Greatest of All-Time

By Je’Rod Cherry

If the Steelers win Super Bowl XLV and Ben Roethlisberger plays a prominent part in the Steelers’ success, the argument will and can be made that “Big Ben” is one of the greater “winning quarterbacks” of all time. Notice I wrote “greater” and not greatest. Big Ben as long as he continues to be a public relations nightmare will not receive the respect and accolades that typically are associated with successful quarterback play. Characterizations like being smart and or cerebral will not show up on his Wikipedia page or during his Hall of Fame introduction when a close associate delivers Roethlisberger’s football epitaph.

The funny thing about Roethlisberger is that his combination of size, strength, instinct, and ingenuity may actually make him the greatest quarterback in today’s modern game. Purist will argue no way does Roethlisberger even enter the conversation with Brady and Manning. I once felt the same way. What makes Big Ben arguably the greatest quarterback of this era is the fact that he is able to do what Brady and Manning can not do and that is extend the length of plays while in the clutches of a defender.

Compare Roethlisberger’s performance vs. the Jets to Manning and Brady’s and you will see plays in which they are sacked and Roethlisberger escapes and makes a big play or does not place his offense in unmanageable down and distance situations.  What I find also intriguing in regards to the evolution of Big Ben’s game is that in the past, his ability to stay alive led to poor decision making and forcing throws. Now he seems to have gotten a handle on the INT’s, thus superb quarterback play.

As I bring this to a close, waiting in the wings to enter the conversation of greatest of all time is Aaron Rodgers. The ironic thing about Rodgers is that he has the traits within his game that make Brady, Manning, and Big Ben potential greatest of all time!  All Rodgers is missing to legitimately enter the ring of discussion is the Super Bowl ring.


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