Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Big Predictions for Ben Roethlisberger in 2012

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Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Big Predictions for Ben Roethlisberger in 2012
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Ben Roethlisberger enters his ninth season as the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback after a strong 2012 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ben Roethlisberger, a native of Findlay in northwestern Ohio, out of the University of Miami (Ohio) with the 11th overall selection in the 2004 NFL draft behind Eli Manning (No. 1 overall) and Phillip Rivers (No. 4 overall).

The quarterback, nicknamed "Big Ben" by Steeler nation for his imposing 6'5", 240 lb frame, started the 2004 season backing up then-starter Tommy Maddox.

In a Week 2 game against Baltimore, Roethlisberger replaced Maddox after an injury, ultimately losing the game to the Ravens, but winning the next 14 regular-season games, going 14-1 as a rookie.

Three Super Bowl appearances and two victories later, Roethlisberger's name is tossed around with the league's elite quarterbacks, especially the two drafted ahead of him in 2004. His trademark scrambling, evasiveness and "no quit" mentality constantly keep plays alive for the Black & Gold, giving them a chance to gain crucial yards or score more points.

An injured Roethlisberger and his Steelers lost to Tim Tebow and the Broncos 29-23 in a AFC Wild Card Game last season after finishing second to the Ravens in the AFC North Division with a 12-4 overall record, 4-2 in the division.

Roethlisberger, who turned 30 in March, needs to perform at the top of his game for the Steelers in the 2012-2013 season, as they again look for a third Super Bowl victory in seven seasons. The organization expects big things out of their quarterback with every snap of the football, and it's his time to become the definitive leader for Pittsburgh.

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