The Best Steelers Quarterback Ever: Bradshaw or Roethlisberger?

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw (Photo by Nate Fine/Getty Images) /

Who is better Bradshaw or Roethlisberger

There is no denying each quarterback has strengths and weaknesses, yet both had tremendous success on the gridiron, and like Bradshaw, Ben has a reservation in Canton when he retires.

As far as what he has done on the field, Ben’s stats overshadow Bradshaws by far; then again, the Steelers never needed to rely on Bradshaw as they do Roethlisberger. If Bradshaw got hurt, like in 76, then the back up came in, ran the ball with Franco and Rocky, and with help from the defense, managed to crush many teams. Despite what Bradshaw used to say in the locker room, “You can lose with me, but you can’t win without me.” In 2019, despite a valiant effort from Ben’s backups, when push came to shove, they couldn’t win when they needed to.   So if anything, that has made Roethlisberger indispensable, not necessarily better.

So all things being equal, In the ’70s the Steelers had a great team with a great quarterback. Since 2004 the Steelers had decent teams with an above-average quarterback that made the rest of the team better. But there is one thing Bradshaw accomplished that no other quarterback in the NFL has done, not even Tom Brady. That is winning four Superbowl Titles in six seasons. Also, if Franco and Rocky had not suffered injuries before the 1976 AFC championship game, they could have won 5 titles in six years. It Took the Patriots 14 Seasons to get their fourth championship.

Now, if Ben can win a third Superbowl in 2020 and perhaps a fourth if he does not retire, then unquestionably you can say Big Ben is the best of the two. In the end, championship titles are the end result. All the great stats are meaningless if you can’t win the big game. Fans will consider Marty Schottenheimer a great NFL coach; however, he could never win in the playoffs, thus never won a Superbowl, and no one will ever rank him as the best coach. The same is true with the Steelers quarterbacks.

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Ultimately Bradshaw is 4-0 in the Superbowl over six years; Big Ben is 2-1 over 17 seasons.  It seems for his greatness on the field; he needs at least one more title to get the monkey off his back and leave no doubt he is the best. Unless he does that, there will still be critics that say he was great, but when it came to winning championships, he couldn’t duplicate the Blonde Bomber’s success. That said, if the Steelers can go unbeaten in 2020 perhaps, then I think one can say Ben’s is better.