For decades, Terry Bradshaw was the quarterback most synonymous with Steelers football. The Hall of Famer won four Super Bowls in a six-year period and also took home two MVPs.
Then Big Ben came along.
On Thursday, Bradshaw passed along his congratulations to Roethlisberger on an excellent career. “I was a Steeler for many years, and you came on board, and just took it to another level that those of us outside of the Steeler organization, but inside of the NFL, absolutely know how hard it was to do what you’ve done over, what, 18 years?,” he said. “So congratulations, my friend.”
The Steelers didn’t quite recapture their dominance from the 70s with Roethlisberger under center, but he kept the franchise atop the AFC after a brief downward trend in the late 90s and early aughts. Roethlisberger made the playoffs 12 times, won two Super Bowls and played in three. His game-winning touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes in the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIII against the Cardinals is one of the greatest throws in the game’s history.
The Steelers never had a losing season with him at the helm.
Statistically, Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time. He finishes with the fifth-most passing yards ever (64,088) and owns every significant franchise passing record by sizable margins. His 18 seasons with Pittsburgh are the most with one team for any quarterback in league history.
Steelers legend Rocky Bleier, who was the star halfback from those Steel Curtain days, also praised Roethlisberger for his contributions to the franchise. “Ben- There are not enough words in a tweet to do you justice. You gave yourself over and over again for the love of the game, the love of Pittsburgh, and the love of this Steelers team. There will never be another like you and I am looking forward to your future,” he tweeted.
One of the best things about the Steeler tradition is how many franchise greats maintain close relationships with the organization. Expect Big Ben to follow in those footsteps.