Benjamin Todd "Ben" Roethlisberger, Sr. (/ˈrɒθlɨsbɜrɡər/; born March 2, 1982), nicknamed "Big Ben," is an American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Steelers in the first round (11th overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football for Miami University.
Roethlisberger earned the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 and his first Pro Bowl selection in 2007. He became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback in NFL history, leading the Steelers, in only his second professional season, to a 21–10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at the age of 23. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a second Super Bowl title in four seasons as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, 27–23, after completing a game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the final 35 seconds.
Roethlisberger has been one of the most efficient passers in NFL history. He currently ranks 9th all-time in NFL passer rating (92.6), 5th in yards per attempt (8.06), and 11th in completion percentage (63.24%) among quarterbacks with a minimum of 1,500 career attempts. He has the fourth highest career winning percentage (.710) as a starter in the regular season among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 starts. He is one of six quarterbacks in NFL history to have beaten at least 31 of the current NFL teams.
Known for playing outside the pocket in what he calls "backyard football", Roethlisberger grew up idolizing John Elway, and has often been compared to him. Roethlisberger wears number 7 in Elway's honor.
Off the field, Roethlisberger has been involved in high-profile incidents. He suffered a serious motorcycle accident in 2006 while operating without a motorcycle license. Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in 2008 and in 2010. While no charges were filed, Steelers president Art Rooney II was "furious," and the latter allegation resulted in Roethlisberger's suspension from play under the NFL's personal conduct policy. Roethlisberger also lost endorsement deals after the allegations.
By Dean Hanley
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