well, you’re going to have to just deal with it. Winning’s more important. [Receivers] can be mad at me all they want. But they better realize if we won the game, that’s all that matters.” UMMM SIR… I watched the game and saw you forcing throws when there were other guys wide open. But then again I’m highly critical of Big Ben so what do I know

  • Dan

    Guess if you’re a big time QB with a radio deal, you can say whatever you want, so long as you don’t tick off your coaches too much. But yeah, agree. His words are often bizarre and sometimes outright wrong. Oh well.

  • pittfan

    That’s what’s winning Super Bowls these days..

  • Bill

    Oh! Vince Lombardi must be rolling over up there! His basic mantra was: if you always strive for perfection; you wont reach it but you will reach excellence. I’m surprised that Ben would utter such nonsense. You always strive for perfection if you want to be the best.
    If you’re like me you know this team has had red zone issues since Ben has been the QB. Three different coordinators but always red zone issues. When he makes such comments the reason for the issues becomes a lot more in focus. I’ve always loved Ben; he plays like he’s on the field behind the high school at night; but the NFL is based so much on precision. Maybe we need a razzle-dazzle coordinator while Big Ben is here.

  • RickM

    Lol, so says the guy arguing that Colin Kaepernick should be a starter. You admittedly are always critical of our future HOF QB. But you really like Kaepernick. Biased much. My guess is that if Colin made the exact same comments on his radio show, you’d have no problem with them.

  • Steve

    You’ll be wishing Ben was back in a few years when he’s retired.

  • SteelCityDefense

    A few years? But won’t we be playing the Brett Favre retirement game with Ben? For all we know this could be his last year so maybe I’ll miss him from 2018. Or maybe I’ll sit there from February to June wondering if Ben is playing again. Who knows? I can appreciate the guy and still call him out on his bs

  • RickM

    You can’t stand the future HOF’er Roethlisberger by your own admission (“I’m highly critical of him”). He spews B.S. on his radio show, etc. But you believe Kaepernick deserves to be a starting QB in the league. Your lack of expertise in evaluating QB’s is painfully obvious, as is your strong bias against anything Ben does.

  • Ralph Wagner

    Roethlisberger likes to hear himself talk. I would prefer he does his talking on the football field.

    Like completing third and one passe and throwing to the open man and not trying to get AB some stats. Agreed improvement is needed LOL

    Go Steelers.

  • SteelCityDefense

    Following my posts… thanks… but both Brady and Rodgers have spoken up about Kaep so I suppose my opinion isn’t so far off. Further to your comment, I didn’t know being highly critical equates to “can’t stand”. Finally, others have commented on the nonsense he spews to the media. Troll elsewhere