Steelers Ben Roethlisberger labeled in Tier 2 of NFL quarterbacks
A recent list of quarterback rankings has Ben Roethlisberger in Tier 2 among current NFL passers. Here’s why that’s still respectable for the Steelers legend.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has had his share of injuries over the years. Since entering the league all the way back in 2004, just 4 of 16 seasons have gone on without a hitch. The other 12, however, Big Ben was forced to deal with injuries.
Whether missing just a few games with minor nicks and bruises or missing 14 games like he did last season, Roethlisberger has suffered through numerous injuries over the years. Unfortunately, Ben is coming off the most serious injury of his NFL career – a torn ligament in his right elbow that required surgery to repair this offseason.
At 38 years old, this is more than a little concerning. Though Ben himself has assured the media that he is feeling good and ready to go in 2020, it’s unclear which Ben Roethlisberger we will see a return from injury.
Recently, Mike Sando of The Athletic wrote an article of 2020 quarterback tiers. These rankings of starting quarterbacks were comprised by 50 coaches and evaluators. Roethlisberger earned a Tier 2 ranking and was slotted in as the 8th-best quarterback on the list.
All things conceded this is quite a respectable ranking. Some executives were quick to brush him off, saying that they “think Ben is partially done” or even pointing out that he “looked more like one of their offensive linemen” last season, the consensus agreed to slot him in the second tier of NFL quarterbacks. This ranking is very fair.
Despite his age and decline in efficiency over the past few seasons, there is plenty of reason to believe Roethlisberger could play like the 8th best quarterback in the league this year.
If his surgically repaired elbow really is completely healed, he should be able to sling the ball better than he has in years – perhaps even bringing back some of what he lost in the deep passing game. All the time off may have given his aging body some time to recuperate from such a strenuous NFL career, and he claims he feels better than he has in a long time.
In addition, Ben now has more weapons at his disposal than he did in the first two weeks of the 2019 season. While JuJu Smith-Schuster will continue to be his go-to receiver, Pittsburgh added some big targets in Eric Ebron and Chase Claypool this offseason. Though Diontae Johnson and James Washington were already part of the team, both receivers made major strides as the sesaon went on last year without Roethlisberger.
Big Ben still has a lot to do to prove that he can once again play like a top 8 quarterback in the NFL this year, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that he could achieve this feat. If these NFL coaches and executives prove to be accurate in their quarterback rankings, the Steelers could be in for a very good season in 2020.