ESPN.com checked in with AFC North reporters Coley Harvey who covers the Cincinnati Bengals, Jamison Hensley who covers the Baltimore Ravens, and Pat McManamon who covers the Cleveland Browns to see who has the brighter future as an NFL quarterback: Roethlisberger or Flacco.
I could be biased, but to me this question is like asking who is the superior guitarist: Jimi Hendrix or my kid on her fifth birthday when she tried out her Fisher Price banjo for the first time?
To be clear, I'm not saying Joe Flacco sucks at football. I'm saying the difference between Big Ben and Joe Flacco is about as drastic as the difference between Tom Petty and John Cougar Mellencamp. In other words: no contest. Of course Big Ben has the brighter future.
Coley Harvey and Pat McManamon both chose Big Ben, citing his ent-like characteristics. What? What's an ent? Imagine the Ben Roethlisberger of trees. Big, durable, deliberate. Roethlisberger also has one of the best receiving corps in the entire league with Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, and rookie Sammie Coates, who seems to have a lot of potential. Combine that with the magic of Le'Veon Bell and a much-improved offensive line, and Roethlisberger has the supporting cast he needs to excel in to the future. Roethlisberger has averaged 27 touchdowns during the past four seasons and almost had a 5,000-yard season last year. There is no reason to assume Roethlisberger is on the decline.
Raven's reporter Jamison Hensley argued for Flacco. Sure, Roethlisberger is older, and Flacco does have a better overall record during the last three seasons. Barely, though. Roethlisberger is 26-19 while Flacco is 28-20. Hensley cited the Steelers weak defense as an argument against Big Ben, which made me think he did not understand the question. ESPN.com asked: "Which quarterback has the best five-year outlook: Roethlisberger or Flacco?" I'm not seeing anything in this question about the Steelers defense, but admittedly I am not fully caffeinated, so I could be missing something. Nope. Just read it again. The question is about quarterbacks, not the future of the defense (which I would argue is very bright for the Steelers).
So, if we disqualify Hensley for talking about the Steelers defense in an article about quarterback potential, the AFC North reporters unanimously pick Roethlisberger over Flacco when it comes to future productivity.
Next up: Who is the better running back- Le'Veon Bell or Trent Richardson?
I'm kidding there-- no contest. Bell. Just like there is no contest between Roethlisberger and Flacco.