PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- This season is no different than a lot of others for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, mostly because he has again missed time due to injury.
Roethlisberger has only played and started in all 16 regular season games three times in his 13 year NFL career.
He was held out of Pittsburgh’s previous game with the Patriots but may be eyeing a return to the field this week against the Baltimore Ravens.
Former Ravens head coach, and now NFL Network analyst Brian Billick joined The Fan Morning Show on Wednesday to talk about Roethlisberger and the Steelers matchup this week. When asked whether he thinks Ben will play or not Sunday, Billick said he has great respect for the Steeler quarterback, but also has a certain trait.
“There is no quarterback I respect more than Ben Roethlisberger,” said Billick. “This guy’s going to the Hall of Fame, he has spectacular numbers, tough, toughest quarterback maybe I’ve seen in the NFL…but he’s diva. We know that. And he’s going to drag that leg out there and throw for 400 yards against the Ravens.”
Billick says Steelers-Ravens week is more emotional for both teams but they can’t necessarily treat it as a more special week than others.
“I think this is the best, most physical rivalry in the NFL, [that’s] my biased opinion on it,” said Billick. “The problem with that thinking though, is that if you bring that emotion to this game, ‘Boy this is Ravens-Steelers, boy, I’m going to be amped up, boy, I’m looking at that extra film, I’m going to do everything extra because this is the Pittsburgh Steelers.’ You’re going to play Cleveland next week you aren’t going to do the same thing? That’s a dangerous slope to go down. So, do you really put that much more into it? Hard to say.”
Billick also gave his assessment of Landry Jones and his abilities or limitations as an NFL quarterback.
“It’s a small sampling, obviously there’s some promise there,” said Billick. “[But] like I just said, Ben Roethlisberger is a Hall of Fame quarterback. You don’t just drop somebody in and say, ‘Okay go play as well as that guy.’ And nobody expects that. So, we don’t know on Landry Jones, certainly we see some upside and there is certainly some potential there.”
Billick said the short passes implemented into NFL offenses now have somewhat replaced the running game, including Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers.
“I think we’ve long left the time where the run sets up the pass, the pass sets up the run,” Billick said. “Certainly Le’Veon Bell, to me the most dynamic back in the National Football League because of what he can do out of the backfield, those little short passes are extended runs. So, it’s all about touches for Le’Veon Bell. I’m not worried if he’s only carrying the ball 15 times, running the ball, if he’s getting nine or 10 receptions, he’s got to have 20 plus touches.”