“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 […]
From Luke Jackson, PressBox.com:
Former Ravens cornerback Gary Baxter, whose blitz forced Tommy Maddox out of a 2004 Ravens-Steelers game and paved the way for Ben Roethlisberger to take over at quarterback for Pittsburgh, would’ve had a message for his team had he known how the rest of that season and much of the next two decades would play out.
“Let’s not call that blitz,” Baxter joked on Glenn Clark Radio Dec. 4.
The Ravens were ahead of the Steelers, 13-0, early in the third quarter of a Week 2 contest, with Maddox trying to lead Pittsburgh back. Maddox, then 33, had started all 16 games for the Steelers in 2003. Though the Steelers had drafted Roethlisberger out of Miami (Ohio) in the first round in the spring of 2004, it was still Maddox’s team.
Well, at least until Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Nolan called Eagle 2 Blitz (Baxter still remembers the play call 17-plus years later). Baxter blitzed from the nickel position, sprinted around the left side of the Steelers’ line and hit Maddox on the right arm, forcing a fumble. Maddox left the game with a right elbow injury. Roethlisberger finished the game, completing 12 of 20 passes for 176 yards along with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Ravens won, 30-13.
“Steelers Nation was pissed at me. They were mad. I was like, ‘Oh, my word, what’s going on?’” Baxter recalled. “And so the next week, Ben Roethlisberger, he plays Miami. It was kind of a rainy, soggy game, so I made sure I paid attention to it and they won. I was like, ‘OK, all right.’ Then the next week they won, and the week after that they won. I was like, ‘Oh, what we have we created?’”
Roethlisberger never relinquished his hold on the starting quarterback spot, and the Steelers didn’t lose another contest that season until the AFC championship game against the Patriots. The Steelers went 15-1 during the regular season, outscoring opponents by 121 points on the year. Roethlisberger completed 66.4 percent of his throws for 2,621 yards and 17 touchdowns during his rookie season.
Roethlisberger ended up authoring a Hall of Fame career — 18 seasons, 164 wins, 417 touchdown passes, more than 63,000 passing yards […]
“My family and I are overwhelmed with the love and support we have received around last night’s game. We are truly grateful for every one of you.”