- Ben Roethlisberger
caption=Ben Roethlisberger during the Super Bowl XL champions ceremony in Pittsburgh
birthdate=birth date and age|1982|3|2
college=Miami University (Ohio)
* AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (2004)
Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year(2004)
Super Bowlchampion (XL)
Pro Bowlselection (2007)
Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger (born
March 2, 1982, in Lima, Ohio[ [http://www.forecaster.info/post-gazette/football/player.cgi?6567 "Player Bio] . Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.] ), nicknamed Big Ben, is an American football quarterbackfor the Pittsburgh Steelersof the National Football League. He was drafted by the Steelers 11th overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college footballat Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).
Roethlisberger earned the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2005. He became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, helping to lead the Steelers to a 21-10 victory over the
Seattle Seahawksin Super Bowl XLat the age of 23. He was named to his first Pro Bowlin 2007. He currently ranks 5th all-time in NFL passer rating with a 92.7, and 5th all-time in Yards Per Attempt with a 8.09 average (min. 1500 attempts).
At Findlay High School, in
Findlay, Ohio, Roethlisberger was a member of the football, basketball, and baseballteams.
Roethlisberger did not play quarterback until his senior year, giving way to the coach's son, Ryan Hite. Instead, Roethlisberger played wide receiver because coach
Cliff Hiteexplained to the Toledo Blade, "My son throwing to Ben was a better combination." [http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040418/SPORTS09/40418012 toledoblade.com - Hindsight makes Hite's sight look blurry ] ] All was not as bad as it seems, Ryan Hite was named Great Lakes League Offensive Back of the year and Ben was a special mention All-Ohio player as a receiver. They led the Trojans to their first league title in 15 years.
Roethlisberger threw for 4,041 yards, 54 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his one season as quarterback at Findlay. The younger Hite threw for 1,732 yards, 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in the year preceding Roethlisberger's quarterbacking debut.
As for Roethlisberger, he has remained magnanimous. He told a reporter for the Findlay Courier at the NFL combine just prior to starting his NFL career, "I'm up here now. So no, there's not too many regrets." http://www.thecourier.com/BigBenStories/articles/unendingbattle.htm]
In a twist of irony, Roethslisberger played college quarterback at Division I
Miami Universityin Oxford, Ohiowhile Ryan Hite played college wide receiver at Division III Denison. At Miami, Roethlisberger got a chance to start as a redshirt freshman and started three years of Division I college football after starting just one year as a high school quarterback. Roethlisberger holds every major passing record at the school and a number of passing records in the Mid-American Conference(MAC) despite playing just three years before joining the NFL.
According to the Findlay Courier, in 2001, as a redshirt freshman, Roethlisberger threw for over 3,100 yards. In 2002, he threw over 3,200 yards, and in 2003, he threw for over 4,400 yards. In 2003, Roethlisberger led the Miami RedHawks to an unbeaten record in the MAC, a No. 10 ranking in the Associated Press poll and a 49-28 victory over Louisville in the
2003 GMAC Bowl.
Roethlisberger was taken 11th overall in the
2004 NFL Draft. On August 4 2004Roethlisberger signed a six-year contract worth $22.26 million in salaries and bonuses, with an additional $17.73 million available via incentives. He was touted by former Steelers coach Bill Cowherin a press conference as a franchise quarterback.
On March 3, 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger agreed to an eight-year, $102 million contract. [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-steelers-roethlisberger&prov=ap&type=lgns Ben Roethlisberger signs 8-year extension with Steelers] ] Roethlisberger had two years left on the deal he signed with the team as the 11th overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He has stated that he wants to retire as a Steeler.
Roethlisberger did not immediately step in as the starting quarterback, for the Steelers. He was the #3 QB behind Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch. When Batch was injured in preseason, however, Ben moved up to #2. Maddox started, and won, the season opener against the Raiders and started versus the Ravens. But after an ineffective outing and third quarter injury, Roethlisberger stepped in for his first NFL action. Despite spurring a mild comeback, the Steelers were down too much to win the game. This injury to Maddox changed the Steelers original plan for Roethlisberger, which was for him to sit on the bench or play very sparingly during the first season or two in order to learn the team's system. Instead he was starting the third game of the season.
As a rookie, he went 13-0 in the regular season (14-1 including playoffs) as a starting quarterback, helping the Steelers become the first AFC team to have 15 wins (2-1 under Maddox first two and last game, 13-0 with Roethlisberger) in a single season, surpassing former Steeler
Mike Kruczekfor the record for the best start by a rookie (6-0), and exceeding the mark for total wins as a rookie set by Chris Chandlerand Joe Ferguson. On January 5, 2005 Roethlisberger was unanimously selected as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, the first quarterbackin 34 years to be so honored.
One of Roethlisberger's biggest games was when he led the Steelers to a 34-20 victory over the defending
Super Bowlchampion and previously undefeated New England Patriots, ending their NFL-record 21-game winning streak. He completed 18 of his 24 pass attempts for 196 yards, 2 TDs and no turnovers. The week after that game the Steelers defeated the also previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles27-3. Roethlisberger was 11 of 18 for 183 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception.
In his first nationally televised game on Sunday Night Football, he led the Steelers to a 17-16 victory over the
Jacksonville Jaguars. He was near perfect on the night, completing 14 of 17 passes for 226 yards and 2 TDs. A spike to stop the clock on the game-winning field goal drive he led was the only thing preventing him from a 158.3 rating on the night. Jeff Reed's 37 yard FG in the final minute gave the Steelers and Roethlisberger their 10th straight win.
Two weeks later Roethlisberger faced off against the New York Giants and the #1 overall pick of the 2004 draft,
Eli Manning. Roethlisberger outshined the QB that went 10 spots ahead of him in the draft, posting his first career 300 yard passing game. He completed 18 of 28 passes for 316 yards and a TD. He led his 5th game-winning drive of the season, capping a drive with a Jerome Bettis TD run for a 33-30 victory. Eli Manningthrew an interception to seal the game for Pittsburgh.
In the divisional playoffs against the
New York Jets, Roethlisberger threw two interceptions. One interception was returned for a touchdown, and the other was thrown with 2:03 left in the fourth quarter, which set up a potential game-winning field goal by Jets kicker Doug Brien. Brien missed the kick as time expired (his second missed kick in the last 2 minutes of the game), and forced the game into overtime. In overtime, Roethlisberger led the Steelers down the field and put them in position for the game-winning field goal, a 33-yard attempt that was made by Jeff Reed, sending the Steelers into the AFC Championship for the 4th time in 10 years.
January 23, 2005in the in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger completed 14 of 24 pass attempts for 226 yards and 2 TDs, but he also threw 3 costly interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown by Rodney Harrison. The Steelers lost the game to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriotsby a score of 41-27.
In 2005, Roethlisberger led the Steelers on an improbable run, winning 3 straight playoff games on the road to put Pittsburgh in
Super Bowl XL. What made the run remarkable was that the Steelers began the post season as the sixth seed in the AFC. Since the NFL's current playoff format began, no sixth seed had even made it to a conference championship game, let alone the Super Bowl.
In the 2005 regular season, the Steelers finished 11-5 and secured an AFC wild card spot, en route to victory in the Super Bowl, where the Steelers pulled off upsets at Indianapolis and Denver in the AFC playoffs in addition to wins over higher-seeds Cincinnati and Seattle. During the course of the regular season, Roethlisberger generally played well when healthy, but missed four games due to various knee injuries. During the regular season, the Steelers were 9-3 with Roethlisberger at quarterback, and 2-2 without him. He led the league in Yards Per Attempt with an 8.90, and finished 3rd in passer rating behind
Peyton Manningand Carson Palmerwith a 98.6. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/statistics?stat=pass&sort=rat&league=nfl&season=2&year=2005 ESPN - NFL Football Statistics and League Leaders] , ESPN.com]
The Super Bowl run began on Sunday, January 8, 2006 as Roethlisberger helped lead the Steelers to a playoff win over the
Cincinnati Bengals-- an AFC North rival that had beaten the Steelers by 7 points in the regular season, to win the division championship. The rematch featured two teams with identical records, having split their regular season series with each team winning on the road. Early in the game on Carson Palmer's first throw, a tackle by former Steeler Kimo von Oelhoffenresulted in Palmer's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) being completely torn. The Bengals backup quarterback, Jon Kitnacame in and led the Bengals to leads of 10-0 and 17-7. However, the 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter would be the last time in the 2005 postseason that the Steelers would trail an opponent by more than 3 points. After Kitna failed to produce the Steelers took advantage by taking the next 24 straight points, and the win in a 31-17 victory in Cincinnati.
Their second road win came on Sunday, January 15, 2006. Roethlisberger led the 6th-seeded Steelers against the
Indianapolis Colts, the NFL's top team throughout the season and a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger threw for 197 yards and recorded a game-saving tackle on Colts' defensive back Nick Harper, who had just recovered a Jerome Bettis fumblewith under two minutes to play in the game. The tackle saved the season for the Steelers. Pittsburgh led early, but had to survive a Colts comeback to win 21-18, after an errant call that the NFL later admitted was a mistake [http://www.realfootball365.com/nfl/articles/nfl-blown-call160106.php NFL Football - NFL News - Realfootball365.com ] ] overturned a Troy Polamaluinterception that would have secured the game for the Steelers. Roethlisberger's tackle on Harper, dubbed by many as The Tackle II or The Immaculate Redemption, was compared by many to "The Immaculate Reception" back in 1972 when Franco Harrismade a miraculous reception and scored the game-winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. The victory marked the first time a sixth-seeded NFL playoff team defeated the top-seeded team in playoff history.
On January 22, 2006, the Steelers defeated the
Broncos34-17 in Denver to advance to Super Bowl XL. Roethlisberger completed 21 of 29 passes for 275 yards, and threw two touchdown passes as well as scoring one himself on a four yard play-action bootleg. His run was the last touchdown of the game, and sealed the win for the Steelers.
After losing the 2005
AFC Championship Game, Roethlisberger convinced veteran running back Jerome Bettisto delay retirement, after a tearful promise to him that he would get Bettis to his first Super Bowl. He lived up to his promise. The Pittsburgh Steelerswon Super Bowl XL 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawksin Detroit on February 5, 2006. Roethlisberger had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing just 9 of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions; his passer ratingof 22.6 was the lowest in Super Bowl history by a winning quarterback. Though he did convert eight different third down situations in the game to help the Steelers win, none of them bigger than his 37 yard pass to Super Bowl XL MVP Hines Ward on a 3rd and 28 that set up the Steelers' first TD (a 1 yd QB sneak by Ben on 3rd & goal). With the victory, Roethlisberger, at 23 years of age, became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl, a record previously held by Tom Bradyof the New England Patriots.
After a very serious off season motorcycle crash in which he was almost killed, Roethlisberger missed the 2006 kick-off game (the first game of the '06 season) after having an emergency appendectomy on September 3, 2006.
Charlie Batch, the team's backup, started and lead the Steelers to a victory over Miami. Roethlisberger played in the following game against Jacksonville on Monday Night Football. However, he played sub-par that night, throwing two interceptions with no touchdowns (though neither the Steelers nor Jacksonville made a touchdown, then a record for Monday Night Football). The Steelers lost the game with a final score of 9-0. In week three, Roethlisberger completed less than half of his passes for three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 28-20 loss to the Bengals. The final interception came in the final seconds of the game, in the end zone, ending Pittsburgh's comeback attempt. In a week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football, Ben Roethlisberger looked sharp throughout the first half, leading 3 scoring drives. However, he began to unravel in the 2nd half and threw two interceptions, both of which shifted momentum away from the Steelers and lead to the Chargers 23-13 win. In week 6 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Roethlisberger had his best game of the season so far. He completed 16 of 19 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns (his first of the year) and no interceptions during a 45-7 rout of the Trent Green-less Chiefs.
In week 7, Roethlisberger had another great game, going 16 of 22 for 238 yards, 3 touchdowns, despite a costly fumble. But during the third quarter, Roethlisberger was helped off the field after suffering a concussion following a controversial hit by Falcon's defensive end
Patrick Kerney. Roethlisberger was replaced by Charlie Batch. Batch went on to throw two touchdowns and helped send the game into overtime, following a crucial false start call on Nate Washingtonthat resulted in a 10-second clock penalty and ended regulation. The Falcons got the ball first in OT and drove down the field. 46-year old kicker Morten Andersenbooted a 34-yard field goal to win the game for the Falcons. On October 29 against the Oakland Raiders, Roethlisberger threw 4 interceptions in an upsetting 20-13 loss. The loss was his fifth of the season--two more than he had in his first two seasons combined as a starter, and gave him a total of 11 INTs, versus just 6 TDs, on the season. In a Week 9 rematch of the 2005 AFC championship game, Roethlisberger threw for a career high 433 yards and 1 TD, but had 3 more INTs as the Steelers fell short, 31-20 to Denver. Roethlisberger and the Steelers got back on a winning track in a home game a week later against the New Orleans Saints. Roethlisberger threw for 264 yards on 17 of 28 passing and 3 touchdowns to help the Steelers beat the Saints, 38-31.
In Week 11, Roethlisberger overcame 3 first half interceptions by throwing for 224 4th-Quarter yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers scored 21 points in the final quarter to come back to beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-20. Roethlisberger finished 25 of 44 for 272 yards to go along with the 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. The following week, Roethlisberger and the Steelers were held scoreless in 27-0 loss to the
Baltimore Ravens. Roethlisberger finished 21 of 41 for 214 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked 9 times by the Baltimore Ravens defense including one by Ravens linebacker Bart Scott that sent him to the sidelines. Roethlisberger bounced back the following game going 12 of 25 for 198 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in a 20-3 victory over Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh kept their playoff hopes alive in a week 14 27-7 victory against the Browns. Roethlisberger went 11 of 21 for 225 with one touchdown and added another on the ground. In week 15, Roethlisberger went 11 of 18 for 140 yards and a touchdown in a 37-3 rout of the Carolina Panthers. The following week, Roethlisberger threw 2 interceptions and had a sub-500 completion percentage as Pittsburgh lost to the Baltimore Ravens 31-7. The loss ended Pittsburgh's playoff hopes.
Roethlisberger ended the season on a good note by defeating the
Cincinnati Bengals23-17 in overtime. He was 19 for 29 passing with 280 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Roethlisberger's one touchdown came in overtime on a slant pass to Santonio Holmeswho proceeded to take the ball 67 yards for the game clinching touchdown. The win knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs, much to the joy of the Steelers team.
Due to his subpar '06-'07 season, there were many questions surrounding Roethlisberger entering the season. In the first game of the season, Big Ben reached a personal milestone: his first career 4-touchdown game in a 34-7 rout of the Cleveland Browns. The 4 touchdowns went to Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes (a 40-yard strike), Heath Miller, and rookie TE
Matt Spaeth. He followed that up with another solid performance against the Buffalo Bills. He was 21 of 34 passing for 242 yards and a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie TE Matt Spaeth. He continued his solid season with a decent performance against the 49ers. He was 13 of 20 passing for 160 yards and another touchdown pass to the 3rd TE Jerame Tuman. In week five he had a good performance despite two top wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes out due to injury completing 18 of 22 passes for 206 yards and touchdown pass to Heath Miller in the 1st quarter.
In against the
Baltimore Ravens, Roethlisberger threw for a career-high five touchdowns, which tied a team record held by Terry Bradshawand Mark Malonein a 38-7 rout of the Ravens on Monday Night Football. All five touchdowns were thrown in the first half, making Roethlisberger one of two quarterbacks in the 2007 season (the other being Tom Brady) and only the fifth quarterback since the 1970 merger to accomplish such a feat. He also posted a perfect 158.3 passer rating in that game.
The following Sunday, Roethlisberger continued to shine when he erased a 15 point deficit against the Browns. With the Steelers trailing 21-16 in the 4th quarter and facing a 3rd & 10 from the Cleveland 30, Roethlisberger scrambled up the middle of the field for a 30 yard TD run (the longest run of his career at that point). He then completed a 2-pt conversion pass to Hines Ward. After the Browns returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD, Roethlisberger again had to drive the offense with a 4 point deficit. This time he made three crucial plays on 3rd down: an 18 yd pass to Santonio Holmes on a 3rd & 6, a 20 yd pass to Heath Miller on 3rd & 18, and a 10 yd scramble on 3rd & 9. Roethlisberger capped off the drive with a short TD pass to
Heath Millerthat proved to be the game winner.
In Week 12, Roethlisberger set a Steelers record, completing 85.7% of his passes (18 of 21) as the Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 3-0, a feat made all the more remarkable given the weather conditions.
Pittsburghwas hit with a torrential storm, delaying the game 30 minutes due to lightning, while turning the new sod on the field, laid earlier that week, into a quagmire. In many parts of the field, players sunk several inches with each step.
During the Week 15 game versus the
Jacksonville Jaguars, Roethlisberger threw his 29th TD pass of the season, to Nate Washington, breaking the team single season TD pass record previously held by Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw.
During Week 16 in St. Louis against the Rams, Roethlisberger posted his 2nd perfect passer rating (158.3) of the season. He was 16 of 20 for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his third career 158.3 rating game, tying
Peyton Manningfor the most such regular-season games in NFL history. He also became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw two perfect games in a single regular season.
To cap his comeback season, Roethlisberger was named to his first Pro Bowl, joining five other Steelers teammates on the AFC squad. Roethlisberger's 32 touchdown passes ranked 3rd in the NFL behind
Tony Romoand Tom Brady, while his 104.1 passer rating was second only to Brady. On five different occasions during the season, Roethlisberger led the team back from a double-digit deficit to a lead or tie in the 4th quarter. However, the Steelers would lose four of those five games as the defense in the end could not hold off Denver, New York and Jacksonville twice. Roethlisberger also set a new Steelers single-season record with 32 touchdown passes in the 2007 season.
The Steelers hosted the Jaguars in the AFC Wild Card game on
January 5, 2008. It was a rematch of the Week 15 contest. With the injury to Willie Parker, the Steelers could never mount a rushing attack and Roethlisberger struggled a great deal in the first half, throwing three interceptions (one being returned for a TD by Rashean Mathis) as the Steelers trailed at the half by a score of 21-7. He pulled himself together and went 17 of 23 for 263 yards and 2 TDs in the second half alone. The Steelers were trailing 28-10 as the 4th quarter began, when facing a 4th and 12 at the Jaguar 37, Ben threw a quick pass against the blitz to Santonio Holmes, who broke one tackle and scored a TD to pull within 11. The Steelers scored two TDs on their next two possessions to take a 29-28 lead, but failed on 2-pt conversions on each TD. That would be costly as David Garrardwould later scramble 32 yards on a 4th & 2 to set up the winning field goal. Jacksonville finally won the game 31-29 after Roethlisberger was sacked for a 6th time on the night and fumbled with a drive that started under the 0:30 mark.
Having been sacked 47 times (2nd most in NFL), it must be speculated that his performances could have been even better given improved protection. He often showed great skill outside of the pocket, as well as being amongst the top rushing quarterbacks. While the team did not go as far as they would have liked, it was a successful comeback season for Ben. Roethlisberger finished 3rd in Comeback Player of the Year voting behind Patriots'
Randy Mossand Dallas Cowboys' Greg Ellis, who won the award. In his first Pro Bowl, Roethlisberger played three series in the 2nd quarter, going 5 of 9 for 42 yards, a TD, and led the AFC team in rushing with an 18 yard scramble. The NFC won the game 42-30.
Roethlisberger opened up the 2008 season at home with a 38-17 victory over the
Houston Texans. He completed 13 of 14 passes for a career-high 92.9 completion percentage (min. 10 attempts), and finished with 137 yards passing and 2 TD passes. Byron Leftwichtook over in the 4th quarter when Ben was on the sideline with a shoulder injury. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29536&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2008&week=REG1&override=true "Steelers get off to fast start in win over Texans"] , NFL.com]
In a week 2 match-up against the rival
Cleveland Browns, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a 10-6 victory and their 10th straight win over the Browns on a windy, rainy night in Cleveland. Ben completed 13 of 20 passes for 179 yards and a TD to Hines Ward. He also had his first pass reception of his career, a negative-7 yard completion to himself after a deflected pass in the 2nd quarter. With the win Roethlisberger improved to 10-0 as a starter in his home state of Ohio. [ [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29558&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2008&week=REG2&override=true "Steelers grind out win, extend streak over rival Browns"] , NFL.com] .
The following week Roethlisberger had one of the roughest games of his career. Behind a relentless pass rush by Philadelphia, he was sacked 8 times, fumbled twice, threw one interception, and was called for a safety in the 4th quarter. The Eagles won 15-6, and Roethlisberger did not finish the game as his throwing hand was injured. [ [http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/gamecenter/recap/NFL_20080921_PIT@PHI "Beat-up Eagles outslug Steelers in bruising, physical game"] , Sportsline.com] The following week, on Monday Night, Roethlisberger completed his 100th career touchdown pass, to Santonio Holmes. [ [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08276/916742-66.stm?cmpid=sports.xml Steelers Notebook: No fanfare for Roethlisberger's 100th career touchdown pass] ]
The next week, on
Sunday Night Football, Roethlisberger completed 26 out of 41 passes for a total of 309 yards and 3 TD passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which was the first Steeler win over Jacksonville since 2004 when Roethlisberger was a rookie. His 239 yards passing in the first half was a career high. After falling behind 21-20 in the 4th quarter, Roethlisberger directed the game-winning drive, passing for an 8 yard TD to Hines Ward to put the Steelers ahead. It was Ben's 15th career game-winning drive in the 4th quarter/overtime. The Steelers went into their bye week with a 4-1 record and 1st place in the AFC North. [http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/recap?game_id=29601&displayPage=tab_recap&season=2008&week=REG5]
Ranks among Steeler Quarterbacks
In just 5 seasons Roethlisberger has become the second most prolific quarterback in the franchise history of the
Pittsburgh Steelersbehind Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw. This is a list of where he ranks in the Steeler record books. [ [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/career-passing.htm "Pittsburgh Steelers Career Passing Register"] , Pro-Football-Reference.com]
* [1st] Passer Rating - 92.7
* [1st] Completion % - 63.3%
* [1st] Yards Per Attempt - 8.09
* [2nd] Passing TDs - 91
* [2nd] Most 300+ Yard Passing Games - 5
* [3rd] Most Wins as a Starting QB - 43
* [4th] Pass Completions - 987
* [4th] Passing Yards - 12,620
* [4th] Pass Attempts - 1,560
* [6th] Interceptions - 57
June 12, 2006, at 11:17 a.m. EDT ( UTC-4), Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident near the intersection of 10th Street and Second Avenue near downtown Pittsburgh, in which he was not wearing his helmet. KDKA-TV of Pittsburgh has reported that Roethlisberger did not have a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license at the time of the accident, only a temporary permit that he had obtained after moving to Pittsburgh. According to KDKA, this permit had expired in March. Roethlisberger was travelling east on Second Avenue when a Chrysler New Yorkermade a left-hand turn in front of the motorcycle and onto the South Tenth Street Bridge[http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/9356067/detail.html "Roethlisberger Undergoes Surgery After Bike Crash"] ] when the accident occurred. According to an eyewitness, Roethlisberger went over the handle bars of his bike, a 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_457685.html "Roethlisberger seriously injured"] . Pittsburgh Tribune-Review12 June 2006.] shattering the windshield of the car with his head. The eyewitness reports claim Roethlisberger tried to get up, but was bleeding from the head. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2480830 "Big Ben in serious condition after motorcycle accident"] . ESPN.com. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2006.] Reports from the scene and news media indicated that the accident was serious but "not life- or career-threatening", though Roethlisberger would later relate in interviews that paramedics on the scene stopped the bleeding in his throat just in time to save his life. [http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13279232/ "Big Ben in surgery after motorcycle crash"] . MSNBC. 12 June 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2006.] After the accident, the shift commander for the Allegheny Countyemergency service described Roethlisberger as "alert and conscious". He was transported to Mercy Hospital and was described as being in "serious but stable" condition in the operating room.
Police sources have indicated that Roethlisberger suffered fractures to the jaw and right
sinus cavity, as well as a nine-inch laceration to the back of the head, the loss of two teeth and many others were chipped. His facial injuries were severe enough that witnesses on the scene did not immediately recognize him, even after he identified himself as "Ben". [" [http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/9356067/detail.html Bike Crash Leaves Roethlisberger In Serious Condition] ", ThePittsburghChannel.com, posted June 12, 2006, accessed June 12, 2006.]
Upon arriving to Mercy Hospital he went immediately into surgery where he remained for over 7 hours. The broken bones in his face were repaired. The subsequent news conference with the Mercy Hospital staff was brief but confirmed early reports that the most serious injuries were to the head and face. There was no neck, spinal, nor brain damage found. After surgery, at approximately noon on June 13, 2006, Roethlisberger was upgraded to fair condition. [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2482701 ESPN - Roethlisberger likely to be able to play this season - NFL ] ]
The most serious injuries to Roethlisberger were a broken upper and lower jaw, and a broken nose. Roethlisberger was expected to make a full recovery in time for the opening game of the season.
In the wake of
Kellen Winslow II's crashing of his motorcycle in May 2005, Roethlisberger had been criticized by various NFL members and the media for not wearing a helmet while riding. Even Roethlisberger's coach, Bill Cowher, lectured him about motorcycle safety. Former Steeler Terry Bradshawwarned Roethlisberger personally when he visited Steeler training camp at Saint Vincent Collegein Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and on television, saying "Ride it when you retire." In a segment put together by ESPN following Winslow's accident, Roethlisberger had said he didn't wear a helmet because it was not required by law, adding, "You're just more free when you're out there and there's no helmet on." Transcripts of the interview recall Roethlisberger telling Suzy Kolberthat he only rides a Harley, or his chopper with friends, not a sport bike (like the one Winslow was on). He also claimed to have his license. Both statements have been proven false since this accident.
Roethlisberger was released from the hospital at 11:46 PM on June 14, 2006. The next day, he released a statement that apologized for concerning friends, family, all his fans, and the Steelers organization, and in which he also stated, "If I ever ride again, it certainly will be with a helmet." [Cite news|title=Big Ben speaks out on accident, says he'll start wearing a helmet|work=
On June 19, the Pittsburgh police announced that Roethlisberger would be cited for failure to wear a helmet and failure to operate in his license class. Wearing a helmet is optional in Pennsylvania only for operators who currently possess and have had a motorcycle license for at least two years. The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield the right of way. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2006-06-19-roethlisberger-accident_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA "Steelers' Roethlisberger to be cited for lack of license, helmet"] USA Today]
July 13 Roethlisberger in his first interview on ABC's "
Good Morning America" explains that he was told by responding paramedics that he ruptured a major blood vessel in his mouth and was minutes away from dying. Despite the seriousness of the accident, his recovery went so well that he started the first three Steelers 2006 preseason games. [ [http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/ESPNSports/story?id=2191627&page=1 ABC News: EXCLUSIVE: Ben Roethlisberger Won't Become Helmet Advocate ] ]
Miami RedHawks Records
Miami Universityis in Oxford, Ohio and all records from 08 media guide [http://muredhawks.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/mioh/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/08-fb-mg-records8] )
* Most Pass Attempts, Career - 1,304 (2001-03)
* Most Pass Attempts, Season - 495 (2003)
* Most Pass Completions, Career - 854 (2001-03)
* Most Pass Completions, Season - 342 (2003; also a MAC record)
* Most Pass Completions, Game - 41 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002; MAC record) [ [http://muredhawks.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/101202aac.html "RedHawks fall to Northern Illinois, 48-41"), Miami University RedHawks Official Athletic Site]
* Most Passing Yards, Career - 10,829 (2001-03)
* Most Passing Yards, Season - 4,486 (2003; also a MAC Record)
* Most Passing Yards, Game - 525 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002)
* Most Passing Touchdowns, Career - 84 (2001-03)
* Most Passing Touchdowns, Season - 37 (2003)
* Most Passing Touchdowns, Game - 5 (did it at Ohio in 2001 and at UCF in 2003; tied with Sam Ricketts)
* Most Total Offense Yards, Career - 11,075 (2001-03)
* Most Total Offense Yards, Season - 4,597 (2003)
* Most Total Offense Yards, Game - 485 (vs. Northern Illinois, 2002)
* Most 300+ Yard Passing Games - 14
* Most 400+ Yard Passing Games - 4
* Most Games w/4+ TD Passes - 7
* Highest Completion %, Career (Min. 300 attempts) - 65.5% (2001-03)
* Highest Completion %, Season (Min. 100 attempts) - 69.1% (2003)
* Most Games in a Season w/200+ Yards Passing - 14 (2003; NCAA Record)
* Consecutive Games in a Season w/200+ Yards Passing - 14 (2003; NCAA Record)
* First QB in NFL history to go 13-0 in the regular season (2004; then done by
Peyton Manningin 2005 and Tom Bradyin 2007, though Roethlisberger's feat was accomplished as a rookie.) [ [http://news.steelers.com/MediaContent/2008/09/01/07/Steelers_notes_for_Texans_game_95239.pdf "Steeler notes for Texans game"] , Steelers.com]
* Most Regular Season Wins in a Season, Rookie QB - 13 (2004) [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2005-01-11-big-ben-cover_x.htm "Rookie Roethlisberger wins over everybody"] , USA Today]
* Longest regular season win streak to start a career for a NFL QB - 15 games (won all 13 starts in the 2004 season, won first 2 games of the 2005 season) [ [http://www.steelers.com/team/player/49181/ "Ben Roethlisberger Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* Highest Passer Rating, Rookie Season - 98.1 (2004) [ [http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/indiv/passing "NFL Records - Passing"] , NFL.com]
* Highest Completion %, Rookie Season - 66.4% (2004) [ [http://www.nfl.com/history/randf/records/indiv/passing "NFL Records - Passing"] , NFL.com]
* (Tie) Most Touchdown Passes,
Monday Night Footballgame - 5 (11/5/2007 vs. Baltimore Ravens) [ [http://www.steelers.com/team/player/49181/ "Ben Roethlisberger Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* First QB to start two Conference Championship games in first two seasons in the NFL (2004 & 2005) [ [http://www.steelers.com/team/player/49181/ "Ben Roethlisberger Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* Youngest starting QB ever to win the Super Bowl (2005; 2nd youngest QB to play in the Super Bowl behind
Dan Marino) [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2006-02-02-roethlisberger-cover_x.htm "Steelers' Roethlisberger a perfect fit for Super Bowl XL"] , USA Today]
* Roethlisberger became the second quarterback in NFL history, along with
Peyton Manning, to register 3 perfect passing games during the regular season and only quarterback to ever register 2 perfect passing games in one regular season. [ [http://www.steelers.com/team/player/49181/ "Ben Roethlisberger Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* Lowest passer rating for a Super Bowl winning QB - 22.6 (Completed 9 of 21 passes for 0 touchdowns, with 2 interceptions) [ [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2006-10-12-steelers-cover_x.htm "Roethlisberger, defending Super Bowl champs Steelers stumble to 1-3 start"] , USA Today]
Pittsburgh Steeler Franchise Records
* 47-19 (.712) record as starting QB (includes a 5-2 playoff record)
* .712 winning percentage is the highest among all Steeler QB's with at least 20 starts
* Most Pass Attempts, Rookie Season - 295 (2004)
* Most Pass Completions, Rookie Season - 196 (2004)
* Most Pass Completions, Game - 38 (Completed 38 of 54 passes for 433 yards on November 5, 2006 against the
* (Tie) Most Consecutive Passes Completed, Game - 15 (Completed 15 straight on November 26, 2007 against the
Miami Dolphinson Monday Night Football. Bubby Bristeralso completed 15 straight on October 1, 1989 against the Detroit Lions) [ [http://news.steelers.com/Team/Player/49181/ Ben Roethlisberger #7 Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* Highest Completion %, Career (Min. 100 attempts) - 63.3% [ [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/career-passing.htm "Pittsburgh Steelers Career Passing Register"] , Pro-Football-Reference.com]
* Highest Completion %, Season - 66.4% (2004)
* Highest Completion %, Rookie Season - 66.4% (2004)
* Highest Completion %, Game (Min. 20 attempts) - 85.7% (Completed 18 out of 21 attempts on November 26, 2007 against the
Miami Dolphinson Monday Night Football) [ [http://news.steelers.com/Team/Player/49181/ Ben Roethlisberger #7 Profile"] , Steelers.com]
* Highest Completion %, Postseason Career (Min. 50 attempts) - 62.4%
* Most Passing Yards, Rookie Season - 2621 (2004)
* (Tie) Most 400+ Yard Passing Games, Career - 1 (tied w/
Bobby Layneand Tommy Maddox)
* (Tie) Most 3000 Yard Passing Seasons - 2 (tied w/
Terry Bradshawand Kordell Stewart)
* (Tie) Most Touchdown Passes, Game - 5 (Threw 5 TD passes in the first half against the
Baltimore Ravenson a Monday Night game November 5, 2007. Tied w/ Terry Bradshawand Mark Malone) [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/recap?gid=20071105023 "Big Ben's 5 TD throws lead Steelers' 38-7 rout of Ravens as stars watch on"] , Yahoo! Sports]
* Most Touchdown Passes, Season - 32 (2007)
* Most Touchdown Passes, Rookie Season - 17 (2004)
* Most Consecutive Games With a TD Pass - 15 (from
December 3, 2006through November 18, 2007)
* Highest TD%, Career (Min. 500 attempts) - 5.85%
* Highest TD%, Season - 7.92% (2007)
* Highest Yards Per Attempt, Career (Min. 100 attempts) - 8.10 [ [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/career-passing.htm "Pittsburgh Steelers Career Passing Register"] , Pro-Football-Reference.com]
* Highest Yards Per Attempt, Season - 8.90 (2005)
* Highest Yards Per Attempt, Rookie Season - 8.88 (2004)
* Highest Passer Rating, Career (Min. 100 attempts) - 92.5 [ [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/career-passing.htm "Pittsburgh Steelers Career Passing Register"] , Pro-Football-Reference.com]
* Highest Passer Rating, Season - 104.1 (2007)
* Highest Passer Rating, Rookie Season - 98.1 (2004)
* Highest Passer Rating, Postseason Career - 85.1 (7 starts)
* Most Games With a Perfect Passer Rating, Career - 3
* Largest contract in Steelers history (8 yr, $102 million) [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3274467 "Roethlisberger gets more than $36 million in guarantees in new deal"] , ESPN.com]
Ben Roethlisberger Foundation
Ben started a foundation with the following mission statement, "The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation seeks to (a) provide support for police and fire departments throughout the US with a particular emphasis on service dogs and (b) to enhance the quality of life for residents of Findlay, OH and Pittsburgh, PA. "
Ben has his own beef jerky, called Big Ben's Beef Jerky. The new edition is called Big Ben's XL Beef Jerky. [ [http://www.plbsports.com/ProductPgs/products_roethlisberger.htm Big Ben's Beef Jerky] ]
* Has beat every NFL team except for Oakland, Green Bay, Atlanta, and Arizona [Football Guys [http://subscribers.footballguys.com/teams/teampage-pit-4.php "PIT records by year"] ]
* Has multiple
sandwiches named after him, usually a punon his last name (which ends with "berger", similar to " hamburger"). Pittsburgh chain Peppi's sells The "Roethlisburger," which costs $7.00 (because his football jersey number is 7).Fact|date=March 2008 Findlay, Ohio, restaurant Tony's sells a Roethlisburger, and so does Brick Street in Oxford, Ohio. [Rovell, Darren. [http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1916354 "Roethlisberger in demand"] . ESPN.com. 4 November 2004.]
*His surname "Roethlisberger" (Swiss-German spelling: Röthlisberger) is of Swiss origin with roots in the village of Geissbuehl
Lauperswil, Switzerland. [Fleming, David. [http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=1970310&type=story "For whom the Ben tolls"] . ESPN.com. 19 January 2005.] [The Associated Press. [http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/news/s_451853.html "Steelers' Roethlisberger discovers his Swiss roots"] . Associated Press. 12 May 2006 .]
* Is a spokesman for Swiss Roots, a campaign intended to help Americans of Swiss origin reconnect with their Swiss ancestral roots.Staff and wire reports. [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06129/688616-37.stm "Big Ben exploring his roots in Switzerland"] .
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette9 May 2006.]
* In May 2006, Roethlisberger and his family traveled to Switzerland for a week long trip in order to explore their Swiss roots. [Fabus, Mike. [http://media3.steelers.com/article/63966/ "Roethlisberger's having fun in Switzerland"] . www.steelers.com 9 May 2006.]
* Revealed in a 2006 interview that he is a close friend of
Donald Trumpand they speak weekly. [http://mondesishouse.blogspot.com/2007/01/maybe-big-ben-will-defend-donald.html Mondesishouse.com: Maybe Big Ben Will Defend The Donald? ] ]
* Has his own line of Barbecue sauce. [http://www.bigbensbbq.com Big Ben's BBQ ] ]
*Named the best Quarterback under 25 years of age [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0610/gallery.nfl.top10youngQBs/content.10.html SI.com - Photo Gallery - Ranking Top 10 Young QBs:
25 and Under ] ]
*A Pittsburgh auto dealer released a line of Roethlisberger signature GMC Sierras in 2007. [http://mondesishouse.blogspot.com/2007/09/you-cant-be-serious.html Mondesishouse.com: You Can't Be Serious ] ]
* Second QB of Swiss descent to play and win a Super Bowl (
* Ben gave his Super Bowl ring to his father as a Father's Day gift. [ [http://www.nfl.com/players/benroethlisberger/profile?id=ROE750381 Ben Roethlisberger ] ]
* In the
Madden NFLseries, His name is shortened to "Roethlisbergr" due to a limit of letters allowed in the game. This also occurs with T. J. Houshmandzadeh.
* Staff (September 2006) "Ben Roethlisberger 1982-" "Biography Today" 15(3): pp. 102-117
* [http://www.br-7.com Ben Roethlisberger Official site]
* [http://www.forecaster.info/post-gazette/football/player.cgi?6567 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player Bio]
* [http://benroethlisberger.typepad.com/roethlisberger/ Official Blog]
* [http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/493043 Profile at NFL.com]
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