Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had a fantastic 2014 campaign that included him finishing the regular season tied with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for the lead league in passing yardage. With that said, 2015 is a new year and Roethlisberger recently admitted that his offense needs to improve in certain areas moving forward with one of those being connecting more often on deep passes.
“I think the big thing for us as an offense, and for me and our receivers, is work on our deep balls,” Roethlisberger said Thursday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It sounds crazy, but we’re not where we need to be throwing the deep ball. And that’s me, that’s the receivers, it’s a combination. So we’re working hard at that.”
Last season, Roethlisberger connected on 45.6% of the passes that he threw more than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage. In fact, he even led the league last season with 14 deep pass touchdowns. While his overall deep passing numbers last season were solid, Roethlisberger only completed 41.8% of the passes that he threw 20 or more yards down the field in 2014, and of the 23 quarterbacks in the league that attempted 50 or more passes of that distance last season, Roethlisberger’s percentage was 11th best. That’s obviously the deep area he’s looking to improve in in 2015.
The Steelers primary deep, deep threat in 2015 will obviously be second-year wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who showed real glimpses of greatness last year when it came to getting free over the top of defenses. Last season, however, Bryant only caught 35% of the passes thrown to him of 20 or more yards down the field, so that’s a percentage that he will need to improve in 2015 if Roethlisberger’s goal is to going to be achieved.