When it comes to the rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, there’s been a few constants over the years, including Hall of Famers Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Jerome Bettis, Troy Polamalu, and future Hall of Famers James Harrison, Terrell Suggs and Ben Roethlisberger.
One man who’s had an up-close-and-personal look at some of the greats over the years is Ravens’ defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale, who has been around since the 2012 season, serving as the linebackers coach in Baltimore from 2012 to 2017 before then becoming the organization’s defensive coordinator in 2018.
Martindale knows all too well how talented and difficult to defend Roethlisberger has been throughout his career, and just days before the final matchup between the two, Martindale had some nice words to say about the 18-year veteran quarterback in the Steel City. In fact, many past and present Ravens greats had kind things to say about Roethlisberger to BaltimoreRavens.com ahead of the final matchup, showing what a respectful rivalry is all about (looking at you, Cleveland).
“We all know with Ben, I’m not sure it’s going to be his final time. Who knows with Ben, because he’s like ‘The Terminator,'” Martindale said. “You think about in the history of this game, of this rivalry, how many times he’s been hit, and you can picture him – his fans, his writers, his coaches. What they don’t show is him getting up and playing the next play or playing the next series. That’s why I said, I think he’s like ‘The Terminator.’ It’s unbelievable – his resiliency and his toughness.
“If there’s a Ring of Fame for this game, he’s definitely on it. It’s a credit to him, with all the great players they’ve had there in the past, that he’s going to be mentioned, probably, first or in that Top 5 of players that they’ve had there throughout all these years,” Martindale added. “So, he’s a great competitor. [I’ve got] nothing but respect for him. Even this year, supposedly, his last year, they’re No. 2 in the NFL in scoring points in the fourth quarter.”
That’s some incredibly high praise from Martindale regarding Roethlisberger, much of which is without a doubt warranted. You’d be hard-pressed to find a player who exhibited more toughness and determination week-to-week than Roethlisberger.
More often than not, there was Roethlisberger rising off the mat to suit up for a game or make a critical play, leading the Steelers to victory, especially in matchups with the Ravens. There’s the broken foot suffered against the Ravens, the broken nose from an errant hand to the face by Haloti Ngata, and much, much more.
Facing off with the Ravens 29 times in his career, Roethlisberger is 18-11 in his career (2-1 in the playoffs) even though he’s been battered, bruised…and battered some more on the way to being sacked 76 times by the Ravens, the most by any opponent in his Hall of Fame career.
“The Terminator” looks to rise up one final time against Baltimore, ending a nearly-two decade battle in fitting fashion.