Ben Roethlisberger is a man first, a baller second. Fans of the 2006 season experienced great disappointment in the young quarterback, coming off of the Super Bowl experience and win. Was this win and ring too much for the youngest quarterback ever to win the championship? Remember, he's a man first. One could imagine the glory and notoriety could reshape a player's physique, a player's attitude and the way he plays the game, of life and football.
In interviews following the 8-8 season for the Steelers, Ben notably took the blame for the losing season. Was this team different from the team who won the ring? Yes, but Ben took the blame, even though the offense didn't protect him and he piloted the ball too many times into the opponent's hand due to the pressure of the defense. He may be a young player but he learned maturity by admitting his weaknesses during the 2006 season. And with maturity comes a chance at leadership, one that can lead this dominating team to yet dominate again.
Ben started the 2006 season unable to ride the glory of Super Bowl XL, recuperating from his motorcycle accident and later his appendectomy. But, he played and didn't play well until halfway through the season. Some may think he's foolish for pressing the issue of bodily endurance when his body endured enough already in just a few short months. Ben may think so, too; hindsight. Regrettably so, the Steelers lost out on the Wild Card. Was the quarterback to blame? Ask Cowher, he didn't pull him. Ben just played his position, the job that he was being payed to play. Batch sat out many a game and could've helped navigate this team to the playoffs while Ben regrouped. The controversy over Ben and his playing should fall on the coaches shoulders, not Ben's. He did his best at the time, took the blame and has lead the team to a 3-0 start in the 2007 season. His pistols are loaded with accurate aim, his new coach backs him a hundred percent and the fans are charged. Controversy? What controversy? This is man who showed his humanness last season because of his physical troubles and sketchy playing. And this is a man who can admit defeat and cock back his throwing arm and aim for a new season, a winning season. Seems to most in the league that a 3-0 start isn't too bad. Remember, most teams who have started 3-0 have made it to the playoffs. Controversy? Seems like good playing to me.