The 2017 NFL Combine begins this week…

February 27th, 2017 by

From Steelers.com today:

Who will stand out this year? Who will make a sudden impression? And what will we learn when the NFL Combine descends upon Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Feb. 28-March 6?

Over 300 players will take part in what is football’s biggest job interview, participating in an array of activities, including on-field workouts, medical testing, interviews with teams, and media interviews.

You can follow the Steelers during the NFL Combine here.

“When you have a franchise quarterback, it increases your chances of winning a championship. To me, it’s that simple. If you have a great one, you’re fortunate because not everybody does. We’re fortunate. The franchise guys are so scarce in the draft. Most veteran guys don’t become available. You never want to pick high enough to get one, but if you have the chance you should take one.” — Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert on finding his franchise guy in 2004.



We’re looking back at the 2004 NFL Combine, when Mr. Colbert found his “franchise guy” –

“It’s remarkable how far he has come in such a short time. Until his senior year in high school, he was a receiver. Yet, he was talented enough to take the Mid-American Conference by storm. That might not seem like a ringing endorsement on the surface, but remember that the last two MAC quarterbacks to do that were Chad Pennington and Byron Leftwich, both of whom appear to have bright NFL futures. Roethlisberger, who declared himself eligible for the NFL draft after his junior year, has a good pro arm, is more athletic than Eli Manning and Philip Rivers and sees the field well. Scouts generally believe he has the highest upside of this year’s QB crop, but also represents the greatest risk because of his limited experience.” — The late Joe Stein, NFL Draft expert for the San Diego Union-Tribune.



From Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports, February 19, 2004:

The inquiry at the top of everyone’s list?

“Ben, where do you think you’ll be drafted?”

It’s a question he can’t answer. He knows where he wants to be drafted.

The 6-5, 245-pounder possesses the qualities teams want in a quarterback: size, arm strength, accuracy, some mobility, smarts.

Roethlisberger and Manning are at the six-day NFL combine in Indianapolis, where prospects show off their physical and mental skills.

It also gives teams a chance to interview and get to know the players.

It might determine where Roethlisberger and Manning go in the draft.

San Diego, Oakland and Arizona pick 1-2-3 in the draft. All could use a quarterback. The Chargers aren’t sold on Drew Brees. Rich Gannon is at the end of the road. Arizona released Jeff Blake, and no one is sure Josh McCown is the answer.

“This is all really hard to believe,” Roethlisberger said. “April 24 will be a dream come true.”


The article is still available online and can be read here.



The Scouting Reports –

From James Alder, NFL Draft expert at AboutFootball.com:

Positives –

Ben Roethlisberger has everything you look for in a franchise quarterback. He’s got the big arm, but he also has excellent accuracy (69.1%) and nice touch. He is a pure pocket passer with excellent size and he moves around in the pocket well. He also has great escapability, often making the first defender miss. He also throws with incredible accuracy on the run… especially for a player his size.


Negatives –

There’s not much to dislike about Roethlisberger’s game. The only knock on him is that he played in the MAC, but with guys like Pennington and Leftwich coming out of the conference in recent years, I doubt his draft status will be adversely affected.


“People can look at Ben and say, ‘OK, wait a minute. He was a junior, and he was ready. But two things: He was a redshirt junior, so he had been in school for four years, and second, he wasn’t ready to do what he did. And that sounds wrong, because he had a great rookie year. But we never felt he was going to be ready that soon. Tommy Maddox was still coming off a pretty good year for us, and then he gets hurt in Week 2. But we drafted Ben with the thought that he would eventually replace Tommy. We didn’t anticipate him playing that early, and we certainly never thought he’d play that well that early.” — Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, from an interview with Don Banks, for his column on the NFL Combine, Sports Illustrated.



From Sports Illustrated‘s NFL Draft experts:

Positives –

Big-armed pocket passer with the ability to grow into a franchise quarterback. Sets up to deliver the ball with solid footwork, stands strong in the pocket and smart. Sells the ball fakes, scans the field and consistently finds the open pass-catcher. Senses the rush yet buys as much time as possible, waiting for the last second before releasing the ball. Rarely panics, in complete control of the offense and a true leader behind center. Natural looking off the safety, throws with a fluid over delivery and possesses a big arm. Drives deep passes downfield, puts zip on the intermediate routes as well as velocity on all his throws. Throws tight spirals and beautifully arches deep throws. Leads receivers over the middle and very accurate. Gets outside tackle and accurate passing on the move. Does not make poor decisions and always working to make positive plays.

Negatives –

A pocket passer with marginal mobility and cannot escape the rush. Must improve his downfield accuracy as well as the placement of the outs. Majority of snaps are taken out of the shotgun.


“In 2004, Big Ben entered the draft as a junior and did not have the benefit of postseason All Star Games. His draft grade was heavily reliant on the combine and he did not perform well. He was inaccurate with his passes throughout his workout and as a result became the third quarterback chosen in the ’04 draft.” — Sports Illustrated, “Classic NFL Combine Stories” posted February 20, 2009.




And you don’t want to miss Len Pasquarelli’s thoughts on the three top QB’s in his column for ESPN about the 2004 NFL Combine:

Of the three likely first-rounders — Roethlisberger, Eli Manning of Mississippi and North Carolina State’s Philip Rivers (one of the fastest-rising players at any position) — all are pretty much classic pocket passers.

Now that college passing games have become increasing sophisticated, and universities are producing passers infinitely more polished, teams are trying too hard to uncover a mobile quarterback.

If the current pool of draft-viable quarterbacks is any indication, the scouts and coaches will have to keep looking…


You can read it here!


Throwback Thursday

February 23rd, 2017 by

The Ben Roethlisberger ProCamps Football Camp through the years…

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The 2017 camp info is coming soon, so stay tuned!



“It’s a Pittsburgh thing”

February 21st, 2017 by

It was Big Ben vs Pitt RB (and NFL Draft prospect) James Conner in a serious ping pong match last week.

The two men faced off across the table at Rep 1 Sports in Irvine, California last week, while visiting their agent, Ryan Tollner. Rep 1 tweeted a photo of the friendly competitors:

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Rep 1 Sports @Rep1Sports
We snapped Ben Roethlisberger & James Conner on the sticks @ headquarters last week! It’s a Pittsburgh thing. #rep1fam



And speaking of NFL Draft Prospects…

Eastern Washington WR Cooper Kupp on his visit to Irvine, California last week:

“…in between visiting with Jared [Goff] and Carson [Wentz], I also had the privilege of throwing with Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers. Big Ben’s reputation speaks for itself, and it was clear from the start that his success over the past 13 seasons is a result of the seriousness he brings to the practice field. When it’s time to work, it’s time to work, and I really respect that in a quarterback.

Ben’s goal, from the second he steps on the field, is maximizing his work. He knows exactly what he wants and how he wants it done. He’s been slinging the football for a long time now and he’s seen everything. He’s worked with every kind of receiver, and he’s thrown every route imaginable.

CooperKuppHe’s also seen the issues guys have, and it would have been a mistake if I didn’t try to absorb as much as I could about what makes the NFL’s most successful receivers so good at what they do.

It’s clear that there’s more to being a good pro than simply being talented and productive in college.

For starters, in the NFL every route is a little deeper. The 15-yard bench route you ran in college is now a 20-yard route in the pros, so timing is absolutely critical. Fortunately, when you’re working with a passer like Ben, you can always count on his timing being perfect. It’s not just, ‘I’ll hit you in the chest.’ It’s, ‘I’ll hit you in the chest, off your seventh step, every time.’ And as a receiver, that consistency makes things easy. You know when you turn your head that the ball is going to be where it’s been every time.”


You can read more here.


Best of luck & success to both of these young men as they prepare to enter the NFL Draft!


Ben’s foundation: Final grants awarded

February 15th, 2017 by

We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units. The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible. We’re just thrilled to do our small part. — Ben.



freeze_340Today, Ben announced the final grants of the 2016-17 season from The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at www.givingback.org. The Foundation will be distributing eight grants totaling $76,000 to police departments in the Pittsburgh area.

The K-9 departments receiving funding from Ben this year include the Arnold Police Department, Castle Shannon Police Department, Findlay Township Police Department, Ligonier Township Police Department, Mt. Oliver Police Department, Penn Hills Police Department, West Mifflin Borough Police Department, and the
Wheeling West Virginia Police Department. These departments will be utilizing their respective grants in a variety of canine-focused initiatives including the purchase and training of new K-9s, replacing and upgrading K-9 vehicles, and the acquisition of new safety & training equipment.

This announcement completes the foundation’s tenth grant cycle, during which it distributed more than $150,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country. In addition to the Pittsburgh grants announced, the Foundation distributed grants to K-9 units of police departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. Ben invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

Ben is grateful for the generous supporters who have enabled him to expand the K-9 grant program, including Pro Camps and Allegheny County District Attorney Office, as well as caring individual donors from around the country.

k9puppySgt. Neil H. Cridge stated, “On behalf of the Findlay Township Police Department and its residents, we would like to extend our appreciation to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation and The Giving Back Fund for their continued dedication to the law enforcement community! With the grant funding, the Findlay Township Police K-9 Unit was able to continue the program after the passing of K-9 Axel. This grant allows small departments like ours to continue to provide a higher level of service to our community, as well as surrounding areas. K-9 Scooby has already begun to make his mark in our area on the street and in the community.”

Sgt. James Friscarella said, “On behalf of the Ligonier Township Police and K-9 Kilo, I would like to send a heartfelt thank you for providing us with the grant to help fund our K-9 program. Without the help of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, we would not be able to outfit our program with the latest in technology to keep Kilo and I safe. This grant is accepted in the memory of Lt. Eric Eslary who was killed in the line of duty in 2015. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation had previously funded Lt. Eslary’s K-9 program with K-9 Blek. Thank you again.”

Officer Thomas Snyder said, “Mt. Oliver Police Department is thankful to Ben and the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation for the work that they have done and their continued support for law enforcement K-9 units. With the grant, we are able to continue our program and place a new K-9 team in service.”

Chief Howard Burton commented, “The Penn Hills Police Department greatly appreciates the generosity of Mr. Roethlisberger and The Giving Back Fund for their support of local law enforcement agencies. The awarding of this K-9 grant will allow the Penn Hills Police Department to fill the K-9 position that has been vacant due to funding issues over the past year. The addition of this K-9 will bring our K-9 division up to its full complement of four teams. All of our K-9s are Roethlisberger grant dogs.”

thumbChief Kenneth I. Davies said, “It is with the sincerest appreciation and gratitude that the West Mifflin Police Department can convey to Ben Roethlisberger and the Foundation for your outstanding contribution to our canine program. These funds are critical for our department’s continued development of a professional canine program that serves and assists the people in our community and the region. Again, thank you, your generosity and commitment to public safety is to be commended.”

Steeler Nation:

You can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com), using a special purchase code (77-7777). Sarris will donate 25 percent of the purchase price to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, or you can simply make a donation directly to the foundation here.


For more information about The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Charisse Browner at www.givingback.org.


Our latest adventure…

February 12th, 2017 by


took place in Legoland! This place is AWESOME!! — Benjamin, Baylee & Bodie.


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I Knight thee Sir Bodie of Roethlisberger, Guardian and High Protector of Da ‘Burgh.



Ahhhhhh

Mommmmmyyy!!!! Are you sure we don’t need a pilot’s license??? Or PARACHUTES? ARGHHHHH!!! — Baylee.



DaddyMe

Whew! This is more like it! — Baylee.



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Don’t worry Aunt Carlee, I’m in TOTAL control!! Prepare for a smooth landing…with a smile! — Benjamin, Jr.



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The Lovely Ladies of Legoland!



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We’re not just posing for a photo with painted faces – we’re making a fashion statement! Soon, everyone will be wearing face paint!. — Benjamin & Baylee.



GreenShadesTwins

Speaking of fashion, who wears these green shades better? Me or my big brother back in the day? Me, right?! Come on, you can say it! Me!! Oh yeah, a true fashion icon RIGHT HERE, baby! — Bodie.



SirBenjamin

Sir Benjamin, Second Earl of Steel, prepares to joust with the Black Raven of Baltimore, on his trusty mount, Seven!



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Is your Mommy & Daddy as awesome as mine? — Benjamin.



GrandmaMe

Hey Grandma!! Is that a milkshake stand over there? Oh yeah it is!! — Bodie.



MerryGoRound

We totally have room for a merry go round in our yard!! — Benjamin, Jr.


And I’m totally putting it on my birthday wish list!! — Baylee.




LegoLand

We had such a fun day, and we sure are glad you stopped by to see just how much fun! — Benjamin, Baylee & Bodie.




Hi Steeler Nation!!

February 8th, 2017 by

It’s your friends, Benjamin & Baylee, with our baby brother, Bodie. We wanted to share our first off-season adventure with you:


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We’re here in San Diego with Mommy & Daddy, Grandma & Pops, and Aunt Carlee….and guess where we went yesterday?

The San Diego Safari Park (hopefully Miss Erin linked that!), and we had a WILD time, heehee. — Benjamin & Baylee.


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Yeahhhh, okay, I’m smiling, but…I’m…not..so..sure…about being this close to a real tiger! — Baylee.


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Whew! Thank goodness my Daddy is here to protect me! He’s my own personal Super Hero! — Baylee.


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I’m not scared at all. Nope. Not me! (Um, he’s not right up next to the glass is he?) — Benjamin.


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I’m tellin’ ya, the best part about this whole baby brother thing is that I get chauffeured all around the park! — Bodie.


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So according to this map, we can see the pandas AND stop at the soft serve ice cream hut! That’s a win-win in my book! — Baylee.


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Me and my Dad – we’re the best of buddies! — Benjamin.


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We go together like peas & carrots! — Benjamin & Baylee.


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Whoa now….we’re a little TOO CLOSE to the Lion Camp for the family photo, which means I’m gonna need a diaper change – ASAP!! — Bodie.


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Well friends, we’re off to find new adventures! Thanks for coming along with us on this one. — Benjamin & Baylee.



We want to thank everyone at the San Diego Safari Park for the amazing day! If you have never been, make sure you put it on your to-do list. — Ben & Ashley.



Just a reminder…

February 6th, 2017 by

now that the NFL season is over:

080613_louholtzeventBen will be a Keynote Speaker at the Ignite Men’s Impact Weekend at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA next month!

Other Keynote Speakers include NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, Si Robertson (Duck Dynasty), J.D. Greear (Pastor at The Summit Church of Raleigh-Durham, NC), and Christian comedian & author Dennis Swanberg.

The Men’s Weekend is a full two-day event – March 17-18th.

Jerome Bettis and Tony Dungy were last year’s Keynote Speakers to an audience of 10,000.

Click here for more info.


*But don’t wait to purchase tickets – the last of ’em are selling out fast!


Super Bowl LI is going to the dogs

February 3rd, 2017 by

I hear that PD K9’s are already working hard for the Super Bowl. So proud to support their role in public safety. — Ben.


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From KXAN in Texas earlier this week:

Man’s best friend will be part of heightened security around Super Bowl 51 and the events leading up to it.

More than 50 K9s and their law enforcement officers from across the country were sworn in Wednesday as Special Deputy U.S. Marshals for the Super Bowl in Houston.

The newly deputized K9 teams have arrived from all parts of the country… San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Norfolk, just to name a few.

There are even teams from far away as Puerto Rico and Guam.

The officers and their K9s will be part of increased security sweeps and monitoring for events before and during the big game.


You can learn more about Ben’s foundation & get info on donating to it right here.


Ben: ‘Basketball was always my first love’

February 2nd, 2017 by

Ben was a guest on legendary coach, Pittsburgh native, and huge Steelers fan John Calipari’s “Cam Cast” podcast show today.


020217Hey Steeler Nation, your QB averaged 26.5 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists in high school, which more than likely prompted this question from Coach Cal –

Coach Calipari: Let me ask you this, what if I were at Kentucky, and I said, ‘I’ve gotta have this guy,’. And I’d sit you down, and tell your family, ‘Look, your kid is special. He’s a big guard, and I love big guards, you know.’ What would you have done? Would you have dropped the football and come to Kentucky?

Ben: It would have been a tough one for me. I went to Kentucky football camp back in the day when I was a junior. Went there and was a part of that. But, you know Coach, I’ve got a lot of love and respect for you, so I probably would have went. I would have stayed longer than a year too. I would have given you my best and I promise you, I would have passed the ball a lot.


Coach Calipari: So Miami of Ohio…was it because it was close to home? Did Ohio State just not know about you?

Ben: I took an unofficial visit to Ohio State and saw Coach Cooper was there, and you would have thought I was greatest thing since sliced bread. You would have thought I was the greatest recruit of all time. He couldn’t wait for me to come. I saw him at the airport the next weekend when I was flying down to Duke. We’re talking seven days later, and he didn’t recognize me. I went up and introduced myself and he didn’t know who I was. That was the end of my Ohio State days. I was going on the next weekend to Ohio State and I canceled it.


Coach Calipari: I didn’t realize that New England and Pittsburgh…is there a hatred there? It is, you know, we’ve been there, you’ve been there and let’s go. I know there’s respect but…

Ben: I’d say there is more respect than hatred. I don’t think there is a hatred there. We’ve played them twice in my 13 years in the championship game. Obviously, they’ve gotten the better of us in two championship games. They’ve kind of had our number. We’re like the little brother trying to keep up with the big brother, in a sense.


And who does Ben get his competitive spirit from?

Ben: I think I get it from my grandma!


Will Ben watch the Super Bowl? Who does he think will win? Does he ever change play calls? What does he think of Coach Tomlin, and what kind of relationship do they have?

You’ll want to listen to his full interview here.


Photo: Coach keeps his autographed football from Ben in his office.


Making a snowman

January 31st, 2017 by

…means making memories too!

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Just another reminder why God is so good!! Super fun day making “Krosty the Snowman” (as Baylee calls him)!⛄— Ben



MAGAZINE/BOOK ALERT!

WHAT: Nothing at this time
WHEN:
WHERE:

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The SunnyD Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp
WHEN: 2017
WHERE: Bethel Park High School, 309 Church Rd., Bethel Park, PA.
REGISTRATION: Sign up here (Use code BigBen7 for $20 off fee).

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: Keynote Speaker – Ignite Men’s Impact Weekend
WHEN: March 17-18, 2017
WHERE: Liberty University
TICKETS: IgniteMen.net (purchase by Oct 31, 2016)

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT:
WHEN:
WHERE:
TICKETS:

 


2016 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

9/12 @ Redskins Win: 38-16
9/18 Bengals Win: 24-16
9/25 @ Eagles Loss: 34-3
10/2 Chiefs Win: 43-14
10/9 Jets Win: 31-13
10/16 @ Dolphins Loss: 30-15
10/23 Patriots Loss: 27-16
10/30 BYE Week N/A
11/6 @ Ravens Loss: 21-14
11/13 Cowboys Loss: 35-30
11/20 @ Browns Win: 24-9
11/24 @ Colts Win: 28-7
12/4 Giants Win: 24-14
12/11 @ Bills Win: 27-20
12/18 @ Bengals Win: 24-20
12/25 Ravens Win: 31-27
1/1 Browns Win: 27-24