Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers Need Leadership More Than Ever Against the Pack
Ben Roethlisberger has had plenty of challenging circumstances crop up in his life in the last year, many of them self-inflicted thanks to his actions leading to the four game suspension he served at the beginning of the 2010 NFL regular season.
Accused of sexual assault for a second time, with numerous seedy stories emerging about his behavior, Roethlisberger was raked over the coals by the media and even his previously loyal Steelers fans that watched him capture two Super Bowl championships since entering the league.
He served his suspension, and reports emerged that Roethlisberger was a changed man who had shed his bad habits and previous shady ways and was focused on getting back on the field and getting off to the right foot with his teammates.
He returned and the team won, as he led them to their biggest wins of the year through his usual blend of toughness and ability to make a big throw when necessary. His play was instrumental in leading the Steelers back in the AFC Divisional playoffs against bitter rivals the Baltimore Ravens.
Now Pittsburgh looks to win its third Lombardi Trophy in the Big Ben era, and it's a given that Roethlisberger will be asked to make a big play at some point in this game. Green Bay is strong defensively against the run, and it seems unlikely Rashard Mendenhall tears up their defense the way he did the New York Jets.
So Big Ben will need to step up and keep doing what he's been doing consistently since entering the league: make a big throw when it counts. I think he's fully capable of doing it, despite having a bit of a rough game against the Jets.
His performance could very well be one of the keys to how the Steelers fare in Super Bowl XLV. If Green Bay knocks him around and forces turnovers, it could be a long night for Steelers fans. But if Roethlisberger shakes off pursuers and makes plays with his feet or arm, it will help Pittsburgh's chances immensely.
For more on potential breakout stars who could pull down Super Bowl MVP honors, check out Super Bowl XLV: 10 Unsung Heroes Who Could Snag Super Bowl MVP Honors.
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