As was expected with his hint at retirement earlier in the week, Pittsburgh Steelers’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is starting to garner some praise for his legendary career on the field.
On Thursday, it was ESPN analyst and former New England Patriots, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets offensive lineman Damien Woody who took the time to shower Roethlisberger with praise, calling him one of the true warriors of the QB position in NFL history.
Appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, Woody, along with fellow co-host Sam Acho — who once sacked Roethlisberger as a member of the Arizona Cardinals — took the time to put a cap on Roethlisberger’s career after the 18-year quarterback stated that Monday’s matchup against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field is likely the final time he’ll play in front of the home fans.
Woody, who played on Jets teams that had some real battles with Roethlisberger from 2008-10, stated that no matter how banged up Roethlisberger was, he always was out on the field giving the Steelers a chance while also representing the black and gold in the fashion that the franchise always envisioned playing.
“We’re about a guy, in my opinion, who played the game the way the Steelers have always played throughout their storied history, their franchise,” Woody said. “He’s big, tough, strong arm. You could always count on him being out there. There were a couple of weeks throughout his career where we in the media would tease, ‘Is Big Ben going to play?’ Because he would always seem to bring up injuries, but he somehow, someway always found a way to be out there, and be out there with his teammates making plays inside of, and outside of the pocket.
“If this is it, if that’s the case, he’s had a heck of a career,” Woody added. “I tip my cap to Big Ben because he was truly one of the warriors that we’ve seen at the quarterback position.”
He truly was one of the warriors of the position. Hearing that, it brings to mind the broken foot he played on, the broken nose he suffered against the Baltimore Ravens on a hit from Haloti Ngata, not to mention the shoulder injuries, rib injuries, ankle injuries and countless other bumps and bruises the future Hall of Famer played through on his way to amassing an 18-year career filled with countless individual accolades.