7 greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of the Ben Roethlisberger era
By Scott Long
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL’s most storied franchises, and since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004 alone, they have had some all-time great players.
Since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won 2 Super Bowls and been a perennial playoff team. They are one of the most highly regarded teams in the NFL, and under general manager Kevin Colbert, are known for building through the draft.
While they have acquired some via trades, most of the top Steelers players since 2004 have been home-grown. Their ability to build through the draft has allowed them to build a perennial playoff-contending team, by adding cheap, young talent to the roster each and every year. The following players are the best the Steelers have put out on the field since 2004.
While these players didn’t make the list for whatever reason, they have all been valuable pieces to the Steelers roster over the last 17 years.
David DeCastro, a two-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler, has been one of the best offensive linemen that Roethlisberger has ever played behind. DeCastro has helped anchor both strong running and passing games during his time in Pittsburgh and looks to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Le’Veon Bell and Jerome Bettis present two more interesting cases. In Bell’s case, has he signed long-term with the team, rather than seeking a larger contract elsewhere, the two-time All-Pro may have had a very strong argument for being on the list. As for Bettis, he was towards the end of his career during Roethlisberger’s tenure, playing his final two seasons and winning a Lombardi Trophy. Had his career overlapped more in this timeframe he would’ve likely made the list.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Casey Hampton, and Cameron Heyward are the last three worth mentioning. Fitzpatrick has only played two seasons in Pittsburgh but looks well on his way to being on this list in the future, after making the All-Pro Team both years. Hampton, otherwise known as “Big Snack” anchored down the nose tackle position for both Super Bowl XL and XLIII, and was named to five Pro Bowls in his NFL career. As for Heyward, he has served as a leader of the defense for nearly a decade and has made two All-Pro teams of his own.