Ben Roethlisberger, Ken Anderson, and the QB Connection


October 28, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) scrambles with the ball as Washington Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley (56) defends during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Pittsburgh Steelers won 27-12. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Although Ken Anderson is known by many as possibly the best quarterback in the franchise history of the Cincinnati Bengals, he is no stranger to the Pittsburgh Steelers and their successful signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger.  For those of you who do not remember, Anderson was actually “Big Ben’s” position coach for a three year period from 2007 to 2009.

Due to his ties to both franchises, Gerry Dulac of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier today that Anderson will even be a part of the pre-game coin flip before Monday’s game between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

With upcoming game between the Steelers and Bengals on the horizon, Anderson recently shared his thoughts on Andy Dalton and Roethlisberger in a recent article by Geoff Hobson on the Bengals’ team website.  While the former Bengal signal-caller had numerous positive things to say about Dalton, he was just as, if not more, glowing with his remarks about “Big Ben:”

"He’s a fantastic quarterback … an elite, … He doesn’t get the recognition of a lot of guys because he doesn’t have the gaudy stats of Peyton Manning or Drew Brees or Tom Brady.  But this guy is a great player and a winner.No. 1, his size and mobility.  He’s as good as there is at extending plays and finding people in the passing game.  We all know what a tough guy he is to bring down and he elevates everybody that plays with him.  There’s a lot of big quarterbacks playing nowadays, but it’s the mobility to go along with his size.  He’s got great arm strength, he’s shown he’s very accurate in the pocket, but the plays he makes outside the pocket are special."

With Anderson’s first-hand experience working with Roethlisberger in mind, I think that it is important to note that Pittsburgh’s quarterback blossomed during the 2007, 2008, and 2009 seasons with Andersonon the coaching staff.

Overall, Pittsburgh’s signal-caller set a career-high for touchdown passes in a season with 32 in 2007, achieved current career-highs for completion percentage and passing yards in 2009 (66.6% and 4,328), made his first Pro Bowl in 2007, and he most importantly helped his team capture a Super Bowl title in 2008.

While having some tremendous targets to look to in the passing game helped Roethlisberger during that span (Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Heath Miller, etc.), Anderson deserves some credit for the work he did in Pittsburgh with “Big Ben” and the amount of success Pittsburgh’s quarterback achieved during those three seasons.  In fact, “Big Ben” actually enjoyed the most productive statistical period of his career during the three years he worked with the former Bengal quarterback.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers could stand to use some of the “special” play Anderson alluded to in Monday’s game at Paul Brown Stadium.  After such a dreadful and inconsistent performance in Week 1, it would be nothing short of terrific to see Pittsburgh’s Pro Bowl signal-caller put on a show for his former quarterbacks coach against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

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