Recently, former Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, said that both his former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his new quarterback, Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning are both first-ballot Hall of Famers.
At first glance, maybe you’re skeptical to see Roethlisberger’s name associated with one of the all-time greats in Manning, but the truth of the matter is, Roethlisberger’s one of the all-time greats as well.
Manning is a record breaking machine and he furthered his legacy after lighting up the statistic charts game after game last year. Despite being blown out in the Super Bowl, Manning’s season was one of the best a quarterback has ever seen.
Compared to Roethlisbeger, Manning’s a different breed of quarterback. Manning is the kind of quarterback that can shred defenses with just a couple cadences at the line. He’s known for his talk at the line of scrimmage, regardless of if he’s changing the play or using it as a decoy, the talk is noticed and it’s effective.
The Broncos found success last year with Manning at the helm and his audibles and quarterback skills elevated them all the way to the big dance. Manning possesses the kind of “football smarts,” that give him the ability to read a defense to a tee. If you picked the perfect pumpkin for your Halloween Jack-O-Latern, you’d want Manning around to carve it up with the same precision he uses to carve up secondaries.
Big Ben’s not the slice and dice type of quarterback. He doesn’t produce jaw-dropping numbers or conquer records. No, Roethlisberger’s more gritty than Manning. He’s the kind of player you want in a brawl.
His battle wounds are apparent too. Roethilisbeger’s had his fair share of injuries that have kept him sidelined for games at a time, but playing behind a not-so-solid offensive line will have that effect.
Just like Manning’s known for his ability to read a defense and change plays, Big Ben’s known for escaping sacks and extending plays.
Roethlisberger’s a big guy and his size is used to his advantage. How many times have you seen the pocket collapse around him, yet he still mangages to wiggle and weave his away out of danger and deliver a strike to a receiver down field.
It happened often, so often that when the Steelers brought in Todd Haley as the new offensive coordinator the team began to implement more screen passes and quick throws to protect their quarterback from taking hits.
Roethlisberger has also had a barrage of clutch moments. Not to say Manning hasn’t, but the game winning throw to Santonio Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII is arguably the best play in Super Bowl history.
There’s no question Manning is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I guess the point I’m trying to make is there shouldn’t be any argument over Roethlisberger not being in the same boat as Manning.
They’re both incredible at what they do, they just do it differently. Both have had great careers thus far and continue to prove they are elite players for their teams and in the NFL.
Here’s to two, first-ballot, Hall of Fame quarterbacks, may we continue to enjoy the ride.