Official opening of Ben Roethlisberger Field is set for April

March 27th, 2015 by

“This gift is a huge thank you to everything, on and off the field, that Miami University provided me. Attending Miami was one of the best decisions of my life and I am happy to play a small part in helping to rebuild this football program.” – Ben.



Miami University opened its indoor sports center the first week of February, but it will be officially unveiled to the public during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 25th.


BenRoethlisbergerField_Jan312015
In October of last year, Ben and Ashley agreed to donate $1 million towards the Indoor Sports Center at Miami University.

The 91,000-square-foot complex that took about a year to construct was funded by $13 million in donations, and it will be used by student-athletes, intramural and club sports teams as well as youth athletic programs for tournaments.

The facility includes a full 120-yard football field with a synthetic playing surface similar to neighboring Yager Stadium. It also has netting for baseball, softball and golf; four 100-yard sprint lanes, a high jump and long jump equipment for track; storage space and an observation deck.

According to the Miami Redhawks site, this new facility “will positively impact all 19 of Miami’s sports programs and allow teams to train year-round”.

“I want to thank Ben and Ashley for their support of Miami Athletics. This gift continues our vision to make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes and that includes winning MAC Championships. I am thankful that both Ben and Ashley share in that same vision.” – Miami Athletics Director David Sayler.


More from the Miami Redhawks website:

050612graduation_ben_ashleyIn his time at Miami, Roethlisberger completed 854-of-1,304 pass attempts for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns from 2001-03. His junior campaign was one for the ages, throwing for 4,486 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading Miami to 12-consecutive wins, including a Mid-American Conference Championship and GMAC Bowl victory.

That season alone, he captured third-team All-America honors and was just the third player in Miami history to garner the Vern Smith Award as the Mid-American Conference Most Valuable Player.

Roethlisberger to this day still ranks first in Miami history in completion percentage (.655) and touchdowns, and is second in pass attempts, completions, yards and total offense (11,075).


*Photo courtesy of Kyle Kron (@kylekronMiami).


March 25, 2004 – Ben’s Pro Day Workout

March 25th, 2015 by

Taking another look back…

“It’s a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL. Everything I get to do, meet all these coaches, see Al Davis, visit with Warren Moon, it’s a dream coming true. It’s hard to believe. I have to pinch myself and make sure it’s true.” – Ben, on both the experience and the opportunity to play in the NFL, March of 2004.


From the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte:

QB Ben packs ‘em in for pro workout –

Scouts or assistant coaches from nearly all 32 NFL teams made their way to Oxford. Two head coaches, Green Bay’s Mike Sherman and the Giants’ Tom Coughlin – along with Giants’ general manager Ernie Accorsi and three of the club’s scouts – were there, too.

Charting each of the players’ moves with stopwatches and clipboards, scouts watched them lift weights, jump, sprint and run agility drills before congregating in Yager Stadium for the main event: Ben throws.

And Roethlisberger, a sure-fire top-five pick rated along with Mississippi’s Eli Manning as one of the top two quarterbacks in the draft, did not disappoint.

He threw long and short, soft and hard, down the middle and toward the sideline – showing off his impressive arm and timing on the deep out pattern.

Roethlisberger ran 4.76 seconds in the 40-yard dash. And he clocked an 11.8 – considered fast for a quarterback – on a three-cone agility drill.

“He’s probably going to be gone before we pick, but I always want to cover our bases in case something happens – he falls or we move up,” Sherman said. “I thought he had an excellent workout. He did everything here he does on tape. You have to watch the game tape to really appreciate what kind of quarterback he is and what kind of leadership skills he has.”


You can read the rest of Mr. Curnutte’s 2004 article here.



From NFL.com‘s “Pro Day Workout – Ben Roethlisberger” the day after:

As expected, there was a big turn out here as over 50 NFL personnel people attended.

Roethlisberger’s workout was scripted by Steve Clarkson, who is a former San Jose State QB and currently helps prepare quarterbacks for the NFL. Roethlisberger (6-4 7/8, 240) ran his 40s in 4.81 and 4.82. He had a 30-inch vertical, a 4.32 short shuttle and a 6.81 three-cone drill.

His positional drills were referred to as outstanding. They had him throw a lot of passes on the move, and threw about 80 passes total with very good accuracy. He threw to Grant Mattos, who was with the Chargers last year, along with Cal Murry, a running back at Miami, Ohio this past year and tight end Matt Brandt (no relation). They finished the workout by having him stand flat-footed on his own 40 and throwing to receivers in five-yard increments starting at the opposing 30-yard line. By the end of the drill, he was connecting to receivers in the end zone 60 yards away. One Giants personnel guy said to me, “I’ve seen enough,” as in Roethlisberger can’t get any better. Another person there said, “If Al Davis passes on him, he’s making a big mistake.”


The 2004 Pro-Day article from NFL.com is no longer available to view.



And from the Cincinnati Enquirer once again, on April 13th – just 11 days before the 2004 NFL Draft:

In sizing up this year’s NFL Draft quarterback class, it’s not too tough to figure out who the top three candidates are. But picking between Mississippi’s Eli Manning, Miami of Ohio’s Ben Roethlisberger and North Carolina State’s Philip Rivers is all about a matter of taste as much as it is about risk and reward.

“The thing I find unique about it is every one of those guys is different,” said San Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer. “Ben Roethlisberger is a giant of a guy, a terrific athlete. Reminds me of a (Daunte) Culpepper or a (Steve) McNair. He just has a rocket of an arm and had a terrific workout.

One reason why San Diego might be willing to trade with New York and drop down to the No. 4 pick is the belief that it will get Roethlisberger, who put on a show for scouts at his workout with his arm strength and mobility for a guy who is 6-foot-5 and weighs 242 pounds.

Of the top three players in this class, Roethlisberger has a stronger arm than Manning — with his classic over-the-top delivery — and Rivers, whose sidearm style has been widely questioned.

Roethlisberger completed 69.1 percent (342 of 495) of his passes for 4,486 yards and 37 touchdowns as a senior, all single-season school records. He joins Pennington and Leftwich as the only MAC quarterbacks to pass for 3,000 or more yards in three separate seasons.


You can read the rest of Mr. Kotala’s Pre-Draft summary here.


Wait! There’s a “National Day” for puppies?

March 23rd, 2015 by

You bet there is!

And we’re celebrating National Puppy Day by saying Thank You to these hard-working K9 officers (who eventually grew up to be great protectors)!

K9PuppyCollage
The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation awards grants to police and fire departments throughout the U.S. with a particular emphasis on support for K-9 units and service dogs.

The majority of the grants distributed will help K-9 units to purchase dogs and dog safety vests, but other types of K-9 related needs are considered. In fact, not only has Ben’s foundation been awarding grants for the purchase of the dogs themselves, but also for the purchase of equipment, training, and even veterinary bills since 2006.

Ben also strives to support Make-A-Wish and his foundation has distributed in excess of $1.2 million.


You can learn more about The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and make a donation here.

For more information on the grant process, contact Jessica Duffaut at The Giving Back Fund (www.GivingBack.org).

You can support future K-9 grants and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com), using a special purchase code (77-7777). Sarris will donate 25 percent of the purchase price to his foundation.



Photo credits: Montgomery County (MD) Sheriff’s Office, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department, Boston Police Department, John Kozowyk, and APlaceToLoveDogs.com.

The birthday girl stops by…

March 19th, 2015 by

I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes! There were so many left for me on Facebook & Twitter and in emails to my dad’s website that I felt just like a princess!

baylee1stbday_pink_ws
My first birthday has been so much fun, especially the cake-eating part (naturally, I was a much neater eater than my brother!!) A girl could really get used to this.

BayleeBirthdayCakeCollage1
I’m really excited for my birthday party this weekend, but Steeler Nation made today feel like a party too – a big one! XOXOXO – Baylee


It’s a Throwback Thursday

March 19th, 2015 by

with the spotlight on Baylee Marie Roethlisberger, born March 19, 2014.

This adorable little girl turns one…

BayleeBirthdayCollage
…and boy, has her first year been fun!!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BAYLEE!


Brown: Pittsburgh Steelers ownership at a glance

March 18th, 2015 by

Highlights from Scott Brown’s column at ESPN.com this afternoon:

031815Art Rooney, Dan’s father, paid the NFL a $2,500 franchise fee to found the team in 1933, according to the Steelers. In 1975, he officially turned over day-to-day operations to his oldest son, Dan, who became Steelers president.

Art Rooney passed away in 1988 and passed the Steelers down to his five sons — 18 percent each — with the McGinley family owning the other 10 percent. Dan Rooney continued to run the team as president and two decades after his father’s death he kept the Steelers in the only family that has ever owned them.

Ownership philosophy: Puts a premium on stability and building through the draft. Strong drafts led to the Steelers playing in three Super Bowls, winning two of them, from 2005 to 2010.

Playoff appearances: 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014

Super Bowl appearances/championships: Lost to Cowboys 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX (1995 season), beat Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL (2005), beat Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII (2008), lost to Packers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV (2010).

Defining moment in ownership tenure: The Steelers were leaning toward taking Arkansas offensive lineman Shawn Andrews with their first-round pick in 2004 after quarterback Eli Manning and Philip Rivers were selected before No. 11 overall. Rooney did not want the Steelers to pass on a potentially great quarterback, something they had done with Dan Marino in 1983. Rooney steered the conversation toward Ben Roethlisberger as he recounted in his book, “Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.” The Steelers drafted the Miami (Ohio) quarterback, who became a starter in the third game of 2004 because of an injury to Tommy Maddox and went 13-0 in the regular season. Roethlisberger has been entrenched as the Steelers’ quarterback since and led them to a pair of Super Bowl wins — Pittsburgh’s first world championships since the 1970s.


More from Mr. Brown here.


It’s another Warrior Wednesday!

March 18th, 2015 by

Kevin Cundiff, a four-tour U.S. Army veteran, sent us an email after viewing last week’s Warrior Wednesday post and told us he wanted to “add to the collection” with his own photos:

KevinCundiff_20

KevinCundiff_1

KevinCundiff0

“These were all snapped in Afghanistan in 2011. Except the flag, that was Iraq 2010.” – Kevin



*Thank you so much for sharing these photos Kevin, and a bigger THANK YOU for you service to our country! God Bless you!!


Teammates talk Big Ben

March 14th, 2015 by

“Ben is our general. Any time he is in the huddle, you always know game on and he is on the verge of being special and doing things to make guys around him better. He is one of the best to do it. When he shows up, we know what time it is. It absolutely amazes me every time he makes a huge play. He is back there shaking off defenders, being able to throw the ball down the field. He just continues to get better, evolve, play hungry and be motivated.” – Antonio Brown.



From Teresa Varley at Steelers.com today:

031415Some of Roethlisberger’s teammates shared what Roethlisberger means to the offense and what makes him the franchise quarterback that he is.


More from wide receiver Antonio Brown:

“Ben is the ultimate leader. He makes guys around him better, just with the little things, being prepared, and challenging the offense. He is always encouraging everyone to get better.”


Running back Le’Veon Bell:

“He means everything. He is the guy that makes us go. In the huddle, in practice, you see him put everybody on the same page. He is the starter, he is the leader of the offense and we all follow him.

“For me personally, there are a lot times during games he has told me not to get frustrated. He understands I might have the first eight carries and only get two yards on each carry. He always tells me to stay patient, my runs will come and things like that. He is a leader and he helps me become a leader.”


Guard Ramon Foster:

“Ben means everything to the offense. He says most games the offense goes as the offensive line goes. Ben puts us, the offensive line and the offense in general, in the right position. He commands the field. When he is calling the plays he is great at putting us in the right place.

“I am glad to have him as my quarterback and I think he is one of the elite guys in the league. It’s fun playing on the line with him as the quarterback. A lot of teams don’t have that luxury of having an experienced quarterback and Ben has won two Super Bowls. He knows how to win, he knows it was just a matter of us catching up with him. When you have a guy like Ben you always have a chance to win games and championships. He is a guy who has grown more and more with his leadership skills.”


Defensive end Cam Heyward:

“For him to do what he does, the longevity he has been doing it for, in an unconventional way, you take notice and respect it. Nobody is doing it like he is doing it. He is a one of a kind talent.”

On going against Ben in practice:

“In practice he is always trying to break our will. He is trying to score as many touchdowns and have as many productive plays as possible. Going against him prepares us for any team we go up against. As much as I love going up against him in practice, what he does in games is give us a chance to win and we feel confident when he has the ball in his hands.”


You can read more of Ms. Varley’s interviews here.


Ben & the Steelers agree to terms on a new contract

March 13th, 2015 by

“There is no question Ben has grown over the years and truly has become a leader of our team.” – Art Rooney II


“It’s home. It’s family. As much as my wife and kids are family, so is the Rooney family and my team and coaches.” – Ben, on why he wanted to stay with the Steelers.


BenContract_1
From Bob Labriola this evening:

Corny, maybe, but it was a family affair late in the afternoon on a Friday the 13th at the Steelers practice facility.

On hand were Ben Roethlisberger and his family – wife Ashley, son Ben Jr., and daughter Baylee – and the news conference was called to mark the occasion of the team’s franchise quarterback remaining a part of the Steelers family through the 2019 NFL season.

Just minutes before Steelers President Art Rooney II walked to the podium with a big smile on his face, Ben Roethlisberger officially had signed a new five-year contract that binds him to the team through the 2019 NFL season.

“We are excited to announce today that we’ve agreed on a new contract, a five-year deal,” said Rooney. “We are looking forward to the future, and we certainly know that Ben has a number of great years ahead, and he will continue to lead our team. Right now, as you all know, he owns most of our (passing) records, but there are still a couple of important records that we are going after in the next few years.”

Roethlisberger turned 32 on March 2, which means he will be 37 when this contract is set to expire. Entering his 12th NFL season in 2015, Roethlisberger will have played 16 NFL seasons come the conclusion of the 2019 season, all of them with the Steelers, the team that selected him on the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

“It’s kind of hard to contain my smile when I’m excited to be at a place like this, to be home, and to be able to be here for my whole career,” said Roethlisberger. “I know most of you have heard me say for a long time that this is where I have always wanted to be and where I have wanted to spend my whole career. This organization has given me an opportunity to do that. I just feel very blessed to have the opportunity to play for such a great franchise, with great coaches, great teammates, and the best fans in the world. I’m extremely happy that we got a deal done. It’s incredibly fair for both sides. We are just excited to move forward and get some more Lombardi trophies in that room next door.”

Roethlisberger was going to be entering the final year of his previous contract, but that was torn up and replaced by the deal he signed late this afternoon.

“First and foremost, our goal is to win Lombardi trophies,” added Roethlisberger. “I’m excited to be able to really put the pedal to the metal. I think we have a good, young football team that has a lot of talent and a lot of ability. Walking down the hall, I asked if there was room in that trophy display for more trophies, because that has to be our ultimate goal. I trust that Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the organization will put the best team on the football field, and we are going to give it everything we have.”


You can read more here, and enjoy a few photos here.

Bob Labriola also takes a look back at Ben’s career here.

Teresa Varley lists 7 things about #7’s career here.

You can check out video highlights of #7’s finest moments during the 2014 season here.


*Thank you to the Steelers organization for their continued support (and this great photo!).


Congratulations to Ben!

March 13th, 2015 by

Named to the 2015 MAC Hall of Fame.


From the Miami Redhawks official page today:

MACHOFThe Mid-American Conference announced today the 2015 MAC Hall of Fame Induction Class as five new members will be inducted in the MAC Hall of Fame on Wednesday, May 27 during the MAC Honor’s Dinner at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel.

The five inductees are Casey Cunningham (Central Michigan, wrestling), Bob Parks (Eastern Michigan, men’s cross country, men’s track and field), Ben Roethlisberger (Miami, football), Gary Pinkel (Toledo/Kent State, football) and George Dales (Western Michigan, men’s cross country, men’s track and field).

“It is only appropriate for our Conference to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of our former student-athletes, coaches and administrators, specifically these five individuals, and their achievements during their time competing in the Mid-American Conference,” said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, MAC Commissioner. “We are honored to welcome them to the Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame.”

“The Mid-American Conference Hall of Fame is a testament to the achievements of those that have competed and served in this great Conference,” added Steinbrecher.

MAC Bio: Ben Roethlisberger, Miami (football) -

Ben Roethlisberger has won a pair of Super Bowls as the starting quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers after being selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. With the Steelers he has thrown for 39,057 yards and 251 touchdowns, while earning three Pro Bowl appearances and earning NFL Rookie of the Year in 2004.

Just this past season he set an NFL record for passing yards (522) in a game and set another NFL record with 12 passing touchdowns combined in two games.

In his time at Miami, Roethlisberger completed 854-of-1,304 pass attempts for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns from 2001-03. His junior campaign was one for the ages, throwing for 4,486 yards and 37 touchdowns, leading Miami to 12-consecutive wins, including a Mid-American Conference Championship and GMAC Bowl victory.

That season alone, he captured third-team All-America honors and was just the third player in Miami history to garner the Vern Smith Award as the Mid-American Conference Most Valuable Player. Roethlisberger to this day still ranks first in Miami history in completion percentage (.655) and touchdowns, and is second in pass attempts, completions, yards and total offense (11,075).


Tickets are available for the MAC Honor’s Dinner on Wednesday, May 27 at 6:00 pm ET at the Cleveland Renaissance Hotel.

Individual tickets ($100 each) and a table of ten ($950) are available for purchase. Contact Julie Kachner at the Mid-American Conference office at 216-566-4622.


MAGAZINE/BOOK ALERT!

WHAT: Nothing at this time
WHEN:
WHERE:

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Fundraiser
WHEN: Sunday, June 22, 2014
WHERE: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, Warrendale, PA
TICKETS: Get them in advance here.

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational
WHEN: Monday, June 23, 2014
WHERE: Treesdale Golf and Country Club, Gibsonia, PA
TICKETS: Get them in advance to play in the tournament (foursomes only) here.

 


2014 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

8/9 Pre-Season – NYG Loss: 20-16
8/16 Pre-Season – Buffalo Win: 19-16
8/21 Pre-Season – @ Philadelphia Loss: 31-21
8/29 Pre-Season – Carolina Loss: 10-0
9/7 Cleveland Win: 30-27
9/11 @ Baltimore Loss: 26-6
9/21 @ Carolina Win: 37-19
9/28 Tampa Bay Loss: 27-24
10/5 @ Jacksonville Win: 17-9
10/12 @ Cleveland Loss: 31-10
10/20 Houston Win: 30-23
10/26 Indianapolis Win: 51-34
11/2 Baltimore Win: 43-23
11/9 @ New York Jets Loss: 20-13
11/17 @ Tennessee Win: 27-24
11/24 BYE N/A
11/30 New Orleans Loss: 35-32
12/7 @ Cincinnati Win: 42-21
12/14 @ Atlanta Win: 27-20
12/21 Kansas City Win: 20-12
12/28 Cincinnati Win: 27-17