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Former Steelers QB Bruce Gradkowski ‘Always Admired’ Ben Roethlisberger Confidence: ‘He Never Wavered’

The mark of a good gunslinger at the quarterback position is to have a short memory and never be afraid to make any throw.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger certainly had those qualities in abundance, at least according to former backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who had an up close and in person look at Roethlisberger for one season in 2014.

Appearing on 93.7 The Fan’s PM Show with co-hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller, Gradkowski — who is currently an offensive coordinator in the XFL for the St. Louis Battlehawks — spoke glowingly of his time with Roethlisberger, and stated he always admired his mental toughness and confidence under center.

In that one season Gradkowski spent as Roethlisberger’s backup, along with three others seasons in the AFC North with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh native said he never saw Roethlisberger waver.

“Never. That’s one thing I think with Ben I always admired,” Gradkowski said, according to audio via 93.7 The Fan. “He might throw three interceptions in the first half and he wouldn’t flinch. He keeps playing the game and he keeps slinging it and we’d come away from it and he’d have six touchdown passes to three interceptions. You know, he was just a guy that never lost that confidence within the game, and he was just such a competitor.”

As that gunslinging, backyard-style quarterback who made something out of nothing consistently and was at his best when the play broke down around him, having that supreme confidence not only in himself but his abilities really took Roethlisberger to another level in a career that spanned 18 seasons in the Black and Gold.

While mistakes were certainly made on the field throughout Roethlisberger’s career (211 interceptions, 115 fumbles), there was far more great than anything else from Roethlisberger. He threw 418 touchdown passes, had two 6-TD games in his career and led an astonishing 41 fourth-quarter comebacks and 53 game-winning drives.

He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, one of the 10 greatest quarterbacks in NFL history — to date — and did all of that thanks to his mentality of never backing down, never worrying about mistakes, and always believing in himself. That confidence took him a long way and made him a legend.

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