The following is the first in a series that picks a Steelers All-Modern Era Team. Players were considered based on having careers with the Steelers from 1992 until the present. The All-Modern Era team is made up of 26 players – 11 on offense, 11 on defense, and four specialists.
This one is easy. It's Ben Roethlisberger.
There are a lot of different statistics that could be cited, but with the Steelers, the quarterback position always has been about the winning over everything else. Arguments are made about won-loss records not being an accurate measure of an NFL quarterback because football is such a team sport that one individual's impact on the outcome of a game can be muted. That's one way to look at it, where statistics and style of play are what's valued, but with this team owned by this family, the greatest of the great are measured by championships won.
The Steelers won four championships with Terry Bradshaw at quarterback, and while they put together some very good teams in their modern era, they didn't win another until they drafted Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. And then they won two more.
Take a look at some of the greatest photographs from the career of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger is 2-1 as a starter in Super Bowls, and on the eight-play, 88-yard game-winning drive in Super Bowl XLIII he completed 5-of-7 passes for 84 yards and the touchdown to Santonio Holmes that gave the Steelers their margin of victory with 35 seconds remaining.
In between 1992 and drafting Roethlisberger in 2004, the Steelers won seven division titles, but they were only 7-8 in the playoffs, including a 1-3 record in AFC Championship games at home and a loss in Super Bowl XXX. Since Roethlisberger became the starter, the Steelers are 10-5 in the playoffs, with a 3-1 record in AFC Championship games and a 2-1 mark in Super Bowls.
And in the meantime, Roethlisberger has become a quarterback who can put up some impressive statistics as well. In 2014, Roethlisberger was fourth among all NFL quarterbacks in attempts, third in completions, third in completion percentage, tied-for-first in yards, third in average gain, seventh in touchdowns, fourth in interception percentage, and third in passer rating. No one else in the league ranked in the top 10 in each of those categories.
OTHERS TO CONSIDER
There wasn't another quarterback whose play deserved serious consideration when matched head-to-head with Roethlisberger, but the others guys to start games at the position for the Steelers since 1992 included Neil O'Donnell, Bubby Brister, Mike Tomczak, Jim Miller, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, Tommy Maddox, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, and Byron Leftwich.
TOMORROW: Running backs