What they were sayin’ this week about #7

February 12th, 2016 by

From Jeremy Fowler at ESPN.com’s AFC North Blog:

“Ben Roethlisberger is AFC North’s most valuable player”

010615NFL Nation reporters from the AFC North — Jeremy Fowler, Coley Harvey, Jamison Hensley and Pat McManamon — have reviewed the film and sorted through the analytics to determine the 2015 annual awards for the division. On Friday, we hand out the AFC North most valuable player.

Winner: Ben Roethlisberger

Runner-up: Antonio Brown

Brown gave 136 reasons why he’s an MVP candidate. Andy Dalton had the league’s second-highest passer rating before a thumb injury derailed his season.

But Ben Roethlisberger was clearly the catalyst for the AFC North’s best offense. He earned his divisional MVP award with playmaking ability that few matched in 2015.

Roethlisberger’s 328 passing yards per game led the NFL. He consistently challenged defenses in fearless fashion. For much of the season, Roethlisberger’s passes, on average, traveled nearly 11 yards in the air before reaching a receiver, also tops in the league.

This is not a check-down quarterback. This is one of the most feared, and one of the most difficult matchups for defensive coordinators.

Who else beat the league’s best defense, Denver, with 55 passing attempts? Fifty-five!

The Steelers should consider themselves lucky they went 2-2 without Roethlisberger. Just consider Brown’s production. He averaged 133 yards per game with Big Ben and 59 per game without him. For as great as Brown is, Roethlisberger still stirs the drink.

The Steelers’ streak of six straight games with at least 30 points was truly special, and Roethlisberger’s arm drove that streak. He played through several injuries to stay on the field. He’s thrived in Todd Haley’s system that emphasizes rhythm and timing in the passing game.

Roethlisberger is undervalued in his own locker room, winning one team-voted MVP in 12 seasons. Not here. He’s a logical choice as division MVP.

You can read more from Jeremy Fowler here.

From Curt Popejoy at USA Today:

“Former Steeler Santonio Holmes offers high praise of Ben Roethlisberger”

Ben_Santonio_XLIII_wsFor whatever reason there are an awful lot of NFL fans and writers that don’t give Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the respect he deserves. He is clearly one of the top quarterbacks in the league, but many refuse to admit it. He’s not as flashy or has the celebrity status of some other top quarterbacks, but make no mistake, he’s as good as they get.

One guy that isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, is former Steeler wide receiver Santonio Holmes. Holmes won a Super Bowl MVP with Roethlisberger as his quarterback and understands just how special a player he is. And wasn’t afraid to talk about it [in an interview with] nj.com:

How do you consider [Roethlisberger] an underrated player? Because he doesn’t get the same attention as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? I would never compare Roethlisberger to any of those guys because, in all respect, he’s 10 times better than those guys because of the attitude and the tenacity that he brings to the game more than any other quarterback. The guy’s been hit by a car. And, basically, dismantled himself and wanted to play six weeks later. Things like that, that just don’t happen for a normal person. But to be able to have that kind of attitude and drive to want to do any and everything for his team, injury after injury, I want him on my team.

Comparing Roethlisberger to guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady like this will certainly ruffle some feathers, but it’s hard to argue against the positive things he said about Roethlisberger. Yes, some of it is hyperbole, but the point stands. Roethlisberger is one of the toughest, hardest-working players in the league at any position.

You can read more from Curt Popejoy here.

And from NFL sportswriter Jason Whitlock’s interview on the Colin Cowherd Radio Show:

“Ben Roethlisberger is a leader!”

Mr. Whitlock appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show on Tuesday and took issue with Colin’s suggestion that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton compares to Big Ben (at 1:25 into his show) –

“Ben instills confidence in his team in tough times….Ben makes you believe, ‘We’re never out of this. I’m going to do something. Don’t worry about the offensive line – I’m gonna move around the pocket, I’m going to take these hits, I’m still going to get the ball to the right places Cam folded in a very tough time.’ Cam folded in a very tough time.”

You can listen to Jason Whitlock’s interview here.

Big Ben at Shear Da Beard!

February 11th, 2016 by

Brett Keisel’s 6th Annual event was a big success in raising funds for Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for their cancer programs. Guest barbers included Ben, James Harrison, Cam Heyward, Sean Suisham, and former Pirates infielder Neil Walker.


“Ben Roethlisberger, looking like he could use his own beard shearing, takes the last lock from Keez.” – Randy Baumann via Instagram.

*Actually, it looks like “Keez” is trying to escape from Ben the Barber!

Children’s Hospital ‏@ChildrensPgh
@_BigBen7 shearing @bkeisel99 beard! #ShearDaBeard


“Big Ben gets his turn to ‪#ShearDaBeard ‬!” Photo: IATW Foundation – Thank you to Trish!

So, how well did the guest barbers do in the shaving of #99? Stop by his website to see for yourself!

Sarris Candies: Smooches for Pooches

February 8th, 2016 by

Hey Steeler Nation! You can combine K9’s with Valentines with the help of Sarris Candies!

“We’re so grateful for Sarris Candies’ generous support. We’re excited to involve a local favorite like Sarris Candies in helping to support our police and fire departments!” – Ben.

ValentinesDayCollageEach NFL season, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation distributes grants to police and fire department K-9 units in the city, and surrounding community, of each regular season away game for the Steelers.

The foundation also distributes several grants each year to K-9 units in the Pittsburgh area.

K-9 units are often woefully underfunded and depend on public donations to continue their important work protecting the community and their human partners.

Sarris Candies wants to help you with your Valentines Day gift-giving and at the same time, you can help Ben’s foundation support our public service heroes!

Just use the group code of 77-7777 on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.Sarriscandiesfundraising.com) to purchase any of Sarris’ expansive candy fundraising catalog products, like the Heart Deluxe Assortment, Cordial Strawberries, yummy Valentines Day Oreos or go sporty with the Pittsburgh Black and Gold Assortment….and of course, Smooches (pictured)!!

Sarris will then donate 25% of the purchase price to Ben’s foundation.

“Giving back to the community in which we live has long been a core belief here at Sarris Candies and we’re excited to have the opportunity to have a little influence and encourage people to support and donate to such a worthy cause in our community.” – Bill Sarris, President of Sarris Candies.

The Foundation distributed more than $130,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2014-15 NFL season and has distributed in excess of $1.3 million since 2007.

For more info or to make a donation to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation please contact Jessica Duffaut at The Giving Back Fund.

*Photos: Sarris Candies and the Sacramento Police Department.

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation in action

February 4th, 2016 by

A Bellevue police dog, Ozzy, gets a custom-fitted bulletproof vest courtesy of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

From Lynn Thompson at the Seattle Times:

Last week, when two mail-theft suspects ditched a stolen car and ran from police, one of Bellevue’s newest officers was called to track them down.

In nine months on the job, K-9 officer Ozzy has apprehended 11 suspects.

The 95-pound German shepherd was at Bellevue City Hall on Thursday, showing off his new Kevlar, bullet-resistant vest, before an admiring crowd of city employees and media.

Ozzy was the only one of three Bellevue police dogs without a protective vest. Lt. Andrew Popochock, who supervises the K-9 unit for the Bellevue Police Department, said that the dogs often are sent into high-risk situations with suspects armed with knives or guns. They also train with Bellevue’s SWAT team.

“Just like we want protection for our officers, dogs need protection as well,” he said. Ozzy’s vest was constructed of the same materials as police protective vests and was custom-fit to the dog.

Straps and buckles keep the vest secure, but still allow for movement. Ozzy had to reach 2 years old before it could be certain he wouldn’t outgrow the vest.

Popochock said police dogs and their handlers receive more than 400 hours of training, learning obedience, bite work, tracking, locating evidence and how to tell which scent is fresh at a crime scene.

The $2,400 vest was purchased with a grant from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and the Bellevue Police Foundation. Roethlisberger is well-known to Seahawks fans as the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers who dashed Seattle’s first Super Bowl bid in 2006.

Last November, a few days before the Seahawks-Steelers game, the foundation announced awards to the Bellevue and Renton K-9 units.

“Ben is a big dog fan,” Popochock said. ”He’s done a lot of good in communities around the country and a lot of good for police dogs.” As far as the Super Bowl loss in 2006, he said, “We’re over that.”

If you’d like to donate to Ben’s foundation or just learn more, click here.

Faneca: Ben has taken the team and put it on his shoulders

February 4th, 2016 by

From Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com:

FanecaThis is a big week for Alan Faneca, the former Pittsburgh Steelers guard who’s a Hall of Fame finalist. ESPN.com will have a story on Faneca’s exceptional performance on and off the field later this week, but in the meantime Faneca shared his views on Ben Roethlisberger, his quarterback from 2004-07.

He’s seen an evolution with Roethlisberger, and he’s not just talking about his throwing ability.

“He definitely has taken the organization and the team and put it on his shoulders,” said Faneca, who played for 10 years with the Steelers, six times an All-Pro. “That’s come a long way from when he first got into the NFL, just as we all evolve. He’s definitely grown into that guy. It’s great to see. He’s taken the team emotionally and physically by what he does on the field.”

Not that Roethlisberger couldn’t lead before, Faneca said, but he believes Roethlisberger has “expanded” on his leadership capacity, as evidenced by him calling on Martavis Bryant to “toughen up” after the wide receiver’s slow stretch before the playoffs. Bryant responded with 267 offensive yards and a touchdown in two playoff games.

Roethlisberger has talked about his lack of maturity as a young player. The Steelers had a veteran-laden team that went 15-1 in Roethlisberger’s rookie year, followed by a Super Bowl the next season.

“As he got more years in, he just started assuming more of a leadership role,” Faneca said. “I’ll see him pull guys over during the pregame and circle them up, a ‘Let’s go, get after it’ moment. It’s just nice to see. He seems more motivational, trying to get guys centered, calling out guys. Knowing when to poke and prod is a thing you learn along the way. On top of that, just going out there and playing how he plays, pulling off the quasi-impossible on those third-and-longs to keep them in the game.”

You can read more here.

The Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp

January 31st, 2016 by

has been open for registration for a couple of weeks & already filling up!

“I wanted to send a big thanks to Big Ben and all involved for making it possible for my grandson and all the kids to have this special experience that I know they will never forget!! Such a wonderful weekend for us (his grandparents) and his sister Kylie to experience it with him too! What a fantastic memory for my grandson to have when he caught not one but 2 passes from Ben and one for a TD!! Hoping to make this an annual event! Thanks again!” – K. Siters, from the 2015 camp.

AnitaD_1Stop by the SunnyD Ben Roethlisberger ProCamps Football Camp website today and sign your child up with our special promotional code, BigBen7.

Not only are spots filling up fast, but the Citi Private Pass Lunch with Ben is already sold out!

And you’ve got until midnight tonight to take advantage of this: one lucky camper who signs up in January & uses the BigBen7 promotional code for $20 off will be selected to have his or her tuition refunded to attend camp for free!

The Camp is open to boys and girls, grades 1 through 8, and Ben will be joined by a selection of the top prep and college coaches from the area.

Each day, campers will experience various stations, specializing in fundamental skills of football.

Individual groups will be small to assure that each camper gets maximum instruction.

Group rates are available for your team, school, or group of friends! For more information, please contact Alex at aland@procamps.com.

Ben will give daily talks highlighting the finer points of the game of football and beyond, as well as be on the field EVERYWHERE helping coaches and throwing passes. Parents and guests will be able to listen to camp guests in designated areas at each location.

And you never know who will show up to help out #7!

Kids that have attended Ben’s Camp have had the opportunity to meet and get instruction from Bruce Gradkowski, David DeCastro & and Kelvin Beachum, and even Coach Tomlin, who also helped judge the races!

And Ben’s camp is always a family affair!

Ashley & Baylee, Ken & Brenda, sister Carlee, and of course, Lil’ Ben are always there to support #7 and his football campers!

HollyMead_5_1Dates: June 18th – June 19th, 2016

Times: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM on June 18th.

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM on June 19th.

Place: Bethel Park High School, 309 Church Road, Bethel Park, PA.

Cost: $199. Use the code BigBen7 for $20 off the registration fee.

“What a beautiful way to encourage the younger generation! More people should revalue what they do to promote kindness and unselfishness in the world today.” – Linda Silko

Each camper will receive -

• An autograph from Ben Roethlisberger (item provided – outside items not permitted)

• A camp team photo with Ben

• A limited edition Ben Roethlisberger Football ProCamp t-shirt

• Opportunity to win contests and prizes

In the event of heavy rain or inclement weather, the camp will be moved to a nearby indoor facility. Camp instruction and other related activities will continue inside the facility.

Parents will be notified of the indoor location in the Camp Bulletin that they receive at check-in on the first day of camp.

013116Join fellow camper & special guest Alex Bentley!

We want him to be completely surrounded by fellow fans of the Black & Gold (and at the same time, surround his Bengals dad, Trevor) – something he doesn’t get a lot of in Ohio!

Alex has been pretty busy since his first appearance on Ben’s site. There were news stories and interviews, like this one from WLWT-Channel 5 in Cincinnati, his video from Ben, and receiving that game ball from the Steelers win over the Bengals –

He wanted to show off his autographed game ball from Ben for this post, and according to Trevor was, “absolutely freaked out” when ProCamps surprised him with the opportunity to attend Ben’s camp.

“We are so excited for him and looking forward to the trip as a family this summer. I hope Ben doesn’t think I will wear a Steelers shirt because I do represent my Bengals everywhere.” – Trevor Bentley.

Yeah, we definitely need to work on that last part!!

Remember, spots are limited, so participants are encouraged to register early. Don’t forget to use the code BigBen7 for $20 off the registration fee.

You can sign your child up for the camp here.

You can read more testimonials from parents and grandparents here & here.

And you can see some great photos from those parents & grandparents here.

1 of “3 takes from Art Rooney II”

January 30th, 2016 by

From Teresa Varley’s article at Steelers.com:

121515Ben’s still Ben: Ben Roethlisberger will turn 34 on March 2, but Steelers’ President Art Rooney II said it isn’t time to start looking for his replacement. Roethlisberger, who signed a new five-year deal last March which will keep him with the Steelers through the 2019 season, threw for 3,938 yards in 2015, his 10th straight season throwing for at least 3,000 yards.

“I don’t think we are starting down that road of who is next after Ben,” said Rooney. “Obviously we have some work to do in terms of who are the backups. We will have some evaluation to do there. As far as I am concerned, Ben didn’t show much sign of falling off this year. So I am looking forward to at least several more years with Ben as our quarterback.”

You can read the other 2 takes here.

No matter where you call home in the snow zone

January 27th, 2016 by

…it WAS the Black & Gold Blizzard of 2016!!

And we have the pictures to prove it:

PicMonkey Collage1
Top Left: Dan and his daughter Brooke dress up their snow-covered Fairfax, VA neighborhood. Top Right: Murielle Raciti & her husband clean off their vehicles in style (Super Bowl style, that is) in New Jersey. Left Bottom: That’s James Cohen from Easton, PA hiding under all that snow, black & gold! Right Bottom: The Steelers shared this little SnowBen on Twitter.

PicMonkey Collage_0
Left: Brian Marshall in his old school Steeler Jacket shovels in York, PA. Top Middle: Jennifer Greco shares her ‪#‎SteelerNation‬ family photo (including a temporary family member – courtesy of the weekend’s blizzard) in New York. Top Right: Jax Galati aka “Mr. Freeze” is Steelers-tough while snowboarding in New Jersey! Bottom Middle: Jim Clarke’s little man gives the storm a big raspberry! It’s totally messing up his daily stroller riding! Bottom Right: Sandra Gentry made a SnowBen in her yard in Tennessee.

Even Sara Martin celebrated her Blizzard Birthday with Black & Gold (icing):


“Big Ben takes big step in maturing as leader”

January 24th, 2016 by

From Rob Rossi, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

122115_1The Steelers had just finished their final exhibition game, which meant their Most Valuable Player was about to finish playing football for a couple of weeks. Le’Veon Bell, though, insisted there was no reason to worry about the offense while he was sitting out.

Bell nodded toward an empty locker stall that contained Ben Roethlisberger’s clothes.

“That guy,” Bell said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in there, we’ll follow No. 7.”

In this recently completed season, Big Ben’s 12th campaign, he offered his teammates no choice. Whenever he perceived an opportunity to be The Guy, he was that guy.

“Ben has been so great,” Mike Vick said a couple of days after leading the Steelers to an October win at San Diego in Roethlisberger’s absence. “I don’t know what I expected, to be honest. But my first day here, Ben came up to me and said, ‘Whatever you need, I’m your guy.’ That really helped me relax, just hearing that from somebody who means what he does to this franchise.”

Words are easy, though. Leadership is always more about doing than saying.

Vick said Roethlisberger was instrumental in the Steelers tailoring the offense to his skills in the days between a disheartening home loss to the Baltimore Ravens and that thrilling win over the Chargers. Roethlisberger, unable to play because of a battered left knee, served as confidant to Vick and offensive coordinator Todd Haley during that time.

If something wasn’t working, usually Roethlisberger was the one who first spoke up. He knew the offense better than Vick, and he knew best how to communicate with Haley.

Vick is a former franchise quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons, a role he called a double-edged sword.

“You’re being watched in everything that you do,” he said. “I probably didn’t pay enough attention to that when I was younger. I thought I could just go play.

“When I came here, I could see that Ben is aware of what he says and what he does. He’s already given it a lot of thought. Whether he’s giving an interview or talking to a receiver, nothing is by chance with Ben.”

Also not by chance has been Roethlisberger maturing into the leader only he can be.

His leadership style is different from those who first led him, former heart-and-soul Steelers such as Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward. Both said they always believed Roethlisberger would become The Guy, but both knew better than to expect an overnight transition from franchise quarterback to that guy.

It had nothing to do with Roethlisberger or his personality, really.

“When you talk about guys who are leaders, it’s always there in them,” Bettis said last summer. “But I can honestly say, looking back, it was as much my teammates looking to me, as it was me looking to be the guy they looked at.

“What people need to understand about leaders is they emerge.”

111515Over the past few years, longtime former (Brett Keisel) and current (Heath Miller) teammates of Roethlisberger said they witnessed his leadership emerge behind closed doors. Then at the start of the Steelers’ latest playoff run, everybody experienced Big Ben as the Big Leader.

A week before the Steelers’ wild-card game at Cincinnati wasn’t the first time Roethlisberger called out second-year receiver Martavis Bryant. In fact, his choice of words (“toughen up”) were not unfamiliar to any Steelers receivers.

All-Pro Antonio Brown said he has “heard it from Ben” during a practice. So said rookie Sammie Coates. Basically, every receiver who has dressed for a practice heard “that or something like that,” Darrius Heyward-Bey said.

“It’s not unusual at all. That’s just Ben,” Heyward-Bey said. “That’s the way we like him, the way we need him to be.

“People can focus on something he says, but people don’t see some of the little things. Those little things are what Ben’s great at. They’re what make him the guy guys in here want to play with and play for.”

Blaming himself for not placing a ball perfectly is a little thing, Miller said. Praising the offensive line’s protection after he kept the play alive by scrambling until a receiver came open is a little thing, guard David DeCastro said. Criticizing the offense for not scoring enough even though the defense gave up a late lead is a little thing, defensive end Cam Heyward said.

Last Sunday night, after the Steelers’ season ended with a loss at Denver, Roethlisberger spied members of the media starting to gather around the locker of running back Fitzgerald Toussaint to grill him about his fumble that sparked Denver’s winning drive.

Scheduled to speak a few minutes later at a podium in another room, Roethlisberger turned toward a Steelers official and said he would “go now” instead of first showering and changing into street clothes.

The impromptu move immediately drew many of the reporters away from Toussaint.

From across the room, red-eyed Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert smiled. Maybe we had the same thought, back to a conversation the week prior.

“A smart man once told me it’s hard to be The Guy all the time,” Colbert said.

The Big Guy has become that guy. It’s a big step for Big Ben.

You can read more here.

It’s a good day for a replay

January 23rd, 2016 by

…of Nike’s “Snow Day”!!

Featuring Big Ben, Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell and many more of today’s best athletes!


WHAT: Nothing at this time


WHAT: The Giant Eagle Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp
WHEN: June 13th & 14th, 2015
WHERE: Seneca Valley High School, Harmony, PA
REGISTRATION: Sign up here (Use code BigBen7 for $20 off fee).


WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Fundraiser
WHEN: Saturday, June 20, 2015
WHERE: Treesdale Country Club, Gibsonia, PA.
TICKETS: Get them in advance here.


WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational
WHEN: Monday, June 22, 2015
WHERE: Treesdale Golf and Country Club, Gibsonia, PA
TICKETS: Get them in advance to play in the tournament (foursomes only) here.




9/10 @ Patriots L: 28-21
9/20 49ers W: 43-18
9/27 @ Rams W: 12-6
10/1 Ravens L: 23-20
10/12 @ Chargers W: 24-20
10/18 Cardinals W: 25-13
10/25 @ Chiefs L: 23-13
11/1 Bengals L: 16-10
11/8 Raiders W: 38-25
11/15 Browns W: 30-9
11/22 BYE N/A
11/29 @ Seahawks L: 39-30
12/6 Colts W: 45-10
12/13 @ Bengals W: 33-20
12/20 Broncos W: 34-27
12/27 @ Ravens L: 20-17
1/3 @ Browns W: 28-12