If not for Ben Roethlisberger’s four-game suspension to start the year, he would be a legitimate MVP candidate.
This has arguably been Roethlisberger’s best regular season. He was third in the league in yards-per-attempt, which is nothing new. He leads all active quarterbacks in the category and is fourth all time.
The difference in his game: He’s taken fewer sacks-per-pass and thrown fewer interceptions-per-pass than any time in his career. Only Tom Brady has thrown fewer interceptions per throw this year. Roethlisberger credits a shortened throwing motion for much of the progress.
“I had heard of it before but I never did it because I didn’t think it mattered,” Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I tried it because I had a bad elbow problem, and it solved that problem, too.”
Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team. The goal was to get Roethlisberger holding the ball higher and “keeping it loaded” rather than winding up like he used to.
“It was kind of like a golfer changing his stroke, it was minor but he really gets it out faster,” offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.
Roethlisberger has received kudos for his behavior with the media and his teammates this year. That’s fine, but we’ve learned it’s a fallacy to think that fans or most media really know who the guy is as a person. (And its odd we care.)
It speaks more to Roethlisberger’s maturity that he spent his time away from the team improving part of his game, and that’s led to better results. In the past, Roethlisberger was known for not doing all he could to become a great player.