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Flashback Friday

Spending all those Father’s Day Weekends at the ProCamps Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp!

And there’s no better way to start it off than with this great moment in 2017 captured by photographer Matt Freed:

Followed by a fun video that same year shared by parent Eileen Mess:

Big Ben was EVERYWHERE! He coached, he passed, he ran & he had a great time!

“Great job, Ben!! So nice of you to give of your time to be with the children. You are such a great mentor for the kids! Plus, you are a great quarterback! GO BEN!!!” — Reno Davis.

“We do a lot of quarterback drills, some receiver drills, and a little bit of running back stuff, but mostly just catching and throwing.”

Ben says a more important lesson to teach, though, is sportsmanship.

“Just a second ago, I was throwing passes and a kid dropped it and one of his teammates said, ‘It’s OK, you’ll get the next one.’ To hear that kind of stuff already is just great.”

Camp was also about catching up with old friends…

like Zachery Mezger!

And making new ones…

like Alex Bentley!

You never knew who was going to show up from the Steelers to help their QB!

Charlie Batch, Coach Tomlin, Brett Keisel, Kelvin Beachum and David DeCastro all came out to support #7.

Steve Davidyak ‏@Badlab
@bgradkowski5 Thanks for taking a moment to snap a pic with my boys  @ProCamps ‘s @ProCamps! You are a class act!

A tough work-out with Big Ben, followed by plenty of big smiles!

“We drove 417 miles for Big Ben’s football camp […]

By |June 18th, 2021|

Big Ben and Coach Canada on the same page

The Steelers are holding their mandatory veteran minicamp at Heinz Field on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

From Coach’s interview with the media today:

New offensive coordinator Matt Canada maintained there won’t be any issues relative to what he wants to do and what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger prefers to do when the Steelers have the ball.

“We’re gonna do what Ben wants to do and how Ben wants to do it,” Canada said. “Our job is putting every player in position to make plays. There are changes with terminology, how we’re calling things, which has been an adjustment for Ben. He has adapted easily, just like we all knew that he would.

“But that is our job, matchups are how you win football games. It starts with the quarterback, what does he do well? What does he like? What does he see? What is good to his eye in the passing game? And then we build off of that, and that’s what we’re gonna do. His voice, his vision, what he sees will be what we do.”

Canada assessed Roethlisberger capable of doing whatever’s required along those lines.

“Ben can do everything really well,” Canada assessed. “I don’t have any concern about Ben doing anything that we want to do.

“If you’re gonna run the football, I think play-action is very important. Mr. Rooney (Steelers president Art II) has sent out a very clear directive to Mr. Colbert (General Manager Kevin), to Coach Tomlin (head coach Mike) and then to me, we want to be able to run the ball when we have to run it. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna run the ball for X-amount of yards in a game. All that matters here is winning. Our charge is to win the Super Bowl, and that’s it.

“Every year you’re trying to create a system to put your players in position to make plays. And to run the football, we certainly believe play-action is a part of that. But that’s not the only focal point we have. We’re gonna run the ball when we have to run it and we’re gonna throw it when we have to throw it. And after that we’re going to do everything we can to get our best players in position to make the plays their talents direct us […]

By |June 15th, 2021|

Cowher: Ben first to congratulate him on HOF announcement

From Bryan DeArdo, CBS Sports:

Bill Cowher says he received over 600 congratulatory text messages shortly after receiving his Hall of Fame announcement during an NFL broadcast on Jan. 11, 2019. At about 7:50 p.m. ET, Cowher — a member of CBS Sports’ NFL coverage since 2007 — was greeted by Hall of Fame president David Baker, who informed Cowher that he would be part of the Hall of Fame’s centennial class.

At 7:51 p.m., Cowher received his first congratulatory text message. The sender? Ben Roethlisberger, Cowher’s quarterback during his final three years as coach of the Steelers.

“Congratulations, Coach. I’m so happy for you,” Roethlisberger said in the text, according to Cowher in his new book, “Heart and Steel.”

“Through the years, he’d sent multiple messages saying he wished he’d played for me later in his career,” Cowher wrote of Roethlisberger. “He says he would have appreciated me more than he did in the first few years. I only coached him for three seasons. He’s had a tremendous career, and Mike Tomlin’s done a great job with him.”

In his book, Cowher detailed what it was like coaching Roethlisberger during his record-setting rookie season. After meeting with him several times before the draft, Cowher and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert decided that, while they wouldn’t trade up to select him, Roethlisberger wouldn’t get past them if he was still on the board with the 11th overall pick. Roethlisberger ultimately was, and the Steelers made a decision that would impact the franchise for the next two decades.

Roethlisberger’s immense talent was apparent during his first summer in Pittsburgh.

“Ben could make something positive out of a broken play, which nobody can teach,” Cowher wrote. “He also had that big ego on the field that great quarterbacks have. He just didn’t know enough to be hesitant. And that competitiveness, which Kevin Colbert and I’d noticed early, shone. When a play broke down, he improvised, he took chances, he did unconventional things to make something good out of something bad.

“With some quarterbacks, a broken-down play is their opportunity to extend it, not lose yardage. But Ben was all about turning it into a plus-yardage play. Right away I could see our challenge would be to make him work within our system while not […]

By |June 9th, 2021|

Minka talks Big Ben

From his media interview today, per Teresa Varley at Steelers.com:

This year is the first time that Fitzpatrick has taken part in OTAs with his Steelers teammates. He missed them his first year in black and gold because he was traded early in the season, and in 2020 there weren’t OTAs. So, this year he is taking advantage of everything and using them to get ready for 2021.

And speaking of that, a perfect example he gave after Tuesday’s OTAs was Ben Roethlisberger. Fitzpatrick had the luxury of working against Roethlisberger on Tuesday because the veteran quarterback, in his 18th season, has been taking part in voluntary OTAs on a regular basis, something that is benefiting everyone on the field and giving the secondary some good looks to prepare for.

“I am happy Ben is out here,” said Fitzpatrick. “He has been doing this a while. He doesn’t have to be out here competing against us. He chooses to come out and compete. When he is out there everyone gets better.

“It’s a great look for me. Not too many quarterbacks can do the things he does. The very first play he held me in the field a little bit and made a throw backside. Not too many guys are doing that across the league. Me going up against that, I get to go back and watch film, or on the field say I could have done this better, remind myself of the fundamentals when I go against a guy like Ben. This year we are going against a lot of guys that are high caliber. Him coming out here, I respect it, appreciate it. We are going to see some great looks. Everybody gets better when Ben is out there.”

You can read more from Minka Fitzpatrick’s interview here.

Photo: Karl Roser/Steelers

By |June 8th, 2021|

“10 Greatest Moments of Ben Roethlisberger’s Career”

Super Bowls, shoelace tackles and so much more. Big Ben has provided plenty of jaw-dropping moments in his career. — Jarrett Bailey.

Mr. Bailey’s list at SI.com:

Over the last two decades, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has given us a lot to marvel at.

Whether it’s a throw that was fit into the tightest of windows, extending the play for a large gain, or the two Super Bowl rings, there have been a large number of notable Big Ben moments. Trying to break it down into the ten best was a chore, but here are the ten best moments of Ben Roethlisberger’s career.

10. 3rd and 18 scramble vs. Bills: 2010

This was a crucial moment in the game and vintage Ben Roethlisberger. On 3rd and 18, with just over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a tied game in Orchard Park, Roethlisberger broke away from a sack and sprinted to his right, where there were no Bills defenders. Roethlisberger dove forward for a gain of 19 and a Pittsburgh first down. The Steelers would get a field goal to take a 16-13 lead before the Bills tied the game to send it to overtime. Shaun Suisham would win the game for Pittsburgh with a 41-yard field goal.

9. Touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes vs. Baltimore: 2008

The first of two crucial late-game touchdowns on the season for Holmes came in Week 15 in Baltimore with the AFC North on the line. Trailing 9-6 with 40 seconds left, Ben Roethlisberger scrambled to his left, raced back to his right before finding Santonio Holmes in the middle of the field, catching the ball just inside the goal line for the touchdown. The Steelers beat Baltimore 13-9 and secured the AFC North title.

8. Comeback Win vs. Broncos: 2015

The Steelers entered halftime down 27-13 to the Brock Osweiler-led Denver Broncos, who also fielded the best defense in the NFL that season. Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to score 21 unanswered points in the second half, throwing for 380 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers completed the comeback to beat Denver. This was also a huge game for Antonio Brown, as he hauled in 16 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

7. Game-Winning Touchdown pass to Mike Wallace vs. Packers: 2009

The Steelers had started off 2009 on a hot streak, going 6-2 in their […]

By |June 7th, 2021|