In a recent interview with Steelers.com, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and current Fox Sports NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw, was asked who is the NFL’s best quarterback. Bradshaw’s choice was Steelers current quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“I would rate Ben right on top if the list, ahead of (Tom) Brady for sure and anybody else, (Philip) Rivers, Eli (Manning). He is big, strong, and poised,” Bradshaw said. “I’ll take Roethlisberger over any of those guys.”
Additionally, Bradshaw wanted everyone to know that Roethlisberger was his choice because he deserves to be and not because he’s a former Steelers player attempting to charm the team’s fan base.
“He could have been the MVP in the league last year if he would have stayed healthy,” Bradshaw said, according to Teresa Varley. “I am not saying this because I am a Steeler and trying to suck up to anybody. I am just telling you he is special, different. I’ll take Roethlisberger over any of those guys.”
During his Wednesday locker room talk with the Pittsburgh media, Roethlisberger was asked to give his thoughts on Bradshaw’s choice and he chose to disagree with it and in the process praise New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
“Tom’s the greatest in the world, and I mean that,” Roethlisberger said, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Roethlisberger’s response was probably predictable and even if he really might believe deep down inside that he’s the better quarterback of the two, him giving the nod Brady was the right thing to do and especially being as he trails him in Super Bowl championships.
While Roethlisberger and Brady are both obviously great NFL quarterbacks, comparing the two in a vacuum when it comes to each’s style of play is very tough to do. Brady is the more rhythmic passer of the two who relies mainly on shorter passes and a great understanding of how defenses are scheming against the Patriots offense.
Roethlisberger, on the other hand, has the unmatched ability to extend plays both inside and outside the pocket in addition to possessing one of the best deep passing arms currently in the NFL. It should be noted, however, that since offensive coordinator Todd Haley arrived in Pittsburgh that Roethlisberger has become much more of a rhythmic passer that he ever was before and he’s done so while continuing to be accurate with his deep passes.
For the sake of fairness, I should point out that since 2004, Roethlisberger’s first year in the NFL, he has completed 43.0% of his deep passes while Brady has completed 42.1% of his. Additionally, since 2012, Roethlisberger has completed 41.7% of his deep passes while Brady has completed just 37.4% of his.
“Ben has amazing talent, strong arm, strong guy, big in big games, clutch throws, makes somethings happen. I have always admired him. I have the greatest respect for the job he has done and how he handles himself as a professional,” Bradshaw said recently of Roethlisberger. “The offense they are running is just amazing. The job he does and how he stands in there is impressive. It’s been years of solid, exceptional quarterback play.”
As Bradshaw pointed out in one of his quotes way above, Roethlisberger’s failure to play in all 16 regular season games last season prevented him from being remotely considered the league’s MVP. That, and the fact that he did throw 16 interceptions, his most in a single regular season since he threw 15 in 2008, his fifth year in the league. He’ll definitely need to get that stat down in 2016 if he hopes to have a good shot at winning the MVP award in 2016, which by the way, was last won by a Steelers player in 1978. Who was that Steelers player? Bradshaw, of course.
While we don’t know for sure how many more times Roethlisberger and Brady will square off against one another on a football field before their careers are over, the two are currently scheduled to do battle this year in Week 7 at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger will be looking for his third career win over a Brady-led Patriots team in that game. All that matters right now is that Roethlisberger winds up being the better quarterback in that game.