Steelers All-Big Ben Era squad: A look at Ben Roethlisberger’s best teammates ahead of probable final game

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Ben Roethlisberger is loved by Steelers fans for many different reasons. His rugged playstyle is certainly one of them, along with the fact that he’s made Pittsburgh his home while spending his entire career with the franchise.

Winning games – and two Super Bowls – is high on the list of reasons Steelers fans revere Roethlisberger. Despite having some really good teams, the Steelers’ Super Bowl drought had reached 24 by the time the franchise selected Roethlisberger in the 2004 NFL Draft. A 6-10 team the previous season, the The Steelers went 15-1 in Roethlisberger’s rookie season. They became the first six seeds to win the Super Bowl a year later and became the first franchise to win six Vince Lombardi trophies in 2008.

The Steelers won another AFC title in 2010 as Roethlisberger became the 10th quarterback to make three Super Bowl starts. Since their last trip to the Super Bowl, the Steelers have won four AFC North Division titles (bringing Roethlisberger’s total to eight) and have made the playoffs six times with a trip to the AFC Championship game in 2016. The Steelers also extended their 18-season unbeaten streak, a streak that lasted Roethlisberger’s career.

As essential as Roethlisberger has been to this success, football is a team sport, after all, and Roethlisberger has been surrounded by some of the best talent in the NFL for the past 18 seasons. Three of his teammates have already been inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame, an honor Roethlisberger will likely receive as soon as he becomes eligible.

As Roethlisberger puts the finishing touches on his time with the Steelers, here’s a look at the Steelers’ All-Big Ben Era squad that spans 2004-21.

Offense

A reliable backup for eight seasons, Batch has won two-thirds of his starts with the Steelers. On the running back, Roethlisberger has the choice between a Hall of Famer (Bettis), a double All-Pro (Bell), a double Super Bowl champion (Parker) and the player who just broke the franchise of Bell and Franco Harris . rookie records (Harris).

Equally fatal are Roethlisberger receptors. He could throw at the former Super Bowl MVP (Ward), the recipient of one of the greatest captures in Super Bowl history (Holmes), a quadruple All-Pro (Brown), a formidable deep threat ( Wallace) and the versatile Smith -Schuster. Although he hasn’t played with him for a very long time, Roethlisberger has developed a quick relationship with Johnson, who has become his fifth 1,000-yard wide receiver this season. Rest assured Roethlisberger won’t forget his tight ends, led by Miller, who is considered the biggest tight end in franchise history.

The Steelers’ offensive line anchor is Faneca, who received a Hall of Fame jacket and bronze bust last summer. The lineage is also led by a potential future Hall of Famer in Pouncey, who continued the lineage of the great centers of Pittsburgh. The line also includes a two-time Pro Bowler at Villanueva and one of the best guards of the 2010s at DeCastro, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro.

Defense

And you thought the offense was serious. Like the Offensive, this unit already has a Hall of Famer in Polamalu, who, like Faneca, was inducted last summer. The unit includes the franchise’s all-time career sacking leader (Harrison) and the player who recently broke his single-season sack record (Watt). Watt may soon join Polamalu and Harrison as Defensive Player of the Year.

Polamalu is flanked in the secondary from Fitzpatrick, whose arrival in 2019 immediately changed the complexion of the defense. The same could be said of Haden’s arrival in 2017, when the Steelers’ pass defense went from good to excellent. Taylor was a starter on all three of Roethlisberger’s Super Bowl teams, while “Big Play” William Gay tied Rod Woodson’s franchise record by returning five straight interceptions for touchdowns.

The defensive line is mixed with players past and present. Casey “Big Snack” Hampton presides over a defensive line that also includes Heyward, a pro Bowler each of the past five years. The unit also includes double Super Bowl champions in Keisel and Smith.

Special teams

A 2017 Pro Bowler, Boswell is the most accurate kicker in franchise history. Brown returned four punts and one kickoff for scores during his nine years at Pittsburgh. A versatile player who threw the deciding touchdown in Super Bowl XL, Randel El also returned four punts and one touchdown kickoff during his time with the Steelers.

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