Ben Roethlisberger: I’m Having ‘As Good A Season’ Above The Neck Maybe As Ever

Statistically, the 2017 season has easily been among the worst of his career, but Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not willing to attribute that to mental mistakes. Speaking to reporters yesterday, he said that he feels he has been playing as well above the neck as he ever has.

When asked about moving away from more of a big-time thrower to more of a distributor at quarterback, Roethlisberger said that he is embracing the change of focus, and added, “I really, genuinely don’t know how my stats are, or stack up against other years. But I feel like I’ve been as involved and have had as good of a season maybe between the ears as I have maybe ever”.

I’m sure that there are many who would disagree with Roethlisberger’s assertion, or rather the characterization of his own play. I would be one of them. Certainly, while he has missed some throws, I think his biggest mistakes have been about the decisions he has made rather than physical errors.

His interception against the Lions would be a perfect example, during which he threw to Antonio Brown into triple coverage out of 22 personnel. He never even seemed to try moving over the safety, who ultimately picked off the pass.

Roethlisberger and his quarterbacks coach, Randy Fichtner, have talked about him playing more of a distributor role. Fichter said that he doesn’t need to wear the superhero cape so frequently with all of the weapons on the offense capable of creating yards, likening it to the role of a point guard.

“I played point guard in high school, All-American point guard” Roethlisberger joked with reporters. “So I’m used to kind of distributing the ball and getting us in the best play possible. I just do what I can, run-pass check, ‘run right, run left,’ things like that”.

With the emergence of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster and the hopeful return to relevance of Martavis Bryant, this offense should have quite a few receiving threats, with tight end Vance McDonald also in that discussion as he seems to have his role in that arena being expanded.

“You always have to find a way to distribute the ball”, he told reporters. “Now that we have so many weapons, that’s what’s important. It’s not just about the plays. It’s about feeling the game out, getting a feel for the game mid-game, at the beginning of games, making sideline adjustments, talking, communicating”

“Maybe a guy has a good match-up, being able to get guys the ball that have match-ups, or a guy needing a catch to kind of get into the game”, he went on. “Whatever it may be you have to be an extension of the coaching staff, of Coach Randy on the field”.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Oh boy, here we go…

  • Darth Blount 47

    Perhaps we can just classify the Jacksonville game as one gigantic brain fart then.

    Or, maybe Ben IS playing Chess while the rest are simply playing Checkers. The whole first half serving as a gambit. Playing as black does require a certain panache. Setting traps and counter-punching until you have gained the upper hand. Before you know it, your opponent is left bewildered and bereft. I hope Ben is telling the truth. I have a feeling he may just be. The sly old fox, twirling the one hand in front of you so you don’t pay attention to the other that is preparing to ruin your fateful conceptions.

  • Matt

    No he is not having a good above the neck season. But then again what should we expect him to say? “I’m dumber than a sack of hammers out there.” That ain’t happening.

  • Stairway7

    I haven’t seen him leaving any of our opponents “bewildered and bereft.”

  • Jaybird

    I can’t wait to go home tonight and read the blood bath in the comment section tonight on this this particular article! I’m a big supporter of Ben but this is not his best decision making season ever.

  • Jaybird

    I think there will be some ugly comments on this one!

  • Steeler fan in NE

    Really love how the guys Teed this thread up with the pic of ben they choose…well done sir!

  • hdogg48

    Ben’s consistency in the accuracy department has diminished
    greatly.

    If you can’t see that you are either myopic….or blind.
    All he has to do is make the throws that he should
    make, not the throws he has to make.

    With the offensive line he has, along with an All World
    RB and WR there is no reason why he can’t.

    Even though he is a veteran that led his team to 3 SBs
    winning 2 of them, he needs to put in extra reps
    to work on timing and accuracy. If that doesn’t improve,
    then there has to be something wrong with his arm
    or mechanics.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Apparently all 400 plus sacks he’s taken has messed with his brain if he thinks this is the best he has been

  • ThatGuy

    Just wanted to pop in before the Ben haters and say, Go Steelers! lol

  • Ichabod

    Is he in concusion protocol?

  • heath miller

    ok heres my question to all the ben haters…. what steelers QB would you rather have in the 25 years between bradshaw and ben ? what current QB on the steelers roster is better than ben…. if you give any answer than NONE to both questions you just arnt paying attention … HEATHHHHHHHHh

  • Intense Camel

    Exactly, how dare anyone criticize Ben. He’s had a perfect season so far and no other QB compares. He’s in a class of his own.

  • Intense Camel

    Careful with the truth or you’ll get labeled a Ben hater.

  • falconsaftey43

    Ben is the best QB in Steelers history. Ben is the best QB on the roster. Ben is a top 20 QB in the league (higher now that so many have been injured). Ben is having one of the worst seasons of his career. Ben has not had a great game yet this year. Ben needs to play significantly better than he has if this team wants to win a Super Bowl.

  • Carl Mendelius

    Ben is extremely overrated. Just like Eli Manning, he is declining fast and has one or two years left of declining football. Sorry but is time to look for the QB of the future and I hope they find their man and do what is necessary to get him.

  • pittfan

    No! He is washed up. Cant hit the broadside of a barn. The ONLY WR he EVER throws to is AB because he only cares about stats. He will be the only reason we are one and done come playoff time. We should have dumped him years ago and we’d have 5 more Lombardis if not for him. Anyone who cant see that is blind as a bat and in TOTAL denial.

  • Crashcrash777

    We need a sarcasm font

  • Charles Mullins

    We are 6-2. Why would you doubt what he says. You don’t know the checks that he has made. You don’t know his understanding in years past. You don’t know when the WR messes up. You don’t know the leadership/management stuff he has had to deal with. If he says it you have to believe it. He is hard on himself when he needs to be. This is foolish clickbate and I fell victim.

  • EdJHJr

    Does that include thinking at LEAST half your attempts must go to Brown…no matter what. Single , double , triple coverage.

  • Intense Camel

    Or I can believe what I see. Which is not very good by his standards. They are winning mostly due to the defense, and Boswell’s toe. not Ben’s cerebral aptitude. He’s been average to below average in that regard for most of the season. No excuse for staring down receivers and overlooking guys like he has, he has plenty of time to throw and plenty of weapons, he simply needs to make better decisions. If you can’t see that then it’s because you just don’t want to.

  • Intense Camel

    Thank you.

  • Intense Camel

    Are you insane? Ben is the best QB that ever lived and he’s only getting better! Forget the Lombardi, it should be called the Roethlisberger! Honestly who would you rather have right now? Brady? Rogers? Montana? LOL Don’t make me laugh.

  • FATCAT716

    Well I’ll take that “overrated” QB over 90% of the QB’s in the league

  • Morten Jacob Houring

    Nothing wrong with moving towards being a distributer, I just wouldn’t mind if his deep distribution was a little more accurate. Some of all those offensive weapons do quite well if they get the ball down the field.

  • Matt

    Last year, I’d agree with you. This year not so much. He has not played like at top 4/5 QB in a single game this year. To say, I’d rather have Ben than 90% of the other starting QBs in this league today is to make a pick solely based on his accomplishments in previous years. On his best days this season he’s been above average (not great), on his worst days he’s been terrible. For the most part, he’s been an average NFL QB this year. I’m still hoping he turns it around and lights it up for the rest of the season. Based on what I’ve seen this year, I wouldn’t put my money on a complete turnaround with Ben (but I hope I’m wrong).

  • pittfan

    I’d rather have Jack Scarbath!!! Best steeler QB EVER!
    WAAAAAAYYYY better than Ben.

  • Charles Mullins

    Nope. Sometimes you have to take a man at his word. They go over the games and know what they are trying to do. There is no way that someone from the outside can judge his decision making. There are just to many variables.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Second half my friend. He’s been lulling them to sleep. He’s faced the hardest QB schedule the first half according to PFF. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a few pawns in order to clear some space for your rooks and bishops. And we are 6-2, so clearly there are some teams who have been left on the side of the chessboard.

  • AndyR34

    Well…he admitted that he has not watched any film of himself (during the bye week) to see what he might be able to do better.

  • NCSteel

    Man,
    That is spot on.

  • Intense Camel

    I take actions over words, and the actions I see do not match his sentiments. Unless you think staring down receivers is a good thing. I’ve seen him play much smarter with worse supporting casts. Sure I can, and yea there are many variables, but most of which he plays a significant role in.

  • PaeperCup

    hehe.

    I will say that if we converted some of those redzone visits to TDs, we would barely be questioning it.

  • Intense Camel

    Hope you’re right

  • We won SB XL, therefore how could you doubt that Darnell Stapleton was an all pro guard. No disrespect to the stapler but it’s a team sport. Ben should be judged on HIS play not the team record.

  • Tomczak clearly!

  • Maybe he’s unintentionally disclosing the feedback coaches are giving him. Perhaps they’re being less critical in post-game breakdown?

  • ocmyst

    If you are a stat-rat then definitely Ben is the best steeler QB ever, but the game is so different nowadays than in the time of Bradshaw. Don’t know how many of you saw Bradshaw. His period of excellence peaked for a much shorter time span than Ben’s. But he was league MVP and the unquestioned best in business for a couple of years. During his MVP year he had only one 300 yard game ( first one in his career ) and yeah that was in the super bowl. He was the best ever big game-big throw QB. He had a canon for an arm like none other. When he was in high school the set the national record for javelin which wasn’t broken for many years. Not saying he was better than Ben but not saying the reverse either. Both great QBs, both unique in their talents. Just had to say it.

  • Stairway7

    I don’t think he’s that cerebral. I think he’ll do better 1/2 half too but that will be due to adjustments. I really don’t think he was trying to lull NFL defenses to sleep with mediocre play the 1st 1/2.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    The only thing missing from that picture of Ben is some wheat or straw hanging out of his mouth (farmer’s gum)

  • FATCAT716

    I do see that the o-line started the year off sluggish. I do see Bell started the year off slow. I do see Bryant not getting proper depth & not combating balls & never been great running routes. I see a rookie that is coming of his own, a TE that struggles catching balls, I see Rodgers who has made a few errors so far. I see Ben missing some he would normally be on point but I also think it’s gotta be tough with all the extra stuff going on. Now if it don’t improve in the 2nd half I would eat crow but I see everyone playing better on the offensive side

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    He didn’t lead those teams to any Super Bowls. He HELPED them but he didn’t exactly lead them anywhere, especially that early in his career. The players who led the SB winning seasons were obviously Ward, the Dee, & Bettis in 2005. Roethlisberger didn’t even show in SB40. Worst QB rating in NFL history for starting/winning NFL QB. 2008 team obviously led by Polamalu & that entire Dee & Santonio. Roethlisberger did show up in SB43 & made good throws, one of which was one of the best I’ve ever seen!! Holmes in the corner that end zone. Roethlisberger actually made 2 tosses, first one missed at the opposite corner then the historic throw on the very next play. Amazing. That team was in a zone they were not losing that game. Period. Big Time play pressure moment. Roethlisberger just never had enough of those type plays. WAY too inconsistent his entire career to be saying he’s lead at any point. And I’ve never seen a postseason where he alone can be attributed to carrying the team. And he’s still not.

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    Actually if you want to talk real x’s and o’s for those who know the game. The game isn’t as simplistic as a QB. The eras are different obviously. But they were within a hair of the Super Bowl with Kordell Stewart who actually carried the team his best season ( something Roethlisberger has never done). They made it to a Superbowl with Neil O’Donnell and missed out on several with Neil O’Donnell. And even the Super Bowl they lost which you can blame on O’Donnell throwing three interceptions still wasn’t as bad as Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl 40 performance. But they’ve had athletes who could play the position over the years one that comes to mind is Scott Campbell. The problem is they’ve never had all the right ingredients at the times they’ve had good quarterbacks over the years. Just so happens They’ve got the right recipe during the Roethlisberger era. The who would you rather have at quarterback is a weak argument.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Take away the Jax debacle and what do you have? Did you know that Ben is currently in the top 9 in passing yards for the season (and will likely be top 7 after the Bye weeks shake out)? I’ve counted 4 dropped TD’s and a few more that as we all know, were literal fingertip misses. With the tiniest amount of change in luck, Ben could be in the top of most of the passing categories. Some of his failures are certainly on him. But quite a few have not been.

  • Zarbor

    Well, there you have it from the horses mouth. You have got to be kidding me. You can’t script this one. “I’ve tried to take the high road with Ben but now I’ve lost the address”………..

    Ben, please stop talking. I really don’t need to hear any more from you this season man. None of us do. There must not be anything left between the ears because we’ve seen none of it on the field this year. LOL…What a dopey and loopy comment….Please don’t interview that guy when he’s on his meds. Its a bad look for all of us Steelers.

  • Intense Camel

    I’m sorry but for a 15 year Hof QB those just sound like excuses. Sure others had their struggles but it shouldn’t effect as much as it seemingly has. He is supposed to be the one that is consistent and he simply hasn’t been, regardless of the circumstances. Might not sound fair but that just comes with the territory of a perennial top 5 franchise QB.

    I will never expect less from him unless I believe he isn’t physically capable of getting it done, which I do not. As of now I think his problems are 70% mental and 30% physical. I gave him a pass last year because of the WR situation but I’m not having any excuses this year. I hope it does get better, but in order for that to happen Ben has to play better. From there things should fall into place.

  • Charles Mullins

    …You cant really compare the influence of a guard on a game to the influence of a QB. He knows the mistakes that he has made better than you. I trust his football IQ over yours.

  • FATCAT716

    Lets see Brady, Rodgers, Stafford, Brees, & as of right now maybe Weintz & Wilson. But Weintz hasn’t been playing long enough & hasn’t had a playoff games yet would take him based on potential. Rodgers is hurt but that’s all

  • heath miller

    yep WENT TO THE SUPER BOWL WITH ALL THOSE GUYS … yep we WENT to it .. but only WON IT with bradshaw and ben… if you like going ot the SB thats great .. i like to WIN THEM …. HEATHHHHHHH

  • heath miller

    i assume that sarcasm? lol

  • heath miller

    i agree with all except maybe the first statement … hard to argue ben best steelers QB ever.vs bradshaw when terry is flashing 4 rings in your face … all the rest no doubt you are dead on HEEEEEEEEATH

  • heath miller

    uh huh… so was there a better QB between terry and ben? that was the question … and the rest of your post i surely hope is scarcasm

  • My football IQ is not in play here as I’m not playing football. His stats (QBR for example, 15th in the league, his personal worst in the last 8 seasons) say he’s having a bad season for him. A 6-2 record might have something to do with the second best scoring defense in the league and the 760 yards Bell has laid down in half a season but what the hell do I know.

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    And also lost the Superbowl with those guys and Ben. Only ever won with Bradshaw & Bradshaw only at the quarterback position. So the who would you rather have at quarterback argument is still weak because I could argue that anybody other than Bradshaw doesn’t count

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    Exactly what I’ve been saying. Roethlisberger has been a second-tier quarterback his entire career. Roethlisberger Manning and Rivers are all exactly the same. In fact Eli Manning might be slightly better than the two others. He’s the only one of the three to ever win the Super Bowl MVP award playing big in the biggest postseason games CONSISTENTLY by comparison to the two others.

  • Darth you can’t win with the detractors. You are just wasting your time.

  • Stairway7

    I didn’t say he wasn’t a good QB or that all the INTs were his fault. But the numbers are what they are. I was responding to your remark about him lulling defenses to sleep. He’s he’s not that cerebral. He doesn’t play chess with defenses. His game is not like Brady or Manning but more Favre like.

  • Stairway7

    I’m not a “detractor.” I said he’ll do better in the 2nd 1/2 but my reasons differ with those posited by Darth. Why don’t you read the entire post before commenting.

  • Charles Mullins

    Exactly. How many of those Bell yards are because Ben got them in the right play. Point is he is more than happy to be critical of himself and with a 6-2 record who are any of us to judge is mental ability on the field.

  • Would this whole thing even be a topic of conversation is the redzone TD% was better. Ben is certainly having an off year, but he can still get it done and we can still win with him. Does he have to play better, absolutely. Besides AB and Bell, the rest of the eligibles can play better as well.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Favre-like. I’ll take that.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Eh, that’s really all blogging is, wasting time. But as a member of the human race, I enjoy the ability to communicate. I’m never a person who wants everyone to agree with what I have to say. My opinions are my own, but they have a potential to change or evolve. The only way I get that chance, is to hear other people and other perspectives and gather sometimes competing information. It’s all apart of the give and take. If someone is a true detractor, I’ll listen. If they are a troll, I’ll tell them to seek their nearest bridge. Lol.

  • #7

    This might be the single dumbest post in the history of this blog. Congrats. You’ve cleared quite a bar.

  • Jaybird

    You sound just like me! I couldn’t have said it better

  • heath miller

    that makes absolutely no sense … hes 2-1 in super bowls … anyone else besides ben and bradshaw won any ? im done with ya .. if you think any QB in the 25 years between terry and ben are just as good as them then you just arnt paying attention so this is my final reply …

  • Steve

    Where Ben is doing a good job is checking off plays, when the Defence is set certain ways. Steelers have been running a lot and that is due to taking what the Defence gives you.

  • Taylor Williams

    The defense has always carried the team to the SB

  • ahj_2000

    Bubby Brister!!!

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    I know. That should be your final reply because if I were you I’d give up to. Let me make it a little easier for you to understand. Roethlisberger is barely better then O’Donnell and even Stewart in terms of postseason performance. Roethlisberger went to three Super Bowls and completely sucked in two of them, especially SB40. Bradshaw was stellar pristine perfected in every Super Bowl he played in. Period. So if Bradshaw is the standard than they all obviously fall short. Which means the who would you rather have at quarterback argument means less because your guy Roethlisberger is barely/ hardly better than the rest or all non Bradshaw QBs who’ve taken them to the Super Bowl and or AFC championships. Neil O’Donnell completely threw away a Superbowl with three Super Bowl picks and still wasn’t rated worse than Roethlisberger in SB 40. Ben Roethlisberger has the lowest quarterback rating for a starting winning back QB IN HISTORY. That means Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t even beat out a guy who literally threw away a SB with three interceptions (O’Donnell). So in other words the Steelers lost with Roethlisberger in a Super Bowl (badly) just like they lost in a Superbowl with O’Donnell.

  • heath miller

    let me make it easier .. you are an idiot and you cant argue with idiots…

  • heath miller

    LMAOOOOOOOO good one