“For me, [I’ll always remember] all that he’s taken from me. Twice in my career, he’s prevented me from going to the Super Bowl. People always believe that when I left the Ravens and went to the AFC East it was the Patriots I hated. No, even as a Jet, he stopped me from going to the Super Bowl. I went to three AFC championships in a row and he stopped me from going to the Super Bowl in two of them – once as a Raven and once as a Jet. So I genuinely do hate him. But that’s the greatest sign of respect. I only hate him because of how he played and what he took from me. Ben, I hate you. I’m glad you’re done.” — Bart Scott.
From Ryan Mink, at the Baltimore Ravens official website:
A war that lasted nearly two decades will reach an armistice Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in what’s expected to be Roethlisberger’s final game. Past and present Ravens shared memories and bid farewell to Baltimore’s greatest enemy.
S Ed Reed –
“The dude was just a competitor, one of those ultimate competitors. Big Ben always gave them a chance. Congrats on a great career and good luck after football. See ya in Canton.”
LB Jarret Johnson –
“What always stood out about Ben was how different he was from any other QB in the game. He was built like a pocket passer but played like a mobile QB. He could extend plays and seemed more accurate on the move. The more the play broke down, the better he was.
“Ben, you were the perfect opponent! Big, strong and tough. Built to play in the AFC North.”
LB Adalius Thomas –
“Playing against Ben was always a challenge. He was hard to sack because he’s as big as a linebacker and tough. We tested his chin several times and he got up each time.”
LB Bart Scott –
“The greatest thing I could say about Ben Roethlisberger is that he played like a Raven. That’s something rare to say about an opponent, but Ben Roethlisberger would have been a great Raven.
“He was a guy that was always a willing brawler – twisted noses, broken bones. He’s the Michael Myers of football. It’s almost hard for me to believe that this could be his last game because Michael Myers has always played that game. You thought you killed him, you think you knocked him out of the game; he may lay there, but he usually gets back up. If this is the last time Ben Roethlisberger gets back up, all I can say is job well done and respect.
TE Todd Heap –
“He played the role of the villain for the Ravens very well. Now that I’m more removed from it, I can appreciate what he’s done and the way in which he did it. There haven’t been a lot of quarterbacks like him that were that physical and made plays the way he did.
“I’m happy because he plays for the Steelers and it will hopefully give the Ravens an edge as he moves on. At the same time, I definitely would congratulate him and say job well done for how he played the game – especially doing it that long. It’s been impressive to watch, albeit heartbreaking at times.”
CB Jimmy Smith –
“He’s just kicked our butts numerous amounts of times, and we’ve had some good games against him. But one game that stands out the most for me was obviously when I got two picks, but one didn’t count, (laughter) when Courtney [Upshaw] jumped offsides or whatever it was, and I had that taken back. But [it’s a] great rivalry, [he’s a] great competitor. [They’re] never out of the game, [he was] always trying to make plays until the last second. But I guess that’s something huge that I’ll always remember about him – is just how tough of a competitor [he is]. And the game is never over with that guy, until the last, final whistle blows.”
You can read more from Mr. Mink’s article here.
“He’s one of those rare players that raised the level of not only the players around him, but the players that played against him. You couldn’t have a bad game and thought you were going to win against him. You couldn’t make mistakes and think you were going to win. He was always going to compete and he was always going to try to make a play. That’s going to be his legacy.”
— Terrell Suggs.
From Jamison Hensley, ESPN.com:
No one has beaten the Ravens more than Roethlisberger. His 18 victories against them, including in the playoffs, are seven more than any other quarterback.
And no one has slammed Roethlisberger to the ground more than the Ravens. Baltimore’s 76 sacks of Roethlisberger are 12 more than any other team.
Roethlisberger’s departure signifies the last of the old-school players to say goodbye to this roll-your-sleeves-up rivalry, which no longer features the likes of Hines Ward, Ray Lewis, Troy Polamalu and Suggs. Future games between the Ravens and Steelers will have a different feel without Roethlisberger.
“In our [defensive meeting] room, we used to always say, ‘This guy is not just a quarterback, he is a football player,’” Lewis said. “And he’s a backyard-type football player. If you ask Ben after he retires to put on a Steeler shirt and I put on a Ravens shirt and let’s go in the backyard and let’s go at it again, he’ll say, ‘I’m down for that. I’m going to hurt. I’m going to go through it.'”
In Week 2 of the 2004 season, Steelers starting quarterback Tommy Maddox cocked his arm back to throw when Ravens cornerback Gary Baxter hit him from the blind side. Maddox got off the ground holding his right elbow. With 11 minutes, 53 seconds left in the third quarter, Roethlisberger replaced Maddox in what was the first appearance for the rookie No. 11 overall pick. Roethlisberger went on to throw for 176 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half of a 30-13 loss in Baltimore, and he then went on to win his next 13 starts.
Bart Scott: “We always used to say, ‘Don’t hurt the bad players,’ and Tommy Maddox was a bad player. We knock him out of the game and then Ben Roethlisberger comes in like, ‘Oh man, this is barbecue chicken.’ We got a young rookie quarterback coming in and he makes a couple throws and all of a sudden he’s out there like Willie Beamen [from ‘Any Given Sunday’] with the invisible juice.”
Ray Lewis: “When Ben came in, we were like, ‘Whew, OK,’ Ben is not your 6-foot-1 quarterback. Ben is big [6-feet-5]. And the first thing we said was we have to get this guy to the ground. Don’t hug around his shoulder pads and think you got him down, right? And then I think the first couple series we realized that, wait a minute, it’s going to take more than just one person to actually get him down.”
Terrell Suggs: “What really stood out, it was just like how he didn’t miss a beat. I don’t think we made him make too many mistakes. Like we did all their fan base a favor when we knocked Tommy Maddox out of the game, and history kind of speaks for itself.”
You can read more from Mr. Hensley’s article here.