“I was in New York. I had my mom and dad with me, my sister was there and my agent. My college coach at the time and his wife were there. Everyone kind of had their speculations of ‘what number’ and what team. The teams we thought were going to take me didn’t, but it ended up working out perfectly for me.” — Ben, from the video, “Recalling Draft Day”.
“We felt if Ben would drop to No. 11, we’re not up here every year in the draft, and a quality player like that is hard to pass up. He’s right there with Eli and Philip. The thing that separates him is experience. Ben only played one year in high school and three in college…It’s a good situation we have with the veterans in front of him, and not feel the pressure of having to turn the team around immediately.” — Former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher, on selecting Ben over a running back, April 24, 2004.
“Judging by body language, I think he is really happy, They have great receivers and most important, they have a great program. I think it worked out well.” — Ken Roethlisberger on his son’s Draft Day, from the interview below.
“The Steelers also are eagerly pursuing Rivers in the final days before the draft, envisioning him as the eventual replacement for Tommy Maddox and a fallback candidate this year, in the event of an emergency. Rivers, who already has earned his degree in business and holds the NCAA record with 51 career starts, is considered a quick study and a better bet to succeed in his rookie season than Miami (Ohio)’s Ben Roethlisberger, who is leaving school with a year of collegiate eligibility remaining.” — Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the night before the draft – April 23, 2004.
“If one of those backs would have slid, we were not going to hesitate to grab him. It’s just like the quarterback position. We felt good about that, but Roethlisberger slid and we got him, and we bettered our football team.” — Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher, on selecting a quarterback over a running back – from an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 26, 2004.
“We’re not looking to rebuild this year. We’re looking to win this division and get into the playoffs and win a championship.” — Steelers Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert, from an interview in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 26, 2004.
“I’m not Tommy Maddox; can’t be Tommy Maddox. I’m just going to do the best I can.” — Ben, to reporters after his first NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens, September 19, 2004.