The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, is known for a very unique skill set. There are just certain aspects of the quarterback position which Roethlisberger just does better than almost anyone else does, and maybe ever has.
Try to think of a quarterback of his stature who can elude, fend off, pass rushers and still have the athletic ability to make a play downfield, and you would be tough to find anyone in comparison.
Roethlisberger isn’t a runner, like Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III, he is a passer first, and his game has evolved throughout his career. Going from a game manager who would hand the ball off to Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker, and make throws only when necessary, to a field commander who has complete control over the offense, and has put up amazing statistical games/moments.
One of the aspects of Roethlisberger’s game which is still improving, is his pre-snap defensive recognition. Some pick it up better than others, but in 2018 Roethlisberger has been able to read the defense far better than he has in the past. The proof is in his passer rating when blitz.
Check out the stats of ESPN’s NFL Matchup’s Twitter handle:
Don't blitz these QBs...#GoSaints #SeizeTheDEY #GoPackGo #Seahawks #HereWeGo #TitanUp #HTTR #BeRedSeeRed #GoPats pic.twitter.com/2ZCTnjkuD1— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) October 22, 2018
Possibly one of the most underrated aspects of Roethlisberger’s game has nothing to do with athletic ability at all, yet helps in his passing against the blitz.
That would be his hard count.
Roethlisberger’s ability to have the defense show their hand by faking the cadence before the ball is snapped has helped him read what the defense is going to try and do, prior to them actually executing the play.
The perfect example of this pre-snap read was the game-winning pass and catch to Antonio Brown vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in the waning minutes of the Week 6 contest in Paul Brown Stadium.
Roethlisberger gets to his pre-snap reads, and you see the safeties starting to inch closer to the line of scrimmage. Roethlisberger motions Brown into a stacked formation, and the rest is history.
Roethlisberger saw the defense bringing the house before the ball was snapped, and was able to adjust. This is something he has done well this year, and if he can continue on this trend will help the Pittsburgh offense move on to bigger, and better, things.