Why I Don't Like Ben Roethlisberger

Besides the fact that his name is near impossible to spell by memory, I think Ben's case is an example where his numbers lie a little.

Let me start off by saying I think he's an above average quarterback that's very mobile, smart, and crazy accurate.

But there's one giant flaw that if he was a free agent, I don't think my beloved Bears should spend a lot of money signing him (although looking into him wouldn't be a bad idea). He's a system quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is as good as is he because he was lucky enough to get drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He possesses skills to be a great quarterback but he's on a team that highlights his strengths and diminshes his weaknesses.

The big problem with Big Ben is that he isn't asked to throw a whole lot per game. The Steelers during Ben's reign (for the most part) have had a great running game so Ben is only asked to throw about 20-30 times per games. Plus the Steelers defense has been one of the best in the NFL during this time with the Steelers. So the great running game, the stingy D, and Ben's accuracy have made the Steelers a great and winning franchise, but they win with Roethlisberger not because of him. Let's look at his stats during his five year stint.

2004: Steelers running game: 4.0 YPC- 2nd in NFL
Roethlisberger's stats:
295 attempts- 28th in NFL
98.1 passer rating- 5th in NFL
66.4% completion %- t-4th in NFL

2005: Steelers running game: 4.0 YPC- 5th in NFL
Roethlisberger's stats:
268 attempts- 30th in NFL
98.6 passer rating- 3rd in NFL
62.7% completion %- 9th in NFL

2006: Steelers running game: 4.2 YPC- 10th in NFL
Roethlisberger's stats:
469 attempts- 11th in NFL
75.4 passer rating- 21st in NFL
59.7% completion %- 19th in NFL

2007: Steelers running game: 4.2 YPC- 3rd in NFL
Roesthlisberger's stats:
404 attempts- 16th in NFL
104.1 passer rating- 2nd in NFL
65.3% completion %- 7th in NFL

2008: Steelers running game: 3.7 YPC- 23rd in NFL
Roesthlisberger's stats:
469 attempts- 14th in NFL
80.1 passer rating- 24th in NFL
59.9% completion %- 21st in NFL

Last year, the 2008/2009 season, Roethlisberger had his 2nd worst statistical year ever. He had the 2nd lowest completion percentage and 2nd lowest passer rating of his career. It's no surprise that the Steelers running game was by far the worst Big Ben has had in his 5 years and he tied his career high in passing attempts. 2006 was the other year in which he threw so much and this was the year in which he had his career low in passer rating and completion percentage. This WAS Big Ben's worst statistical year. I don't think it's a coincidence that Ben Roethlisberger's two worst years was the years in which he had to throw the most.

Ben's two best years was the 2005/2006 season and the 2007/2008 season. In 2005, Ben was 30th in passer attempts. There are 32 teams in the NFL. This year the Steelers running game was the 5th best in the NFL. In this year, Ben had the 2nd best completion percentage and passer rating in his career. In 2007, Ben experienced the best running game of his career. He only threw 404 times; that's an average of a little less than 27 times a game. ONLY 27! This was the only year in which Ben had a passer rating over 100 and had the 2nd best completion percentage on his career (his best was his rookie year when he only threw it 295 times).

If Big Ben was on the vast majority of other teams and other systems, I believe his numbers would see a significant decline. Ben Roethlisberger has yet to show me he's an elite QB on his own. I will change my mind if he shows me he can have a high number of attempts AND a high completion percentage. The 2008/2009 season was his chance to show he can take an offense on his back and he failed miserably.

This is why I don't like Ben Roethlisberger.


The 'Bright' One said...

Yeah he def benefits from the system, but that is true of most QB's i think. Like if matt ryan and flacco switched teams, both would not have faired as well as each did. other guys like grossman would suck on any team, cause he cant see over the line, haha

Sexy Rexy said...

yYu know Drew Brees is only 6'0" and he's awesome. One reason for that is that he rolls out a lot. I think the Bears organization used Grossman very poorly. But also Rex plays football like I plat Madden. I have a set play and a set receiver I'm going to throw to and no matter what the defense is doing I'm still going to throw to that player. Even is he's tripled covered. Moral of the story: Rex Grossman had terrible decision making skills.

Clearly all quarterbacks are defined by their system. Chad Pennington was helped by a dink and dunk system. A QB HAS to rely on his O-line and receivers and most on the running game. The greats like Brady and Manning could probably benefit on any team, but you can still judge a player nonetheless. I think if Big Ben was on most other teams, he actually wouldn't do as well, at all. I think if Flacco and Ryan switched teams they would put up very similar numbers. I think flat up Ryan is much better than Flacco.

Remember when Matt Hasselback was good? (not too long ago). He was good with or without a running game had it didn't matter which receivers he had. So you could clearly say he was good. But unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of evaluating QBs without receivers etc. But I still think you can evaluate them.

Also, I don't care how good the QB is, you need, YOU NEED, a good if not great offensive line. I don't care how good Joe Montana is/was. If you put him with the '08 Lions O-line, he's going to suck.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think you can necessarily fit most other quarterbacks into the Steelers system. Ben is very mobile and is for the most part accurate and he can do those things well with little attempts. I don't know if a guy like Kurt Warner or Drew Brees could necessarily do those things. Ben is a perfect fit for Pittsburgh but not necessarily many other places. And it's because he's not a good fit in OTHER places that I don't like him as a QB very much.

The 'Bright' One said...

its going to be fun to see how cassels plays next year if he is on another team. Good QB's tend to not switch teams so we have a really small sample size on this issue.

Over break, jerry angelo on the radio said that he thought the bears offensive line has been very solid throughout his entire tenure. i think he was high

Sexy Rexy said...

Jerry Angelo is also a terrible GM

I think clearly Cassel is another product of the Patriots system. He has two GREAT wideouts in Moss (BTW, how do you have 10 TDs and NOT get into the pro bowl) and Welker and had seemingly 8 seconds per play to throw. Now I'll give him he has exceptional decision making skills but when Bill Bellichick is essentially running your offense, it's hard NOT to put up above average numbers like Cassel did.

I feel like if I was the Patriots I would first love to trade Cassel but if that doesn't work I would let him walk and try to find another QB to fill the QB shoes until Brady gets back because I feel like even Rex Grossman could temporarily help the New England Patriots games.

It seems like a huge waste of money and cap room to franchise Cassel (or even give him a contract) who may not even finish the season