Big Ben Is A Unique and Elite Athlete…Face it!

Posted: December 7, 2010 in NFL

I got an email Monday morning and it made me laugh and I completely agree with my friend who said this. He writes “every week, I read on your blog about all these elite quarterbacks: Brady, Manning, Rivers. Big Ben…why is he never mentioned in any rants Andrew? Broken foot, broken nose, a broken offensive line. Once again, the Ravens have the best D in the league – just like they have for several years. Big Ben is now 6-0 against them, 10 TD’s, 3 picks, with a 93 QB rating. Joe Flacco is 0-5 against Big Ben. P.S. If Tom Brady played behind the Steelers offensive line Andrew, he would only be married to a JC Penny catalogue model, not a supermodel.” I totally agree with this.

Maybe it’s because the Steelers win ugly like this. But to add to Big Ben’s credit, he’s doing it with one legitimate down field option. Tight ends are both hurt, Heinze Ward is shot, it’s a shaky offensive line and you can look at the numbers in total net yards this year, they’ve got a thousand less yards than the top teams like Philadelphia, New Orleans and San Diego. They run the football for about 110-120 yards a game and that tells you….that’s not Big Ben; he doesn’t have a great offensively line.

Sunday night, he breaks his nose, he has a semi broken foot, and he is just absolutely great. There is a quote in here from Isaac Reidman, who made a catch late – a back up, that Big Ben is playing with…a back up. He said “when you’re playing with a guy like this, you see him bleeding, he’s got a broken foot, he’s the kind of guy you want on your sideline and everybody rally’s around this guy”

After the game by the way, he was asked about the broken foot, he was asked about the Ravens and all the injuries. “Once the adrenaline starts going, I think that helps with a lot of things. So you know when you get out there, there should be no excuses; you just have to play the game. You’ve gotta give Baltimore a lot of credit, they are a hard fighting team and this rivalry is always a good one.”

Big Ben has played in 8 games since he’s come back, 6-2, 13 TD’s, 2000 yards, 95 QB rating, with one legitimate down field option. In 4 of the 8 games, the QB rating has been 97 or more. In 8 of the games, he’s only got 5 picks…again, with below average offensive support.

Look at Peyton Manning this year, where he’s had injuries, he has completely imploded! Peyton Manning has completely imploded this year especially over the last month with injuries. Well, who does Big Ben have? A 78 year old Heinze Ward, a blocker receiver, who now can’t separate? Beat up tight ends? Shaky offensive line? By the way, Mike Wallace isn’t a great receiver, he’s one of the league’s fastest receivers, but he’s not as good as Santonio Holmes. If Holmes had not been traded away, I’d take the Steelers to win the Superbowl.

It’s interesting because 99% of the time, what you love…I love as well. What you love, I love as well. Now, I don’t like these TCU’s and Boise State’s…but the truth is, you don’t either because the TV ratings show it. You don’t like watching them either. You say you like them because you’ve been manipulated by the media, you watch too many movies…so you say you like the underdog, but when they’re on you’ll never watch them. So the truth is, you really like watching the big boys too. You want to see Auburn/Oregon, not TCU vs. Boise State and you know it!

But the truth is, I agree with you (the fan base) on almost everything. The one thing I don’t is…I think Big Ben is going to go down – if he literally retired after this season, you can make an argument that he’s a hall of famer! Everything time he wins it’s the “well they got a great defense” argument. Well everyone has got something; Flacco has got a great defense. When Aaron Rogers’s defense is healthy…they are good. Brady has had great defenses…you’ve got get over this “Well he’s got a great defense” Listen, he can’t throw to his defense, his defense doesn’t block for him.

One of the things I really like about Big Ben – and Baltimore and Pittsburgh make each other look bad. I watched NFC football on Sunday, then I watched Baltimore/Pittsburgh Sunday night, those are very good teams that make themselves look bad because they are so physical and so intimidating. What Big Ben does – and I don’t think a QB in the history of the league has done this.

There was a moment, did you see at the end of the game, when Joe Flacco kinda flustered where he had to make a pass out onto the left flat, across his body and he skipped it? Earlier in the game – and he only went for about a yard. Big Ben made a play – which I don’t think anybody else in the league can make. He’s so big and so strong…he takes the ball (as a right handed QB you have to take a step back, turn to the right, cop throw, boom!) Big Ben just side arms it, 24 yards out to the right for about a yard and a half gain. I don’t think fans understand how big and how physical his instincts, his talent, throwing on the run, they just don’t show up on stats!

You can’t measure a lot of Big Bens’ stuff…that’s why it’s really unfair to Big Ben on these “elite QB” talks. With Tom Brady, you can measure everything he does well, because he doesn’t run out of the pocket, that’s not his thing. Big Ben does 4 or 5 things that he gets no credit for and unless you’ve played the game or you’re absolutely objective or with a former QB, they are all in awe of him.

Big Ben is the only guy I’ve ever seen who pump fakes with one hand. Eric Allen, the former Pro Bowler, was on the Colin Cowherd show once and he said “ In the history of the league, no QB has done a full pump fake with one arm, that’s why everyone buys into his pump fakes” Big Ben is really a unique athlete. He just never gets the credit for his stuff, because a lot of what he does, fantasy football fans don’t get points for.

Now, let’s not go crazy on Peyton Manning yet, he is the robot and does it at a different level intellectually than anybody else in the league. Big Ben as an athlete is remarkable! He’s the size of a defensive end, he is absolutely remarkable!

  1. Mike Crack says:

    He’s definitely unique talent, the only guy similar to him is Josh Freeman on the Bucs.

    I think he suits the way the Steelers are right now. He’s not an every week prolific passer, but he will improvise and scramble his way to success. It works well in conjunction with their good D.

    I have to say Baltimore’s D isn’t what it used to be. They aren’t a top 5 this year like they often have been in recent years, but they still can play hard.

    I don’t think Big Ben would be a HOFer if he stopped playing right now. He has 2 rings, but playing less than seven seasons in the league wouldn’t be enough IMO. It’s not like he has been putting up Peyton Manning numbers or been so much better than the other players at his position that a shot career would warrant his induction (e.g. Gale Sayers). Plus, the Steelers have had some success in games he has missed (not just this year, but in previous years where Tommy Maddox, Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich have come in to replace him)

    I agree that a lot of what he does is beyond numbers though. He has a lot of good intangibles.

  2. DerekMayo says:

    I agree that he is a good QB but i am not sure if he is elite. I think he has a really good defense to fall back on. They create a lot of turnovers and are good against the run which gives Big Ben more touches. I would say that he is a very good QB but i don’t think he is elite yet. Elite QBs are able to adapt when they lose major talents/key players around them. I have yet to see Big Ben produce the same way as he did since Santonio’s departure. Look at what Tom Brady has done without Moss, it looks like he is even a better QB without a HOFer receiver. He adapted to the players around him but once again, my opinion is bias because i don’t like Big Ben. I didn’t like how both him and Santonio got in trouble but yet Santonio was let go. Yea i understand he is a QB but if they are truly about keeping a good image of the organization then they should be able to let him go as he repeated the same incident twice (that we know of).

    I can see Cam Newton being like a Big Ben kinda QB (minus raping girls) due to his size and mobility. I just hope he doesn’t end up on the Bills.

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