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Roethlisberger Presents Unique Challenge

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 21, 2009 – 3:07 pm

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger possesses the unusual ability to have success throwing the ball while also holding onto it for extended periods of time. One thing that will drive offensive coaches nuts is when their QB holds onto the football, yet the thing that makes Roethlisberger great is his willingness to hold onto the ball long enough to make plays.

This enigma is best illustrated by looking at the numbers. Pittsburgh has allowed 16 sacks this season, which ranks them tied for 7th worst in the NFL. At the same time, Roethlisberger has a passer rating of 106.1, which is 4th best in the NFL. Of the 9 teams that have allowed 16 sacks or more this season, only Pittsburgh and Green Bay have passer ratings above 90. The passer ratings of the other teams are: 61.7, 87.2, 72.5, 51.9, 82.0, 47.5 and 80.2. Yuck.

So how is Roethlisberger able to put up such good numbers, and win so many games, in spite of holding the ball for so long and being sacked so many times? One reasons is his ability to throw the ball from several different positions and platforms. He can throw on the run, throw side-armed, shovel it or flip it. On top of that, his receivers have learned how to produce with a QB who is seemingly never out of the play.

“They stay with routes,” Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress said of Pittsburgh’s receivers. “Just because the quarterback moves doesn’t mean a guy is all of a sudden going to start running back downhill at the quarterback. They stay with it.

“I don’t know how far he can throw it flat-footed. He can throw with people around his waist, or heading to the ground. He has a strong arm.”

Vikings defenders have certainly taken note of Roethlisberger’s style. DT Kevin Williams, who is 2nd on the team with 4.0 sacks, says defenders lick their chops because Roethlisberger holds onto the ball for so long. But he also acknowledged that the QB has had plenty of success because of his ability to make plays

“He takes a lot of hits holding that ball, but I mean he makes a lot of plays for that team and it keeps them in the game,” Williams said. “He’s won a lot of games taking that extra time and taking those hits.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 5 Comments »


5 Responses to “Roethlisberger Presents Unique Challenge”

  1. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    This blog seems to eat comments sometimes.

  2. By PurplePeopleEater on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    VFfA – If you’re saying what I think you are, then I think I can help you. My understanding of your comment is that you click “Submit Comment” and the page refreshes without your comment. I’ve realized that this happens because of the Censor Program, which immediately removes any post that has words, or even a string of letters, that are on it’s block list. It blocks the entire comment rather than simply muting out the faux pas words. At one point this was extremely annoying because it blocked words essential of football talk like “Pass”. I have since addressed this issue with Mike and it has been improved, slightly.

    My suggestion is that if your comment doesn’t post, you’ll find that it still exists in your browser’s history. Just click “Back” and the you’ll find your comment in the typing box. Review it and try to figure out what words might be considered over the edge. Sometimes this is extremely difficult because of the outrageously stringent list of words that are on the list, and how they may be hidden within completely innocent words. “Button” once was one word that once killed me because I never would have thought that “butt” is beyond acceptable.

  3. By blacknblue on Oct 22, 2009 | Reply

    wow I have been going through that for a while. Lost a lot of good reading for you all lol.

  4. By Vikings Fan from Afar on Oct 22, 2009 | Reply

    OK, I will try that. Maybe you guys could flash a message like “Message failed. Go back and try again.” Or something. Cool.

  5. By scott on Dec 4, 2009 | Reply

    What the heck is going on with these guys? If you are having issues with a team mate, then you need to take care of it in the locker room. Calling out your quarterback that has 2 rings on national TV is not going to help. At least they should get a win against oakland this week.

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