Bill Cowher: Ben Roethlisberger ‘thriving’ on being underestimated

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Before Bill Cowher retired from football and the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was Ben Roethlisberger’s first pro football coach. They were together for three successful seasons, and one improbable Super Bowl win.

These days, Cowher’s job is to analyze the Steelers and 31 other teams for “The NFL Today” on CBS.

When asked to analyze the 2021 Ben Roethlisberger, he pointed to characteristics the quarterback has always had.

“It was never too big for him. I think what you’ve seen him do through a period of time, and consistently, year in and year out, he’s a great competitor,” Cowher said on a recent Zoom call with Steelers media. “I’m sure he’s just thriving right now on that everybody thinks he’s done, thinks the Steelers are done,” Cowher said.

In the three years Big Ben was under Cowher’s wing, he threw for 8,521 yards and 52 touchdowns.

Roethlisberger had one of the best seasons of his career with 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns just last year. Cowher said it would surprise him if he didn’t have another great season this year.

It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that he can continue on that tear, especially if he thrives being underestimated by Steelers fans and prognosticators.

Cowher also made a surprising statement about his former quarterback’s Hall of Fame candidacy.

“He’s a Hall of Fame player — first ballot, no question about it — but yet he continues to play the game with a great passion, as a great competitor, and I think you’ll see that this year.”

Not only does Cowher see Roethlisberger as a Hall of Famer, but a first-ballot at that.

Heading into his 18th season, it’s clear Roethlisberger still has what it takes to lead the Steelers, but can he lead them all the way to a Super Bowl?

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