Ben Roethlisberger is in his 17th season. He will play his 221st career game Sunday. That will set a new team record, passing Hall of Fame center Mike Webster.
“I attribute it to Jesus and just really being blessed,” Roethlisberger said of his longevity, via Teresa Varley of the team website. “I am so thankful to be in the black and gold 17 years later. Almost half my life, I’ve been here giving Steelers fans everything I have. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I wouldn’t want to do it for any other team or any other fans.
“I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of great football players and talent and teammates. I did take a lot of beating early on. A lot of that was my fault. God made me a bigger man than most quarterbacks, so I think I can take it and I’m just enjoying playing this game.”
Roethlisberger didn’t make it through Week Two last season, leaving with an elbow injury that ended his season. Some questioned whether he could come back.
Without any on-field work at the team facility until training camp, Roethlisberger has picked up where he left off. He has completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 540 yards with five touchdowns and an interception.
Roethlisberger, though, isn’t satisfied. He called his foot work “a little lazy” which created a “lazy arm.”
“Whether it’s the layoff, whether it’s the surgery, like I said, I feel great. I just need to get it in my mind that I can still make the throws when I’m not in the perfect position to make them,” Roethlisberger said. “Maybe some of that just comes from not playing a lot of football. I played two games this year. I played a game and a half last year, so really, it’s about three and a half games in two years if you think about it. It’ll come. Like I said, if I’m having these issues, and we are still winning football games, that’s a plus.”