The Steelers quarterback is having the best start to a season in his career, and Randy Fichtner knows it.
The year 2020 has been rough on almost everyone. Coronavirus has become an all too familiar term, fear, lockdowns and even cancellation of events have left people wondering what normal ever was, or will be.
But 2020 hasn’t been bad for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a 9-0 start, and the lone undefeated team in the NFL, there has been one player in particular who is shining brighter than most.
That would be none other than quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Not only is Roethlisberger coming off season-ending elbow surgery, but he is having arguably the best start to a season of his illustrious career. Just look at his statistics for the first 9 games of the 2020 season:
66.8 Completion %
If Roethlisberger stays on this pace, he might not set career marks for yardage, but will be close to career marks in completion percentage, touchdowns and a low in interceptions. If anyone knows just how good Roethlisberger is playing it would be his former quarterbacks coach, now offensive coordinator, Randy Fichtner.
See what Fichtner had to say about Roethlisberger’s season during his media availability Thursday.
“[Ben Roethlisberger]’s had his moments, but I would say if you’re collecting 10 games I would say, yeah, pretty good.” Fichtner said. “He’s taking the approach that he’s throwing the balls to our colored jerseys. He’s taking pride in that. He hasn’t been risky, if you will, with the football. He’s had his moments. It’s hard probably not to. He knows.
“He’s not Big Ben for a reason. It’s still an attitude that he has of toughness and never giving up. Plays are never over until they get me down or until I can’t throw another ball. I do think he has done an excellent job of managing the group. Situationally, he’s been phenomenal in the red, a lot of great communication on and off the field with his guys that are out there. We talk on the sidelines.
“He’s been really awesome. I could say this would be his best collection of a bunch of games, but he’s a had a lot of great games. We’ve seen those over the past. I think he’s really zeroed in on the things that are going to help this football team have a chance to win every game or at least give us the chance in the fourth quarter to win the game.”
One thing many fans might not know, but even with two Super Bowls to his credit, Roethlisberger has never even been given a vote for the league’s Most Valuable Player. All fans should know he has never won the award, but he has never even registered one single vote. Not one.
Fichtner thinks if his current play keeps up, those awards might be following.
“I think you know most awards usually somewhat get attached to the stars that are winning. For that alone, [Ben Roethlisberger]’s got the one undefeated team in the National Football League.” Fichtner said.
“He’s playing really solid, good football. I don’t know. I think in the end people will probably have to keep looking back and say, “Wow,” how he played and what he did. I know statistics drive a lot. I know endeavor drives him. He would equally be able to say, “Let’s win x-amount of games”. That’s the record. That’s what we talk about all the time. That’s what he talks about. I would think Comeback Player of the Year. I would think MVP. I would think AFC Players of the Week, months maybe. We just have to keep stacking them. He just has to keep working them the way he is. I just see an excitement out of him that is really refreshing.”
Ben Roethlisberger is the straw which stirs the Steelers’ drink. Just look at 2019 as the perfect example of what the Steelers would look like without No. 7 under center, and that was with a dominant defense. If Roethlisberger keeps on this pace, and playing this way, the 2020 season could be really special. Not just for Roethlisberger, but for the entire team.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes for the Steelers as they prepare for the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11.