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Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws in the pocket during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Rankings: No. 10

Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws in the pocket during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 10.

#10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

In the world of professional football, writers have differing views on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Some believe he has enough in the tank to lead Pittsburgh to another Super Bowl, while others think he and his team are on the decline.

We can let his team decide that – the fate of the team shouldn’t be determined by the quarterback. Roethlisberger himself has proven to be a game-changing quarterback, but his 2012 was derailed by an untimely injury.

We know what the Pittsburgh’s quarterback is capable of. It’s just a matter of his team elevating its play to turn the Steelers back into contenders.

Physical traits and athleticism

They call him “Big Ben” for a reason. Roethlisberger stands at 6-5 and weighs in at 241 pounds. He’s tough in the pocket because of this. He’s also known for his subtle moves inside the pocket to escape pass rushers inside the pocket, and sometimes moves outside and picks up first downs on the ground with his underrated and undervalued speed. Grade: 8/10

Arm talent

Roethlisberger has a very strong arm, although it may not be one of the strongest in the league. He gets the ball out of his hands quickly. He can make any throw even from an awkward delivery position, driving tight throws into small windows. Grade: 8.5/10

Mechanics

Roethlisberger’s footwork is sound, which helps him move inside and outside the pocket, generating space from defenders and room to move the ball. He generates good torque in his hips when he throws, which helps velocity on the ball – this aids passes that need zip. His release is exceptionally quick. When there are guys in his face, however, if he’s not able to break away, sometimes can throw up a floating ball in danger of being intercepted. Overall, though, Roethlisberger’s mechanics help him as a quarterback. Grade: 8.5/10

Mental make-up

A seasoned veteran, Roethlisberger knows most of the ins and outs of playing quarterback. There are tiny things he does that shows this. His blitz recognition is spot on, and his ability to read defenses is paralleled by only a few. He knows where he is going with the ball and will get it there – film has shown that a decision is made between one and two seconds after the snap is taken. Grade: 8.5/10

Intangibles

Roethlisberger is a leader of the Steelers team and has been since 2004. There were some well-documented off-field issues in his past, but those controversies seem to be behind him. His competitiveness and toughness are unmatched even at the NFL level. Grade: 8.5/10

Overall impression

Ben Roethlisberger is a great NFL quarterback whose best days very well may not be behind him. He can elevate his team, and will – it’s just a matter of execution and staying healthy that can turn the Steelers back into contenders. Overall Grade: 42/50

Tags: Ben Roethlisberger NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Rankings Steelers

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