“I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great football players and talent and teammates. I did take a lot of beating early on. A lot of that was my fault. God made me a bigger man than most quarterbacks, so I think I can take it and I’m just enjoying playing this game.” — Ben.
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
When the Steelers take on the Houston Texans on Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger will make history.
In his 17th season with the team, Roethlisberger will play in his 221st career game, setting a new record for the most games ever in franchise history. Roethlisberger will break the tie he current holds with Hall of Fame center Mike Webster at 220 games, something that the quarterback takes pride in.
“I attribute it to Jesus and just really being blessed,” said Roethlisberger of his longevity. “I am so thankful to be in the black and gold 17 years later. Almost half my life, I’ve been here giving Steelers fans everything I have. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I wouldn’t want to do it for any other team or any other fans.”
Roethlisberger truly understands those blessings after missing the vast majority of last season with an elbow injury. It gave him an opportunity to look at his game differently. Before, it was all about his arm. Now, coming off the elbow surgery, he knows he has to focus on other aspects of his game.
“Going back and reviewing, I felt from Week 1 to Week 2, my pocket presence and awareness was better,” said Roethlisberger. “I do feel I got a little lazy with my feet, which then, in turn, translated to a lazy arm. There were some throws that I kind of dropped my elbow. I don’t want to get too technical, but it became more of a three-quarter release instead of an over the top when I didn’t need to.
“There are obviously times you have to change your release point. There were too many throws, I felt looking back, that I just have to get my feet working better, and that will then translate, hopefully, to the rest of the body. Then I won’t be guiding some of the throws. That’s, to me, the biggest thing I’m going to work on today, even though it’s an off day. I’m going to really work on my feet and kind of starting it there with translating the rest of my body.”
Roethlisberger’s footwork isn’t something he has spoken about often when it comes to what he works on, but coming off the surgery he knows every aspect has to be spot on.
“I’ve gotten away with it in the past being able to not necessarily be perfect from the ground up and just letting my arm kind of make up for a lot of things, a lot of imperfections if you talk to quarterback people,” said Roethlisberger. “Whether it’s the layoff, whether it’s the surgery, like I said, I feel great. I just need to get it in my mind that I can still make the throws when I’m not in the perfect position to make them.
“Maybe some of that just comes from not playing a lot of football. I played two games this year. I played a game and a half last year, so really, it’s about three and a half games in two years if you think about it. It’ll come. Like I said, if I’m having these issues and we are still winning football games, that’s a plus.”
You can read more from Ben’s Q&A here.
You can watch video of his Q&A here.