At 24 years of age, most young men are just getting out of college, finding that first job and living off of TV dinners with mom not around.
At 24, Ben Roethlisberger’s first job is an NFL quarterback, already has his first Super Bowl ring and probably will never see another TV dinner the rest of his life.
After waiting for fellow quarterbacks Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers’ names to be called, Roethlisberger was selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former University of Miami (OH) grad didn’t have to wait long to get his shot in the NFL, however, as Pittsburgh’s starter Tommy Maddox went down in the first game of the ’04 season.
Roethlisberger lost his first game as a backup, but it only ended up being a hiccup in what turned out to be a record setting season by Big Ben and the Steelers. He went on to set the NFL record for wins by a rookie QB with 13. He led Pittsburgh to a 15-1 record (although he didn’t play in the season finale against Buffalo) and all the way to AFC Championship game, before finally meeting his match against the eventual Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The Patriots' defense picked off Big Ben three times, but the maturity and confidence he displayed set up an ’05 season that no Steelers fan would ever forget.
The next year, he made history again by being the only rookie to start in two Conference Championship games in his first two seasons, by leading the Steelers past the Denver Broncos on their way to Super Bowl XL in Detroit. By beating the Bengals, Colts and Broncos, the Steelers became the first team in NFL history to be a Wild Card team to make it to the Super Bowl.
Their run didn’t end on a sour note either.
Against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bow XL, Roethlisberger was less than impressive with a 9 for 21 performance, but he did score on a rushing touchdown to help the Steelers to a 21-10 title victory.
Big Ben’s biggest play wasn’t in the Super Bowl, however.
In the Divisional Round matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, Roethlisberger was leading the Steelers to a game-clinching touchdown when running back Jerome Bettis fumbled the ball on the goal line with less than three minutes left on the clock. When Colts’ defensive back Nick Harper scooped up the ball and started streaking for the endzone, Roethlisberger twisted and turned while back peddling down the field as a safety net. He eventually tripped Harper right before midfield and the Steelers were able to hang on to a victory, aided by an Indianapolis missed field goal and poor clock management.
Roethlisberger has a career ahead of him much like Patriots QB Tom Brady. But in the ’06 offseason, however, Roethlisberger was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in which he suffered fractures to the jaw and his left sinus cavity, a nine-inch laceration to the back of the head, and the loss of two teeth. Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet and and did not have a valid motorcycle license, either.
Although the accident was initially reported as non-career or life threatening, Roethlisberger was clearly affected by the incident in the ‘06 regular season. Before the first game of the year, he had to undergo an emergency appendectomy and then in Week 7 he suffered a concussion against the Falcons. He came back the next week, but he threw four interceptions in a 20-13 loss to the then 1-5 Raiders. He finished the year with a QB rating of 75.4, which was a significant drop off from the Super Bowl season in which he had a rating of 98.6. As a team, the Steelers finished third in the AFC North with an 8-8 record.
After a rough 2006 campaign, Big Ben managed to bounce back in 2007. While Pittsburgh was eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Roethilisberger threw for over 3,000 yards and 32 touchdowns in the regular season. Had star running back Willie Parker not suffered a season-ending knee injury towards the end of the season, maybe the Steelers could have gone farther in the postseason.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
The official website of the Pittsburgh Steelers provides in-depth career notes, stats, photos and a small personal section on their young gunslinger.
Official website for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback; filled with news, pictures stats and gear.
NFL.com: Ben Roethlisberger
Small bio on Roethlisberger, but the true value of this site from NFL.com is the amount of stats they provide on Big Ben.
Rotoworld Player Profile: Ben Roethlisberger
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Big Ben for your fantasy football team.
Ben Roethlisberger Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Ben Roethlisberger's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Latest on Roethlisberger
Big Ben bounced back nicely in 2007 after a turbulant 2006. He finished the season with 3,154 yards and 32 touchdowns in leading the Steelers to an AFC North title.
News and Commentary
Roethlisberger happy to take field
With a new coach and season ahead of him, Ben Roethlisberger is ready to forget about the issues he had in ’06.
Roethlisberger impressing new Steelers coach
Big Ben needs to have a bounce-back year in '07. To do so, he'll first need to impress first-year head coach Mike Tomlin.
Roethlisberger, Whisenhunt Disagree On Causes For QB's Struggles in 2006
Former Pittsburgh offensive coordinator and present Arizona Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt things that Ben Roethlisberger struggled in ’06 because of all the off field incidents he had. Big Ben disagrees.
Big Ben building a legacy
After only two seasons in the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger is etching is place in Steelers history.
Steelers get past Seahawks for fifth title
A recap of Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Big Ben in serious condition after motorcycle accident
On June 13th, 2005, ESPN.com reported that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was in serious condition after not wearing a helmet while crashing his motorcycle in Pennsylvania.
On winning the Super Bowl despite not playing well:
"We got the win, and that's all that matters. It was absolutely awesome to come up here and win one for Jerome."
On the differences between Mike Tomlin and Bill Cowher:
"It will definitely be different because Coach (Bill) Cowher was here before I got here. Our relationship wasn't great because he was here before I got here and I was just a young kid. Coach Tomlin and I are rookies together in a sense so I think we will have a better relationship."