Ben Roethlisberger to young quarterbacks: "One year does not mean a lot"

Jared Wickerham

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger saw his rookie passer rating record fall this past season at the arms of Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. He gives advice to the rising stars.

Ben Roethlisberger set the NFL record for passer rating for a rookie with 98.1.

In 2012, the first overall pick, Andrew Luck, stole all headlines with this potential, and Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson both shattered 98.1 - Griffin with 102.4 and Wilson at an even 100.0.

When asked about it, Roethlisberger said, in so many words, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

In speaking to USA Today, Roethlisberger didn't downplay the accomplishments of any of those rising stars, but pointed out where they are now will not be where they'll be in the future.

"People ask me all the time about these young quarterbacks," Roethlisberger told USA TODAY Sports after Thursday's OTA session. "Let's wait. One year does not mean a lot in this league. Let's see what happens in two, three years."

Roethlisberger didn't exactly suffer the dreaded Sophomore Slump in 2005 - increasing his passer rating to a body-temperature-friendly 98.6 and leading the team to a Super Bowl XL win over what just happens to be Wilson's current team.

"I'm not trying to take anything away from them. I think they did some great things last year, and they all have the potential to be great quarterbacks. But you don't want people to jump on their bandwagon so fast and put so much pressure on them to live up to those expectations. My advice to them is to keep doing what you're doing, playing as hard as you can because people will keep trying to build you up and it could get tough."

All three quarterbacks led their teams to playoff appearances, with Wilson getting the better of an injured Griffin in the NFC Wild Card round.

Ultimately, though, Roethlisberger played the best card he could in the interview, taking the focus off his opinion and putting it on his teammate, tight end Heath Miller.

"I'm following Heath Miller's recovery. How about that?" he said referring to the veteran tight end mending from knee surgery. "I've got to worry about what's going on here, and that's my tight end getting healthy."


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