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Roethlisberger credits change in delivery for improvement

Ben Roethlisberge

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.

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36 Responses to “Roethlisberger credits change in delivery for improvement”
  1. chapnastier says: Jan 13, 2011 10:37 AM

    Mike Wallace should probably receive most of the credit for his yards per attempt. That guy is a beast.

  2. herokravon says: Jan 13, 2011 10:37 AM

    Cue the haters chiming in on all the past mistakes the man has made!

    Raven domination this week, Steelers 23-Ravens 6

  3. robzar says: Jan 13, 2011 10:43 AM

    As good as he might be as a QB, he’s still a scumbag and no match for Brady if they get to Foxboro next week.

  4. ray3rd says: Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM

    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.

  5. neverend1 says: Jan 13, 2011 10:57 AM

    Agreed with chapp. Wallace is a great deep threat but to sell the steelers and ben like they’re some explosive offense is ridiculous. They’ve been pretty above average most of the time

  6. canadianvikingfaniii says: Jan 13, 2011 11:00 AM

    Big Ben also won’t go down like a panzy as many other QBs in the league do.

  7. Stiller43 says: Jan 13, 2011 11:09 AM

    #
    ray3rd says: Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM

    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.

    ____________________________________

    Whitfield runs a separate quarterbacking firm in San Diego, and has nothing to do with the Steelers organization…other than the fact he worked with Ben during his suspension, of course.

  8. calanco says: Jan 13, 2011 11:13 AM

    @ray3rd:

    The Steelers QB coach is Randy Fichtner. George Whitfield Jr. isn’t associated with any team and he runs his own business teaching QB mechanics in San Diego.

  9. meso0rnery says: Jan 13, 2011 11:14 AM

    #
    ray3rd says: Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM

    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.
    ——————————————————————-
    That was a Coach that Ben hired personally. He’s not employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  10. vintwok says: Jan 13, 2011 11:14 AM

    “Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.”

    Obviously, you only get your information from profootballtalk. The QB coach referenced is not employed by the Steelers, he was an outside consultant that was hired by Big Ben during his suspension.

  11. igottz5onit says: Jan 13, 2011 11:16 AM

    At ray3rd
    George whitfield jr has never been employed by the Steelers. He is a private consultant hired by Roethlisberger during his suspension. There was about a half dozen articles about it on here when it happened.

  12. citizenstrange says: Jan 13, 2011 11:16 AM

    That’s why he went four straight games without being able to crack 20 points this year and also in the big games against the Saints and Patriots only scored three points over the first three quarters.

    GO STEELERS!

  13. physiodoc2be says: Jan 13, 2011 11:18 AM

    #
    ray3rd says: Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM

    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.

    ————————————————————————

    My understanding is that Whitfield is a private tutor of QBs and not a member of the Steelers organization. As such, Ben was free to hire him and work out with him during his suspension.

  14. herokravon says: Jan 13, 2011 11:23 AM

    The passing game still has a lot of work to do once they get in the redzone.

  15. peytonwantsaflag says: Jan 13, 2011 11:23 AM

    Cue the haters chiming in on all the past mistakes the man has made!

    You really need to give it a couple years before you start talking “past” (I’d probably give it at least as long as he should’ve gotten in the pokey.

    Also it’s not really a “mistake” issue – it’s a character issue.

  16. tiffpats4eva says: Jan 13, 2011 11:28 AM

    @ray3rd

    Agreed. I thought he was not supposed to have any access to facilities and/or staff.

  17. steelerdynasty2010 says: Jan 13, 2011 11:28 AM

    @ray3rd:
    he’s not the team’s qb coach. he’s just A qb coach. he’s not associated with the team at all.

  18. villagoo says: Jan 13, 2011 11:30 AM

    George Whitfield Jr. is an independent coach/trainer, no affiliation with the Steelers or any NFL team for that matter.

  19. kimcon22000 says: Jan 13, 2011 11:32 AM

    ray3rd says:
    Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM
    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The rule merely states he cannot go to his team’s facilities or their games (home/road). It does not forbid contact with his team outside of their football operations (facilities/team preparations).

  20. pigspigspigspigs says: Jan 13, 2011 11:33 AM

    The steelers were in the top 5 of explosive plays for the season. So unless you only count the top 4 teams as being explosive you are wrong. Big Ben has always had a ridiculously high ypa so to account for this by saying its mike wallace you would be selling ben short. As the story states he is 4th all time which is amazing. Ben gets looked over as an elite qb because of all the volume stat guys like rivers and peyton but the stats that matter are efficiency stats. Throw in his regular season winning % and playoff performance and you got the beginnings of a hall of fame career.

  21. johnah says: Jan 13, 2011 11:35 AM

    ray3rd:
    The QB coach was hired by Ben and isn’t part of the Steeler’s organization. I would agree that if Ben had worked with someone from the team that would have been a violation for sure; but there isn’t anything against him hiring a trainer to work out with and focus on skills.

  22. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Jan 13, 2011 11:43 AM

    Totally forgot that Anderson had retired, thanks to calanco for getting the correct name on the thread.

  23. footballfan says: Jan 13, 2011 11:47 AM

    I agree that hiring the guy to help him out during his suspension was the smart thing to do. I know it would have been too easy to sit around, get fat, and sulk the whole time. Never know, maybe he is finally growing up. The world can only hope!

  24. holeinone09 says: Jan 13, 2011 11:48 AM

    While they had a hard time scoring in a number of games (and by the way, give some credit to opposing defenses, let alone some costly penalities, etc), the offense overall did much better in the past 2 games heading into this game. They put a lot of points on the board finally, albeit against weaker teams. Still, they have the talent on offense to get the job done, and the OL has to continue to give Ben some modest time to get the ball away.

    No doubt, Ben is having a really good season overall, not only in terms of stats but for decision-making, attitude, leadership, etc. The intangibles are maybe more important than the stats right now. With the off week to rest up and prepare, I expect Ben to have a great game Saturday, as he continues to prove himself to his distractors. But remember, it will take a total team effort to win, and I expect the Steelers overall to be completely ready to go on Saturday. Including Troy.

    And as many have stated, Ben hired the QB coach. Do the people that made the stupid comments above think the NFL would not have punished Ben if he violated the rules for his suspension? Come on, man! This wasn’t exactly confidential information here.

    GO STEELERS!!

  25. tomthebombtracy says: Jan 13, 2011 11:56 AM

    Local media had a field day finding Ben during the suspension. He was at I believe Hampton High School working with some high school kids and some unsigned players. He’d move around here and there.

    He’s never been one for style points but the way he holds the ball, the extra half second eliminated from having to take it from his waist to head high, that’s probably eliminated a few sacks here and there. He has ni INTs like in his last 160 throws.

  26. andyprough says: Jan 13, 2011 12:03 PM

    Scoring problems were mostly related to a completely new offensive line, multiple injuries to the offensive line, and 3 new receivers and an injury to Heath Miller. In addition, Ben started out slow – I was complaining in the first 5 games back that if he wasn’t going to play any better than Charlie Batch, the Steelers shouldn’t pay him any more.

    Overall, with the suspension, numerous offensive injuries and the entirely new o-line (except for holdover Chris Kemoeato), and rookies at center and wide receiver, the Steelers can’t complain about a 12-4 record and #2 seed. Seems like the offense started to come around a bit better the last few games of the season – at least good enough to give them a chance to win a playoff game or two.

  27. taxlaw26 says: Jan 13, 2011 12:16 PM

    “I had heard of it before but I never did it because I didn’t think it mattered. I tried it because I had a bad elbow problem, and it solved that problem, too.” Translation – I’ve been coached to improve but I only listened when I absolutely had to. Ben Roethlisberger is extraordinarily athletic and extraordinarily big, but this is exactly why Ben Roethlisberger will NEVER be great…at anything.

  28. tk1966 says: Jan 13, 2011 12:34 PM

    “I had heard of it before but I never did it because I didn’t think it mattered. I tried it because I had a bad elbow problem, and it solved that problem, too.”

    Translation – I’ve grown up a lot, both off the field, and now on the field, too. Thats why I will make the transition from DB to nice guy, and from good quarterback to great qb.

  29. trigdaddy says: Jan 13, 2011 12:38 PM

    I think Daniel Tosh summed up Roethlisbergers career in one short skit

  30. esoom67 says: Jan 13, 2011 12:41 PM

    After Ben’s off the field antics I was a non supporter of the guy. However, as Americans we forget the bad if all is well. I haven’t forgotten, but you got to give him credit for all of the adversity he had to endure and yet have the Steelers as a number 2 seed in the playoffs.

  31. kingjoe1 says: Jan 13, 2011 12:44 PM

    So he now asked for permission before laying the wood on a young lady? That is one way to change your delivery

  32. CKL says: Jan 13, 2011 1:16 PM

    He had an elbow problem?
    Since when?
    Any Steelers fans know anything about this?

  33. freedomispopular says: Jan 13, 2011 1:45 PM

    Why would a professional QB even be winding up in the first place? I know habits are hard to break, but not winding up should be something you learn in high school.

  34. steelernation1 says: Jan 13, 2011 1:52 PM

    first off wallace has something to do with bens success but hew still has to get the ball to him.he is one of the more accurate QB’he league.and to the one that says ben will never be much.u need help.he got 2 rings and possibly working on 3.

    last few years he has been up in top 3 in passer rating and yards per attempt.that says alot being there are how many QB’s in the league?

  35. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 13, 2011 2:11 PM

    ray3rd says: Jan 13, 2011 10:55 AM

    “Quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. spent a lot of time with Big Ben during his month away from the team.”

    Wait, WHAT?! The QB coach spent time working with Big Ben during his suspension? I thought he had to stay away from the team facilities and was forbidden to have contact with team officials. “Team officials” includes his position coach.
    ——————————————————————-

    “That was a Coach that Ben hired personally. He’s not employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

    So now, ray3rd dude, you gonna have the decency to come back now and admit how WRONG you were when you opened your big mouth?

  36. Deb says: Jan 13, 2011 7:12 PM

    Roethlisberger was gifted with natural talent that he’s never had the work ethic to develop. If he’s finally matured enough to start improving his skills, then something good has come from his off-field behavioral issues. I hope he’s also spending more time studying film.

    If Roethlisberger can so easily change his throwing motion, why has it been such a challenge for Tim Tebow? He certainly has made the effort to change.

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