Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the unquestioned leader of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh fans should rest comfortably in that fact.
That would not have been the case four years ago, when Big Ben was entangled in yet another off season marred with legal issues. Reports surfaced that the Steelers were even considering parting ways with their two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Roethlisberger returned to the Steelers a new man after serving a four-game suspension. He led the Steelers to a division title, conference championship and their third trip to the Super Bowl in six seasons.
The new Roethlisberger was on full display after the team's loss to the Packers in Super Bowl XLV. He didn't blame anyone else for the team's loss. He put the loss squarely on himself.
"I feel like I let people down," he told Sports Illustrated after the game. "I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, the coaches, my teammates. It's even more disappointing for me because I let a lot of people down who showed up today to fight."
He further showed his maturation when asked about his legacy.
"People ask you, 'What do you want on your tombstone?' " Roethlisberger said. "That he's a good person, a God-fearing person that was loyal to his family and put family first—family and God first."
Since that day, Roethlisberger got married, became a father, and has continued his work with various charities. He has also become a invaluable leader of a Steelers team in transition. He took it personally when the Steelers dropped to 0-4 last season. And his leadership during that time was a major reason for the team's turnaround. He worked with Todd Haley to make the Steelers offense one of the league's best by season's end.
On Monday, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown revealed that Roethlisberger called him out for not being a good example for his kids for his behavior in the regular season finale against the Browns. Brown was upset for not being able to pass Hines Ward for the team's record for catches in a season. A father himself, Roethlisberger's message hit home for Brown, who realized he was in the wrong.
It appears that Big Ben is the perfect example of someone that has learned from his past tribulations to make himself a better person. With his team looking for leadership to help bring Pittsburgh back into the upper echelon of the NFL, the new, mature Roethlisberger is the best man for the job.
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