From the website manager’s perspective:
All things being equal, give me No. 7. In the NFL’s biggest game, on its grandest stage, I’ll take Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger over Indianapolis Colts’ wunderkind Peyton Manning to win a Super Bowl. — The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review‘s John Harris, January 9th.
“He put a smile on my family’s face today and I’m pretty sure my son will never forget it. If he does, he’s always got a nice picture and autograph to remind him. I should have never prejudged the guy like so many others.” — Colin Gratchen, in an email to me about his son Maddox meeting Ben , April 23rd.
“We’ll welcome him with open arms. He’s still our quarterback, and he doesn’t have to win over anybody.” — Hines Ward, from an interview, May 1st.
“Our relationship with Ben is exactly as it has always been. Nothing has changed…He’s met with kids from all over country, not just our chapter. He’s a hot commodity.” — Judith Stone, the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Make-A-Wish branch, from an interview with Fox Sports, May 3rd.
“When Ben showed up, it was absolutely electric!! The kids were ecstatic and regardless of how the media portrays it, as far as I could tell most, if not all, of the parents were happy to see him, too. I didn’t hear a single negative reaction.” — Parent Anita Doddroe, who was on hand for Ben’s surprise visit to the Coach Tomlin Football Camp, June 27th.
“Driving up here today I was talking to my dad, and for the first time it hit me about what is about to happen and – who knows? I got scared. I really did. He said it is OK to be scared and afraid of those things, and to just be yourself and be human; and that is what hit me coming up here. I don’t know what is going to happen, and I am scared.” — Ben, during an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ed Bouchette, July 30th.
“Roethlisberger walked down the hill to practice amid cheers. Not a boo was heard.” — Tweet from Steel City Insider‘s Jim Wexell, July 31st.
“On the field, I love it. I like when a little kid comes up and tries to say my last name but he can’t do it, and says, ‘Big Ben.’ Or if I am walking I hear someone say it, to me it’s a neat thing because that’s about me on the football field. The ‘Big Ben’ thing is about how I play the game. But that’s not who I am going to be, I will keep that for the football field.” — Ben, to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Ed Bouchette, August 3rd.
“The Steelers are a team that really relies on Ben Roethlisberger’s improvisation. I’ve never seen a guy create more offense on his own. He gets out of some of the most incredible situations where he makes plays where they have him sacked twice and he still completes a pass.” — Football analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden, from an interview with USA Today writer Jim Corbett, Sept 1st.
“Roethlisberger’s misunderstood effectiveness, more than anything else, explains why the Steelers suddenly became contenders, and won two Super Bowls after 25 years of frustration, immediately after he took the reins of the Pittsburgh offense in 2004.” — Sports Illustrated NFL analyst Kerry J. Byrne, from his Cold Hard Football Facts column, Sept 20th.
“One of the hardest parts. I mean obviously I love football, I missed that more than anything. But to be away from my guys, my brothers, my family, that was one of the hardest parts and that’s what made coming here today so great. I think every single one of the guys came and gave me a big hug, and I was so happy to see them and I think they were happy to see me as well.” — Ben, on his return to the team, Oct 4th.
“I’ve been looking forward to talking to the Steel City about their leader. In regard to Ben being ready…he’s ready. He’s been through a one-man training camp. It was meticulous, it was filmed, it was Western PA blue collar style. He’s ready, he’s sharp, the guy’s in great shape and more than anything he’s excited. So you blend all that together and I think when they uncage him in 13 days, he’s gonna be ready to go. I think you guys will be excited.” — George Whitfield, quarterbacks coach and owner of Whitfield Athletix, on working with Ben, Oct 6th.
“Second chances are an awesome thing and that’s all I’ve asked for. I want to be a Steeler for life. I love playing for this city and these fans. It’s something that’s very important to me. I know a lot of people say ‘I don’t really care about the fans and what people say about me.’ Well, I do. I want people to accept me and to embrace me as their quarterback and as a Steeler.” — Ben, from an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oct 16th.
“It was refreshing to see him back in there,” said Carlee. “He wants to be the same person that he’s always been on the football field, but off the field, he’s needed to make a change, and with all my heart I believe he has. He’s my big brother, I’ve always been proud of him, and I’m always going to be here to support him, no matter what he goes through.” — Carlee Roethlisberger, from a Media Day interview with the Oklahoma Sooners Woman’s Basketball team in the Kansas City Star, Oct 20th.
“He’s a good quarterback who keeps his feet moving and he’s not going to go down on the first tackle. Ben’s always been like that and he’s been a great quarterback. You have to give him his props. That’s what great leaders and great quarterbacks do.” – Bengals safety Reggie Nelson in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Nov 3rd.
“It hurt a lot, but that broken nose took some of the pain away.” — Ben, when asked during the post-game press conference about any discomfort from his broken foot during the Ravens game, Dec 5th.
“I know how to play the game one way. To tell me not to play it that way is a hard thing to do. I can go into any game and tell myself not to do it, but those juices start flowing. It’s like when I’m running against the Bills and (Marcus) Stroud is chasing me. Everything in your body tells you to go out of bounds, but you don’t. Why? I don’t know. Because I don’t want to.” — Ben, during an interview with the media, Dec 16th.
“The Pittsburgh Steelers were a good team under Bill Cowher, but they didn’t become a great one until Roethlisberger got there.” – Darin Gantt, from his commentary in The Charlotte Observer, Dec 23rd.
“This is December football. If you don’t know what that means, find someone that does and ride with them… time to ride boys, no more messin’ around!” – Ben, in the huddle during the Steelers vs. Panthers game, Dec. 23rd.
“Ben doesn’t have to prove anything to us. When he came back into that [Ravens] game with the broken nose, we couldn’t believe what he went through. He was in excruciating pain, but he still made all the plays. He’s one tough guy, and I’m glad he’s our quarterback. It’s an honor.
“He’s helped me so much. He’s always giving me small little tips to help. I’ll do anything for Ben. If we’re out anywhere, man, if anything ever goes down, I’ll be the first one there for him.” — Maurkice Pouncey, from an interview/article by the AP’s Alan Robinson, Dec 30, 2010.