7 on 7: What makes Ben special

Ben Roethlisberger is in his 13th season with the Steelers, and like James Lofton said, like fine wine he is getting better with age. Lofton, along with other Pro Football Hall of Famers and members of the media, weighed in on what makes Roethlisberger special. Dan Fouts – Hall of Fame quarterback, CBS Sports NFL Analyst
"There is no question he is one of the elite. He has the ability to lead his team, that is the word I think about when I think of Ben, leader. He always seems to be pulling one out of the fire and taking his team down the field. He has been a great quarterback for a long time and I expect him to have a great year this year."


Peter King – Sports Illustrated MMQB**
"One of the things that has been so cool over the years to watch with him is his maturation as a passer and him being able to look at different ways of doing things. When Todd Haley came in he had such a great relationship with Bruce Arians that you worried he was going to struggle with Haley. But to me, I think it shows the fact that he is willing to do different things and perform and shape his game to different coaches. I just think any year he is going to play 15, 16 games, he is in the discussion to be the best quarterback in football.

"He has been around so long. You look at how long players are playing, and I think to myself, boy he could play another four or five years if he wants to. He is in the discussion with the best quarterbacks in football."

Franco Harris – Hall of Fame running back
"What can you say about Big Ben. He has been so awesome. One of the best quarterbacks ever. I am looking forward to watching him again this year. I am excited about this offense, looking forward to watching the passing and running game."

Stephen A. Smith – ESPN First Take
"He is one of the elite quarterbacks in the game. He is a future Hall of Famer without question. I love him. I think he belongs in the same breath as Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Ben is a two-time Super Bowl champion. Without him the Steelers aren't themselves. With him they are every bit as good as everybody thinks they are. He is someone that is clearly unappreciated. We don't talk about him nearly enough. He isn't the name that comes to mind when we are just taking football and you talk quarterbacks. We talk about Brady and Rodgers. We should talk about Ben."


James Lofton – Hall of Fame wide receiver, Westwood One Radio **"Watching Ben develop and mature has been special. You won a Super Bowl in your career and everyone talks about it's a total effort and you have a great run game. And then later on in his career he wins one on the strength of his arm. Then you watch him the last three years and he is getting a little better, a little better. It's like fine wine. Supposedly it gets better with age and that is what Ben Roethlisberger has done right in front of our eyes in the National Football League."

Ryan Clark – ESPN First Take"He is one of the best in the world. I say that every time I'm on television. We've watched him get into that first tier of quarterbacks. It used to be the Brady, (Peyton) Manning, (Drew) Brees conversation. Ben Roethlisberger is in that conversation, and to me, very near the top along with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and guys like that. And he just keeps getting better. It's been awesome to watch his maturity too. For me, seeing him as a young guy and seeing where he is now, how this team gravitates toward him, how this team follows his lead. I think it's been a really awesome thing to watch and not only become one of the best players in the league, but also one of the best leaders."
Judy Battista – NFL.com/NFL Network"I think the question with Ben is you have to keep him upright, keep him in there. Part of that is his own doing because he never wants to give up on a play. That is also part of what makes him so good. Every year you got those plays where you are like isn't he sacked, isn't he down. Did he just complete that pass. He is among the top handful of quarterbacks in the league."

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