The 2006 football season was much different for Pittsburgh Steelersâ€™ QB Ben Roethlisberger than the 2005 season had been. In 2005, the Steeler QB led his team to their first championship in 26 years. In 2006, they could not get into the playoffs.
During the post-Super Bowl period, Roethlisberger almost lost his life when he was in a motorcycle accident when a driver ran a stop sign and the QB hit the driverâ€™s car. Roethlisberger, who was not wearing a helmet, sustained facial injuries and lost a lot of blood. After recovering from the accident, the Pittsburgh signal caller went into camp ready to go. He did not miss a day of camp due to the accident.
But an appendectomy knocked him out of the lineup and Roethlisberger missed the first game on September 7 against the Miami Dolphins. The Steelers won that one 28- 17. The next week with Pittsburgh playing Jacksonville, Roethlisberger was back behind center. The Steelers lost that game 9- 0 and the next two. They then beat Kansas City 45- 7 but lost the next three. They team finished at 8- 8 and did not make the playoffs.
It was an off year, to say the least, for Roethlisberger, who threw 7 INTs in his first three games. In weeks eight and nine, he tossed four interceptions versus Oakland and three against Denver. In weeks 11 and 12, Roethlisberger was intercepted three times against the Brown and two more when playing Baltimore. In 2006, he threw an astounding 23 INTs, while in 2004 he tossed 11 and in 2005 only nine!
In his first two seasons, Roethlisberger, who matured quickly, tossed 17 TDs each year and completed an average of 65% of his passes. In 2006, he threw 18 TDs but completed only 60% of this throws. His QB rating the first two years was just over 98, while in 2006 it was 75.4.
Scouting reports note that the Steeler QB has a good, strong arm and handles the pocket well. He possesses accuracy on short and intermediate passes, can throw on the run and has better than average field vision. His quick release is a plus. Problems include his tendency to indicate who heâ€™s going to throw to by locking in on them rather than checking off on receivers. Heâ€™s not as accurate as he should be going long, will often hold onto the ball too long and take too many sacks and loses accuracy if he throws too much in a game.
For the Steelers to benefit from and get the most they can from Roethlisbergerâ€™s gifts and skills they must mix up their offense, utilizing the running game, short passes and intermediate routes. Roethlisberger is not Brady, Peyton Manning or even Carson Palmer.
Roethlisberger can be a very fine leader during the game. Above all, he must use this attribute during 2007 if he wants to get the Steelers back to the playoffs and the big game.