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Thread: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

  1. #1
    realtyczar
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    Default Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Ben Roethlisberger did what John Unitas, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Brett Favre and every other NFL quarterback never managed by winning The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

    The first quarterback to win the honor since its inception in 1957, Roethlisberger did so unanimously, the second straight rookie to get all the votes. The Pittsburgh Steelers' young star received all 48 votes Wednesday from a nationwide panel of writers and broadcasters who cover pro football.

    Ben Roethlisberger took over as the Steelers' starting QB on Sept 19 and took every snap before injuring rib cartilage on Dec. 26. (Rick Stewart / GettyImages)

    Last year, Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin also swept the panel.

    But Boldin didn't go unbeaten in 13 starts, as Roethlisberger did in leading the Steelers to a franchise-best 15-1 record, which led the NFL this season. Neither, of course, has any other rookie QB.

    "I think it is just a comfort level every week, learning and practicing, getting on the same page as these guys," Roethlisberger said. "I think that has really helped by being out there in practice and working with these guys, the receivers, the linemen, the running backs, and just getting familiar with each other has really helped our success and our progress."

    Roethlisberger's progress was aided by having a superb running game featuring Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley, operating behind perhaps the league's best offensive line. Pittsburgh ranked second in rushing.

    And the Steelers' defense was the league's best, allowing the fewest points and yards.

    That meant Roethlisberger didn't need to win many games with his arm.

    Yet when he did, he brought back the AFC North champions with late drives to beat Jacksonville and the New York Giants. His composure, competitiveness and intelligent handling of the offense were keys to those wins and several others in which he didn't require such heroics.

    "I did not really know what to expect," said Roethlisberger, the 11th choice in the first round of the draft and the third overall quarterback taken behind Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers, neither of whom had much of an impact.

    "I thought coming in, knowing about Tommy (Maddox) as the starter, that I was going to come in and just try to learn this offense and try to learn to be a backup, whatever coach was going to ask of me," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously, things changed."

    They changed when Maddox injured his right elbow in Game 2 at Baltimore, the Steelers' only loss. There were loud doubts about Pittsburgh's chances of prospering with a rookie quarterback, including some from Roethlisberger's teammates.

    He silenced those doubters very quickly.

    "We've got mostly the same guys, it's Ben that has made a big difference," linebacker Joey Porter said. "Everybody else has been here. Duce and Ben are the biggest two additions we had. Nobody knew he could play at this level this early."

    Roethlisberger finished fifth in passer rating at 98.1. He completed 196 of 295 passes yes, only 99 incompletions for 2,621 yards, with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His best work came in the middle of the schedule and he wasn't quite as dynamic in December. But he kept winning, even as he was given more responsibility in the offense.

    "I think we will surely evolve and add more plays and do more things as an offense," he said, "and I can kind of become more diversified as we continue on this quest this year and in coming years."

    Roethlisberger, whose sensational rookie season could earn him $2.6 million in bonuses, is the fourth Steelers player to win the award, joining receivers Louis Lipps (1984) and Jimmy Orr (1958) and running back Franco Harris (1972).

  2. #2
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Bravo. And no real surprise, of course.

    The real key is that Ben came into a system committed to the running game/ smashmouth/ playoff-style football, and that helped keep the pressure off.

    He was and will only be asked to throw the ball 16-20 times per game, and even less in the playoffs.

    Unlike all the other great rookie QBs (Marino wasn't ROY? I find that hard to believe.), he has not been asked, and as long as he's in Pittsburgh, he will never be asked to carry the team. Bradshaw was only asked to carry the team in the 70s because he's got such a strong/ winning personality - on the field it was up to Mike Webster, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert and Joe Greene to carry the team.) Ben's got an outstanding O-line in front of him, two excellent halfbacks behind him, and a monsterous front-seven (even without its key player Casey Hampton) on the other side of the ball.

    My hope is that Ben realizes just how 'good' he's got it. If he ever dreams of reguarly throwing the ball more than twenty times per game, he'll need a change of address.


    Oh, and for the record - if Cowher wins "coach of the year" - then all the credit should go to his mentor, Dick LeBeau, for bringing back "Blitzburgh" after far too long of an absence.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  3. #3
    canyoufeelit
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Well, I'm sure the ROY award will serve as a small consolation for getting eliminated by the Pats/Colts.

  4. #4
    realtyczar
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    I don't think that Pittsburg could have drafted a better QB to fit their system. Too many times, teams draft a QB then build the system around them. Then they spend years building a team around their QB. By the time they have the players in place, the QB is a free agent and goes elsewhere.

    Not to knock my beloved Colts, but to some extent they have done that. Though Marvin was here prior to signing Peyton, and they signed Peyton to a new contract.

    Pittsburg didn't need a scrambler, AKA Kordell Stewart. That's not what the team was all about.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Quote Originally Posted by realtyczar
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I don't think that Pittsburg could have drafted a better QB to fit their system. Too many times, teams draft a QB then build the system around them. Then they spend years building a team around their QB. By the time they have the players in place, the QB is a free agent and goes elsewhere.

    Not to knock my beloved Colts, but to some extent they have done that. Though Marvin was here prior to signing Peyton, and they signed Peyton to a new contract.

    Pittsburg didn't need a scrambler, AKA Kordell Stewart. That's not what the team was all about.
    You're right...

    And again, they also don't need a guy at QB that 'needs' to throw the ball very often in order to be successful. All they need an efficient QB. Kordell's problem wasn't his scrambling style. Kordell's problem was that he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from five yards away, let alone a receiver. He was just woefully inaccurate. The Bears fans didn't believe me on the day he signed up here. But by game #2, they did. Half of his completions were 'spectacular, diving, one-handed grabs' and the other half were high passes in the middle of the field, and guys quit jumpting to try to catch those after they'd been creamed so many times. But more often than not, I was concerned that he might get called for intentional grounding because his passes just weren't catchable.

    The Steelers have been struggling to find Neil O'Donnell's replacement since he left. Ben is already a better Neil O'Donnel than Neil was.

    Laugh all you want, but in Pittsburgh they always assume they are going to play the AFC championship game at home, and they design thier entire team around playing a game in Pittsburgh in January. You don't want to throw the ball very often if its sixteen degrees and the wind is blowing, so having a low interception % is more important than throwing for a bazillion yards.

    And to knock your beloved Colts, the Irsay family has clearly been trying to do that ever since Elway got away. Ron Meyer was getting things put together; they drafted a pretty good QB, Chris Chandler, that fit into the team they were building (Dickerson, Rison, Hinton, an above-average defense). But then they traded away Chandler (plus Hinton, plus Rison) just to draft/ make room for Jeff George? Dickerson + Chandler + Hinton + Rison >>>> Dickerson + no line + a QB that didn't like to hand the ball to any RB + no receivers. Just foolish.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    Bravo. And no real surprise, of course.

    The real key is that Ben came into a system committed to the running game/ smashmouth/ playoff-style football, and that helped keep the pressure off.

    He was and will only be asked to throw the ball 16-20 times per game, and even less in the playoffs.

    Unlike all the other great rookie QBs (Marino wasn't ROY? I find that hard to believe.), he has not been asked, and as long as he's in Pittsburgh, he will never be asked to carry the team. Bradshaw was only asked to carry the team in the 70s because he's got such a strong/ winning personality - on the field it was up to Mike Webster, Franco Harris, Jack Lambert and Joe Greene to carry the team.) Ben's got an outstanding O-line in front of him, two excellent halfbacks behind him, and a monsterous front-seven (even without its key player Casey Hampton) on the other side of the ball.

    My hope is that Ben realizes just how 'good' he's got it. If he ever dreams of reguarly throwing the ball more than twenty times per game, he'll need a change of address.


    Oh, and for the record - if Cowher wins "coach of the year" - then all the credit should go to his mentor, Dick LeBeau, for bringing back "Blitzburgh" after far too long of an absence.
    Nope. Marino never was ROY in 1983. Eric Dickerson was, though.

  7. #7
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Forgot they were the same year. IIRC, Dickerson was flat-out awesome as a rookie. He may have even been an MVP candidate.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Surprise: Roethlisberger is ROY!

    Wow, I so want to see Colts/Steelers. One way or the other, it's going to be fire vs. water.

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