First, there was glove-gate. Then, everyone was worried about his ribs. Next it was his toes. Who is he dating? And finally, it was whether or not he wore a helmet on his motorcycle or if he should even be riding a motorcycle at all.
It's been a lot for a young guy to handle.
And that doesn't even take into account his five interceptions in
the playoffs last season.
Being afforded rock star status this early in a career is sure to
have an effect on a person. And certainly Roethlisberger isn't the
same wide-eyed kid who stepped under center for his first NFL
start following a hurricane in Miami.
But the Steelers are counting on Roethlisberger not being that
guy any longer.
Don't misunderstand. Roethlisberger was good as a rookie,
winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after
leading the Steelers to 14 consecutive victories, including one in
And with a full season as a starter under his belt and an entire off-season of working with the team's coaches and further
learning the offensive system will make Roethlisberger an even
more complete quarterback.
The Steelers find themselves with one of the best quarterback
situations in the NFL.
Behind Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox - who began last
season as the team's starter before suffering an elbow injury in
a loss to Baltimore in Week 2 - gives the team a backup capable
of winning games. And with Charlie Batch's re-signing and the
return of Brian St. Pierre for his third season with the Steelers,
the quarterback position is one of the strongest on this team
entering training camp.
Of course the Steelers aren't likely to keep four quarterbacks
around this season, meaning there should be an interesting
battle between Batch and St. Pierre for the third quarterback
position. Batch missed all of last season with knee and elbow
problems and must show he's ready to play again. St. Pierre,
meanwhile, must show the team he could happily be the team's
No. 2 QB at some point in the future.
It would also not be completely surprising for Maddox to be
traded if a team with an injury at the position needs a capable
Maddox will count $1.35 million against this year's salary cap
and that jumps to $1.7 million next season, not terribly high
numbers, but big enough that the team may look for savings at
the backup quarterback position.
Quarterback position is solid
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