Last week David Carr made headlines, probably more than he ever did as a player, and mostly centered on him excluding Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from his Top-10 quarterback list for the NFL Network.
Here is what Carr said originally about why he left Big Ben off of the list altogether:
Why is Ben Roethlisberger off my list? Yes, he’s a future Hall of Famer and there’s no doubt he can still help the Steelers. But he has the most talented skill players in the league on his unit, and that pair -- Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell -- makes him look great 14 seasons in. I don’t think Big Ben could win a ton of games without them at this stage in his career.
This ruffled plenty of feathers among Steelers fans, but also other members of the media. Take a look at what Stephen A. Smith had to say about Carr’s rankings:
Yeah...it caused a pretty big reaction.
Don’t think the NFL Network didn’t read these articles, and hear these comments from media members, and expect Carr to back up his comments on the list. And Carr did just that on NFL Network over the weekend.
Here is what he said:
“What I didn’t do a good job of, and what I wish I would’ve done, is preface it,” Carr explained. “And the preface is, this top-10 list is quarterbacks I would take to start my franchise.”
But Carr held strong regarding his stance on how Roethlisberger’s surrounding cast has made him who he is, not the other way around.
“If I had 10 guys, who would I want? And in what order? These 10 guys that I picked, I wouldn’t change any of these guys. When I look at the body of work, I look at it as an individual unit, not as who is around them.
“I made the comment about Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown because that goes into why Ben is not on the Top 10. For the most part, they have All-Pro, or Pro Bowl, players in the majority of their offense in Pittsburgh.”
Carr would continue, “I don’t think Ben is in his prime right now, that is the biggest thing. I was at his first preseason game in Pittsburgh, actually played against him, and when you watched him he was on a different level. He threw defensive linemen off of him, made plays outside the Xs and Os...Hall of Fame player absolutely, no question. He doesn’t do that as much anymore. That’s not his strength.”
Carr went on to talk about how the players on the list have more ability currently than Roethliserberger does at this moment in the waning years of his tremendous career. If you’d like, check out what Carr said HERE.
When I saw Carr’s initial rankings, I shook my head and chuckled a bit. No, not just because it was David Carr who created the list, but because of the reasoning behind Roethlisberger not being included. I knew an explanation would be forthcoming, and after hearing from Carr, I understand what he’s saying, but I still don’t buy that Roethlisberger isn’t somewhere in the Top-10.
He says Roethlisberger doesn’t scramble around as much as he used to — credit an improved offensive line. He says Roethlisberger doesn’t throw defensive linemen off of him anymore — watch more film (he still does). He says Roethlisberger is good because of those around him — just watch Antonio Brown’s incredible sideline catch vs. the Packers last year and notice how good the throw was. Last time I checked, someone had to throw Brown the football, he can’t throw it to himself.
Getting worked up about something like this in the offseason is certainly silly but, after all, “fan” is short for “fanatic.” That’s why fans of the Steelers have every right to be upset about the list, even though in the grand scheme of things it means nothing.
If it does anything to actually impact the team on the field, it might even spur Roethlisberger to have a great season. Despite Roethlisberger saying he doesn’t follow the news, etc. he’s shown that he actually does the complete opposite. When someone discredits his abilities, Roethlisberger bounces back in a big way.
In this case, maybe Carr’s idiotic rankings and comments will equate to success for the Steelers in 2018.