Week 14: Patriots 10, Steelers 17

December 16th, 2018 by

“It’s not about me and beating the Patriots and beating Tom Brady. It’s about the Pittsburgh Steelers winning a big football game. That’s the only thing that matters to me.” — Ben.



“Good team effort. It was going to be required. I like the no blink and supportive approach of the team in all three phases. We all had moments where we didn’t get it done. But we all had moments where we uplifted the other phases. That is what team is. We did what we had to do. Guys made plays. We are appreciative of the efforts, thankful to get the win, assess it and get ready to move on to the next challenge this journey possesses.” Coach Tomlin.



“With the team’s eighth win of the year, #Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger ensured a non-losing record for the 15th time in his 15 seasons in the NFL.” Burt Lauten, Steelers Director of Communications.



“That last downfield gain by Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger was off a broken play, off script. That’s when the duo is at its best.” Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com.



“I thought [Jaylen Samuels’] whole game was awesome. He caught the ball, he ran. The way that he stepped up was special and James Washington as well. The plays that he made were just huge today for us and big plays for us…I thought guys answered the bell today!” — Ben.



“This was going to be a great challenge for us against a team that is always one of the best. I thought we answered the bell today.” — Ben.






Okay, I think that just about does it, other than Happy Early Christmas, Steeler Nation!

Check out Teresa Varley’s recap here.

Did you miss Ben’s post-game press conference? You can watch it here.


Gunslinger ‘artist’: The risk and reward of Ben Roethlisberger

December 13th, 2018 by

“That’s a tough kid. I don’t know if he gets enough credit for all the things that he does. Runs when he has to, stands in the pocket, gives his receivers time, makes throws under pressure, people hanging on him, consistently the target every defense tries to attack. … He doesn’t give you many chances [for interceptions]. He uses the tight ends, the backs as well as the receivers. He’s got a lot of options. Makes a lot of good decisions on getting the ball to who has the best opportunity in space in coverage or the best matchup.” — Patriots coach Bill Belichick.



From Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com:

111818Very few humans can shuffle frantically to the left to avoid a sack and rip a fastball 45 yards between two Los Angeles Chargers defenders for an Antonio Brown touchdown the way Ben Roethlisberger did in Week 13.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner had that play fresh in his mind as he described the eye-popping — and sometimes head-scratching — duality of Roethlisberger’s confidence as a thrower.

“Sometimes you want to say, ‘Where did that come from?. And then other times you’re like, ‘Where did that come from?’ I mean, it’s just a matter of how you say it.” — Randy Fichtner.



As the Steelers try to strengthen their playoff hopes with a win over the New England Patriots on Sunday, they will place the football in the hands of a quarterback who wins, dazzles and throws interceptions like few others.

In a new era of NFL passers that features human rifles (Patrick Mahomes), RPO wizards (Deshaun Watson) and other 7-on-7 disciples, Roethlisberger might be the last true extension of Brett Favre, whose penchant for picks and big plays embodied the throwback “gunslinger” mantra.

“I’m a quarterback that is going to go out and sling it. You talk about gunslinger or whatever you want to talk about. I’m not going to worry about interceptions. I hate doing them. They bother me. But I’m going to go out and play my game and try to help us win football games.” — Roethlisberger, on his weekly radio show in November.



Two different coaches interviewed for this story brought up the Favre comparison unprompted. One’s a Hall of Famer, the other will surely become one after retirement.

Roethlisberger ranks top five in the NFL in wins (47), touchdown passes (138), passing yards (21,187) and interceptions (65) in the last five seasons.

This season, Roethlisberger ranks tied for second among NFL quarterbacks with 13 interceptions in 13 games, but he also leads in passing attempts with 546 and is second in yards with 4,227.

The interceptions aren’t such a bad thing when viewed through the prism of pure production and wins.

Only Tom Brady (45) and Newton (38) have more regular-season wins than Roethlisberger (37) since 2015. Russell Wilson is tied with Roethlisberger in wins but has played in seven more games. Drew Brees is right behind them with 36.

110918The way Fichtner sees it, Roethlisberger just needs a bigger canvas than most.

“Some quarterbacks are scientists. Some are artists. Ben is an artist,” Fichtner said. “He’s going to create.”

That’s why Fichtner understands the occasional interception — off-script moments make Roethlisberger great — but he encourages Roethlisberger to avoid situational picks that swing momentum on a short field.

Sometimes, Roethlisberger will tell Fichtner that he needs a minute to cool down on the sidelines after a pick, but his longtime coach usually lurks because he wants his quarterback to know he’s with him.

“The ones that [can make his throws], you know their names — [Aaron] Rodgers, [Tom] Brady, [Drew] Brees. We’re talking about the best players in the game. Then sometimes you just say, ‘Wow, c’mon Ben. You can’t make that play every time.’ And sometimes it bites you. And I think he’s able to stand up after 15 years and being a leader of this team and caring, I think he’s able to stand up and say, ‘My bad.’ That’s a part of the game, too. I’m not afraid to say it. I don’t think he’s afraid to say it. That’s kind of what we’re hoping to develop amongst our group, that if I make a mistake, they make a mistake, hey, I’ll own up to it to my buddies, my teammates, and I’ll try not to make that mistake again.” — Randy Fichtner.



The interceptions haven’t affected Roethlisberger’s large presence on opponents’ scouting reports. One NFC defensive coordinator who faced Roethlisberger this season said Big Ben is still one of a small group of quarterbacks who are guaranteed to prolong your Sunday.

Attacking Roethlisberger with a three-man rush is futile, the coordinator said, and the numbers bear that out. Roethlisberger has 24 touchdown passes against three rushers or fewer since 2013, most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“Sometimes you have to make a decision to throw it in there. I like the quarterbacks who do,” the coordinator said. “He’s patient enough to go through his progressions, and he’ll stand in the pocket for as long as it takes. That’s part of why he’s so good. He’ll take chances other guys may not. And sometimes he loses. But he wins more than he loses. He’s like a Favre in that way.”

Tight end Vance McDonald feels a connection with Roethlisberger because he’s not safe.

“You see methodical quarterbacks who enjoy the checkdowns,” McDonald said. “To each his own, but at the same time, Ben is who Ben is because of how he’s played and the decisions he’s made. You never want Ben to be anyone else.

“Gunslinger? I’m all for it.”


You can read more from Mr. Fowler here.


Wednesday’s Q&A with the media

December 12th, 2018 by

Recap from the Steelers’ Teresa Varley:

BenBradyAfter losing the last three games, the Steelers still hold on to first place in the AFC North at 7-5-1, with Baltimore breathing down their necks with a 7-6 record. Winning out is key, and it all begins this week against the Patriots at Heinz Field.

“It’s always a big game,” said Ben Roethlisberger. “They’re the best for a reason and everyone wants to go after them. They are fun, they are physical, a big challenge for us. It hasn’t been a big challenge for them, but for us it has been.”

The Patriots have won the last five meetings against the Steelers, and nine of the last 12 since Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004.

“The Patriots are one of the best teams for a reason. We are not the only team that has issues with them,” said Roethlisberger. “They’re that good. The past is the past, we can only focus on this week.”

The struggles of the last three weeks are something that Roethlisberger admits is frustrating, especially after riding a six-game win streak previously.

“It’s very frustrating. You want to win them all, but you understand you can’t,” said Roethlisberger. “We can only control this week. We have had opportunities. We just for whatever reason haven’t found a way to do it. I don’t think it’s from a lack of sense of urgency. It could be lack of execution, lack of one thing here or there. We understand what it takes to get it done. We just have to do it.

“We realize what’s at stake. Not panic. It’s not going to get any easier.”

The one thing he doesn’t want there to be any confusion over, is that frustration means there is any lack of confidence. Roethlisberger knows what the team is capable of. He said there is no lack of confidence. It’s just a matter now of going out and getting it done.

“I think it’s understanding what we need to do, facing adversity in the face and just getting ready for one of the biggest challenges we have had all year.”


You can watch Ben’s interview here.

You can read more from Ms. Varley here.

The Ben Roethlisberger Show

December 11th, 2018 by

Recap provided by 93.7 The Fan:

BenBozSteelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he is still supports Chris Boswell as the kicker’s struggles continued Sunday in the team’s loss to the Oakland Raiders.

On the #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show Tuesday, Roethlisberger says Boswell was pretty down on himself after the game.

“I never heard anybody say anything negative to him, I never heard anybody yell make the (kick).”

Roethlisberger adds the Boswell needs to have the same confidence that he and the rest of the Steelers do.

“I just kind of put my hand on his back and said, ‘Hey, keep your head up. We’re going to need you at some point’ and hopefully he heard the words,” said Roethlisberger. “I haven’t lost confidence in him. I still think every time he lines up it’s going to go in. He needs to have that same confidence and I hope he does.”


You can listen to Ben’s full show here.


Week 14: Steelers 21, Raiders 24

December 9th, 2018 by

From Teresa Varley’s recap at Steelers.com:

The Steelers fought until the end, but this one slipped away from them, losing to the Raiders, 24-21.

Ben Roethlisberger missed much of the second half with a rib injury, but with the offense not moving the ball with Joshua Dobbs in there, he came back with 5:20 to play in the game. Roethlisberger hit Brown for 13 yards, Samuels for 13 and 23, and Smith-Schuster for 12. Smith-Schuster took it to the one-yard line, and then in traffic grabbed the one-yard touchdown, reclaiming the lead, 21-17, but the lead would be short lived as the Raiders came right back, regaining the lead, 24-21.

With 15 seconds to play Roethlisberger took over again, and a short completion to James Washington and lateral to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who took it 43 more yards to the Raiders 22-yard line, gave them a chance to tie it. Chris Boswell would have sent it into overtime, but he slipped on his 40-yard field goal attempt and the kick was no good, Boswell’s second miss of the day.

Roethlisberger, despite missing more than a quarter and a half, completed 25 of 29 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.


You can read Ms. Varley’s full recap here.

You can watch & listen to Ben’s post-game interview here.


A different kind of Throwback Thursday…

December 6th, 2018 by

wayyy back to the days of Boy Bands, BIG hair, WHAM, The Karate Kid & Debbie Gibson:


Screenshot_2018-12-06-11-10-03-2

It was 80’s Night Skate at the kids’ youth group. Benjamin and Baylee won the awards for Best Dressed! — Ben.




Of course they did! They look great!! And Bodie should have won too!



The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation awards another grant

December 6th, 2018 by

“We are honored to be the recipient of this grant. Our K-9 training facility will be improved tremendously with the help of this money, thus improving the training not only for our K-9 Unit, but the other units who routinely use our facility for training.” — Sergeant Kalani Souza, Modesto Police Department, CA.



121015_1Today, Ben announces the eighth grant award of the 2018 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.

The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Modesto Police Department, east of Oakland Alameda Coliseum where the Steelers will play the Raiders on December 9.

The Modesto Police Department will utilize the grant funds to update their K-9 training facility which is in need of some improvements, including agility equipment, secured housing for the K-9s, and general repair and maintenance.

During the 2018 NFL season, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation will be distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. The Foundation will also distribute several grants to the Pittsburgh area. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

This marks the 12th season that Ben’s foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. His mission is to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States, with a particular emphasis on support for working dogs in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation distributed more than $170,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2017 NFL season, including $82,000 in the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.92 million since 2007.


If you’d like more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation you can visit Ben’s Foundation page. For more in-depth information, please contact Jessica Duffaut at www.givingback.org.


Fans:

You can help support future K-9 grants 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 Ben’s foundation.


The Ben Roethlisberger Show

December 4th, 2018 by

“There is not an issue! Sometimes people make a big deal out of things that have been said. We always say that doesn’t affect us. I knew that there was no issue in our locker room, AB knew there was no issue in our locker room. We have a great relationship….he is one of my closest friends on the team. Even James Washington – it was nothing more than me challenging him to be ready to go. He had a great week of practice. He and I had a great talk on Saturday morning. There was no hard feelings and I didn’t think there would be…no negativitly came from it.” — Ben addressing question about any issues in the locker room with his comments last week.



Recap provided by 93.7 The Fan:

On his weekly radio show Tuesday, Ben Roethlisberger, fighting a cold, addressed the big 33-30 home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday Night Football.

The loss gives the Steelers only a half-game lead over the surging Baltimore Ravens.

“We don’t expect to lose at home. We always talk about winning all your home games and then when you go on the road, trying to get half of them. It seems recently we’ve been a lot better on the road for whatever reason, so it’s frustrating. Especially if you let the fans down that come out to see a great show. You want to win it for them and when you don’t, you feel like you let them down and it’s hard.”



Roethlisberger said he gives credit to the Los Angeles Chargers for out playing them in the second half on Sunday. He says the loss to the Bolts was “definately tough” and sort of felt like losing a playoff game.

“It hurts. I think maybe a good accurate description, a playoff loss. The only good thing about it is, we woke up the next day and we’re still alive, it’s not the end of the season…I think it definitely was heartbreaking for all of us in that locker room.”



Asked about the poor officiating, Roethlisberger would only say,

“What are you going to do about it now? You can talk about it all you want, but it’s not like they’re going to go change the outcome of the game. Not really much I can say about it.”



One of the self-inflicted mistakes the Steelers made was a first half interception while the Steelers were driving in Chargers territory. Roethlisberger says that pick is all on him.

“It’s one of those ones where Vance was going kind of down the middle across the field, and when I let go of it, it just came off my hand, bad. Obviously it just kind of fluttered in the air, slipped off my hand. It’s no one’s fault but my own. I go to get more on it. At least give him a chance to go up and break it up or whatever. But it was so bad that he didn’t have a chance to do that. I hate it.”



Another play Roethlisberger says he is taking responsibility for is the overthrow to Justin Hunter.

“It’s one of those things where he ran a great route, we had a great play call on. I had to throw it a little bit…so I tried to look at the safety towards AB to the right, and so you let it go before he’s kind of completely open, but he’s still open, and I thought I threw a good ball. I really did. I thought, and I still to this day, thought I put it where I wanted to, but it was too far, and I feel bad. I told Justin because he got hurt on that play and I feel bad. If I would have thrown a better ball, he wouldn’t have got hurt…You have to connect on that throw, and it’s on me.”



The Steelers threw the ball 45 times and ran only 17 on Sunday night. Roethlisberger says there isn’t anything to read into it and that they are just doing what they think will get them the win.

“I don’t think that there’s any reason for people to get worked up over the number of runs compared to passes…People are always going to get worked up over the numbers, when you lose especially. I don’t know if people would get as worked up if we would have won the game. That’s why Randy [Fichtner] calls the plays for us and I think we’re all just fine with the run-pass ratio. We just want to win.”



While running back James Conner did get injured on Sunday, (Ben would not comment on the injury), he doesn’t think the NFL sophomore is slowing down.

“I see a guy that’s in great shape. A guy that worked extra hard this offseason to make sure he’s in great shape. You know we talk a lot on this show, and you hear it a lot of places about that rookie wall that guys hit it…obviously this isn’t James’ first season, but this is the most action he’s had. I’ve yet to see him hit that wall.”



You can listen to Ben’s show here.


Week 13: Steelers 30, Chargers 33

December 3rd, 2018 by

“I don’t know whether it’s ‘out of our control’, I could have played better and then it is in your control. You just can’t play bad football against a good football team….I just didn’t play well enough.” We’re not going to put [the game] in the refs’ hands, like I said, we just need to play better football. Like I said, we didn’t play well enough on offense. — Ben, answering questions after the game.


From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

120318The Steelers saw a 23-7 halftime lead disappear, falling to the Los Angeles Chargers, 33-30, on a field goal with no time left on the clock.

The loss has the Steelers at 7-4-1, still holding on to first place in the AFC North, just a half-game ahead of Baltimore, 7-5.

The Chargers had 23 unanswered points in the second half, taking a 30-23 lead.

The Steelers tied it at 30-30 with 4:10 to play when Ben Roethlisberger connected with Jaylen Samuels for a 10-yard touchdown.

But the Chargers wouldn’t go away. Philip Rivers drove them down to the 21-yard line, where kicker Michael Badgley had three opportunities to make a field goal. His 39-yard attempt went wide left, but Joe Haden was offsides. A 34-yard attempt was blocked by Artie Burns, who was flagged for offsides on the play. The third attempt, a 29-yarder, gave the Chargers the win.

“We didn’t get it done today,” said Antonio Brown, who had 10 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown. “No excuses need to be made.”

Ben Roethlisberger, who completed 29 of 45 passes for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, said he should have played better and summed it up simply.

“Bad loss,” said Roethlisberger.

Injuries also mounted for the Steelers in the game, including James Conner leaving in the fourth quarter with a lower leg contusion.


You can read Ms. Varley”s full recap here.

You can listen to Ben’s post-game interview here.


“Steelers make a wish come true”

November 30th, 2018 by

113018

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

Brody Kleitsch couldn’t stop smiling. And it was easy to understand why.

Kleitsch, a 12-year old from Fairbank, Iowa, was the guest of Steelers a the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex for practice on Friday through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, getting to see all of his favorite players up close and personal.

Kleitsch, who has osteosarcoma, especially lit up when he saw his favorite player Ben Roethlisberger.

“The Steelers have been my favorite team forever,” said Kleitsch. “Football is my favorite sport. A lot of my friends, aunt and uncles like the Steelers. That is how I started to like them.

“Today when I saw them, it’s super cool.”

He and his family will also attend Sunday night’s game against the Chargers at Heinz Field, an experience he is looking forward to as it’s his first NFL game ever.

“I am really excited,” said Kleitsch. “I can’t wait to see everyone in person.”


You can see more great photos from Brody’s day here.


MAGAZINE/BOOK ALERT!

WHAT: Nothing at this time
WHEN:
WHERE:

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The ProCamps Ben Roethlisberger Youth Fantasy Experience
WHEN: June 17, 2018
WHERE: Steelers Practice Facility, Pittsburgh, PA.
REGISTRATION: Sign up here.

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT:
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2018 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

9/09 @ Browns Tie: 21-21
9/16 Chiefs Loss: 42-37
9/24 @ Buccaneers Win: 30-27
9/30 Ravens Loss: 26-14
10/7 Falcons Win: 41-17
10/14 @ Bengals Win: 28-21
10/21 BYE N/A
10/28 Browns Win: 33-18
11/4 @ Ravens Win: 23-16
11/8 Panthers Win: 52-21
11/18 Jaguars Win: 20-16
11/25 @ Broncos Loss: 24-17
12/2 Chargers Loss: 30-33
12/9 @ Raiders Loss: 24-21
12/16 Patriots Win: 17-10
12/23 @ Saints 4:25 pm – CBS
12/30 Bengals 1:00 pm – CBS