While some might consider it reasonable to suggest that Ben Roethlisberger has done enough to warrant a place in the Hall of Fame when his playing days are over with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it would appear that defensive end Cameron Jordan of the New Orleans Saints is not one of those people.
When speaking to the media on Wednesday in a video first posted on the Saints official website that has since been deleted, Jordan took exception to a simple question about the Saints upcoming game when a reporter tried asking him about the Steelers’ offense. Cutting him off mid-sentence, Jordan struggled to wrap his head around the suggestion that Big Ben was among the top five quarterbacks of his era.
"Is that true?...I'd honestly put Eli [Manning] before I put Ben."— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 20, 2018
Saints' Cam Jordan hearing that Ben Roethlisberger is considered a future Hall of Famer and a top 5 QB of his era pic.twitter.com/Qo2tSLid4F
“What does this offence do well? You know they run it well, you know they’ve got a couple a thousand yard receivers, they’ve got a quarterback who might be going to the Hall of Fame.”
“Is that true? Really? In this era? You put him at like a top three of this era? Top five of this era? Top five of this era? You put him of the top 5 of this era? Is that a yes or no?”
From there, Jordan entered into a somewhat heated debate with the poor reporter about his top five quarterbacks, a list that the Saints defender believed should include Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers as the first three names. When the reporter remarked that Rodgers had won less Super Bowls, Jordan was quick to dismiss that small fact, preferring instead to look at his overall statistics.
With the two sides disagreeing about the relevance of Peyton Manning to the discussion, the names soon turned to Philip Rivers as the next quarterback who should be on the list for Jordan.
“You’re saying he’s better than Philip Rivers? Right now? Career wise? Because you give him the Super Bowls or not? Is that what your saying? You’re putting him at number 5?”
“I’d honestly put Eli before I put Ben. Two super bowls!”
Despite the best efforts of the reporter to point out the flaws in his reasoning, Jordan was having none of it. But when he did finally answer the original question about Pittsburgh’s offense, there was a small amount of respect for Roethlisberger in his response.
“Big Ben is a monster of a quarterback in the back field. He’s able to extend plays, he has one of the top duo wide receivers in the league. James conner is running extremely well. You know the numbers seem to be a little skewed, but when I turn on the film, he’s a hard runner.”
Given some of the quarterbacks who have played in his era, a top five ranking for Big Ben seems about fair. While only five quarterbacks have passed for more yards than Roethlisberger in NFL history, Rivers and Eli Manning are not among them. Without the post season credentials on his resume, it is absurd to put Rivers above Roethlisberger and the numbers for Manning over the second half of his career discount him from taking any serious part in the discussion.
Jordan will have a prime seat to witness Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame credentials this Sunday and it will be interesting to see if his opinion has changed after the game should the Steelers win.