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With rumors swirling about Ben's potential retirement and this week's game vs. Cleveland possibly being his final performance at Heinz Field, I thought it would be a good time to relive his first-ever game against the Browns.

Enjoy the start of what has been an amazing ride. Thumbsup

Click to watch > 2004 Steelers 34 vs Browns 23

This was the game when I KNEW Big Ben was the real deal. In his third NFL start, the eventual Rookie of the Year -- becoming more comfortable and productive with each game -- confuses Cleveland with his mobility and creativity as he leads the Steelers to their 3rd win in a row. After an early pass goes right through Randle El's hands and results in a pick 6 for Cleveland, an unfazed Roethlisberger simply takes over. 

The first classic Big Ben moment comes when Roethlisberger scrambles to his right to elude the rush and gets leveled by Orpheus Roye, but still finds Plaxico Burress deep downfield for 51 yards to the Cleveland 9. Two plays later, un-rattled by the hit, Big Ben powers up the middle for a 6-yard TD run.

Ben's mobility also sets up a 37-yard bomb to Burress that makes it 24-10 midway through the 3rd quarter. Roethlisberger rolls out of the pocket, freezing the defense and allowing Burress to slip five yards behind Cleveland DB's for an unguarded touchdown.

Burress makes 6 catches for 136 yards and Duce Staley compliments Roethlisberger's performance (16 of 21 for 231 yards, 1 TD pass, 1 TD run) by scoring on a 25-yard run on Pittsburgh's 3rd offensive play and gaining 117 yards on 21 carries, his 3rd consecutive 100-yard game. Meanwhile, Bettis scores his 6th TD of season.

I pray this Monday doesn't mark Ben's final game against the Browns. But if it does, I want to say from my heart:

I have enjoyed every single moment that you've been on the field as a Steeler. It has been a joy to watch you play the game the way it was meant to be played. You have brought tremendous honor to Steeler Nation and the city of Pittsburgh.

I hope you decide to play another year, but whenever you do hang up your cleats, your Gold Jacket awaits.


I wonder what would've happened in 2004 if Tommy Maddox never gotten injured? I think Cowher would've started him against Cleveland & Cincinnati & had Ben sit
(07-21-2017, 03:54 PM)Guest Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder what would've happened in 2004 if Tommy Maddox never gotten injured? I think Cowher would've started him against Cleveland & Cincinnati & had Ben sit

Oh, there's no question. Ben was in there at this point of the season ONLY because Maddox couldn't play. 

But by the time the Philly game was over, it was pretty clear that Tommy Maddox was never going to get his starting job back in Pittsburgh.
The plan was Maddox for one, or two more years then Ben.

But it was apparent, even in pre-season, that Ben was farther along than even Cowher would have liked to admit.

But Cowher didn't want Ben. The ONLY QB Cowher wanted was his boy Rivers from his beloved NC State.
This is still one of my absolute favorite games. As far as the "modern era" goes, it's easily my favorite regular season contest since the '70s.

The 2004 team was very special with multiple players already enshrined in Canton: Bettis, Polamalu and Faneca, with Hines Ward sure to follow.

But chief among all these great players is the man I think is the greatest Steeler since the 1970's, Ben Roethlisberger. No one has meant more to the Steelers since the glory days. He's the catalyst for a third of Pittsburgh's Lombardi's. Without him, those championships wouldn't be in Pittsburgh. 

Ben has been my favorite part of the last 18 years of Steeler football. He's a throwback player who ranks among the greatest of the greats who've ever worn the black and gold. He is worthy. 

I hope the retirement rumors are wrong. I sincerely hope Monday Night isn't his final game at Heinz Field. But if it is, I can tell you with zero shame, I will shed real tears. 

Big Ben, thank you for every moment as a Steeler.  Pi_heartbeating
well done
what a fun game to watch. Thanks tim

TY TY Tim <3
(12-30-2021, 01:37 PM)jv320ii Wrote: [ -> ]well done

(01-03-2022, 06:50 AM)RaynorShyne Wrote: [ -> ]THIS IS WHY I LOVE THIS SITE SO MUCH

TY TY Tim <3

(12-31-2021, 10:51 PM)Rollers Wrote: [ -> ]what a fun game to watch.  Thanks tim

Thumbsup Pi_heartbeating
I've been working my way through Ben's rookie season over the long weekend. It's still remarkable how fantastic Ben was right out of the gate. 

Be sure to check out the entire >Steelers 2004 Season<

It was such a special year, the start of a new era in Pittsburgh after so many years with subpar QBs. Chock full of memorable games. 

I was fortunate enough to attend 3 games in person that year (12/12 vs Jets, 12/26 vs Ravens and the AFCC game). Sadly, we had to wait another season to add a Lombardi, but 2004 remains my favorite season of the modern era.
(12-30-2021, 01:37 PM)jv320ii Wrote: [ -> ]well done

Good to see you post. Hope all is well John. Best wishes.