When Ben Roethlisberger went down during the Steelers/Rams game this past Sunday, Scott Ferrall thought that Big Ben had broken his leg and would be out for the season. Instead, Roethlisberger will miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL sprain and bone bruise in his left knee.
If returning to the Rams game and playing as though nothing had happened were the best-case scenario, what is this?
“This is probably the next-base-case scenario,” Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan host Chris Mueller said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Comparatively speaking, Ben got off light with a sprain and just with this bone bruise. I would say it’s about the second-best-case scenario that possibly could have happened. He had another incident a couple years ago against San Diego where he got his lower leg hit on an even worse looking play and somehow had a hyperextension and not a completely blown-up knee, so it’s the second time he’s dodged a bullet, I think, in that left leg.”
Roethlisberger, as Ferrall observed, is an enormous quarterback. In fact, he might be the biggest quarterback in the league. That is a blessing and a curse.
“He seems taller than the 6-5 that he’s listed at,” Mueller said. “Being that big, it’s two things that works against him. We all know the good stuff – he keeps plays alive – but the funniest part about it is it makes him a bigger target for guys to hit, and I think it makes it more awkward sometimes when he gets hit. He’s so elusive, so big, there’s so much weight coming down. I always think in my mind, I’m like, ‘Man, this is the great thing about him. This is one of his best attributes.’ But this is something that he’s really been dodging as far as putting him in awkward spots for potentially really bad injuries.”
Ferrall, a Pittsburgh native, considers Big Ben a top-three quarterback with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Mueller agrees. So would the city of Pittsburgh, which has more or less elevated Big Ben over Terry Bradshaw.
“I think if they haven’t already, (they will) if he gets another Super Bowl,” Ferrall said. “You look at those four Super Bowls as the gold standard. I actually do put him up there with the two you mentioned. I’m a big Brady (guy), and I think Rodgers is right there. But when I look at all these other dudes – Andrew Luck (is) wildly overrated at this point in his career right now. Peyton Manning, whatever is in his neck and shoulder, it probably looks like the crypt keeper underneath his skin he’s so messed up in there as far as getting it downfield. So I think (Roethlisberger is) in that top-three echelon.”
Roethlisberger has had great success under offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The two reportedly butted heads a bit when Haley arrived in 2012, but it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
“I really think those two kind of met in the middle and have gotten the best of both worlds,” Mueller said. “And it doesn’t hurt that he has Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, so I’d agree with you. I think he is in that top three. I think Brady is still in a class by himself, but I think that Roethlisberger and Rodgers are right there. And I do think if he hasn’t passed Bradshaw already in Steelers fans minds, he definitely will before his career’s over.”