It is the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers have a chance to ice the game away with just over 2:00 minutes left in the game. First down, they run the football for little-to-no gain. Second down they call a pass play. Ben Roethlisberger is flushed to his left, and as he throws to DeAngelo Williams...and is intercepted.
The entire Pittsburgh Steelers fan base, and Heinz Field, fell silent. They couldn't believe what they just saw from their franchise quarterback. Luckily, the Steelers defense was able to stand tall and give the team their 9th win of the season, but the play had a lasting impact on the Steelers' signal caller.
On his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger talked about an exchange with GM Kevin Colbert in the locker room following the game.
"I said, ‘Boy I just gotta stop trying to make so many plays.' He goes, ‘No you don't. Don't stop. That's what we live by and die by, and you've done too much, too many good things to stop. Don't ever stop doing it.' So, it just makes you feel good when your GM is someone that has that much faith and trust and belief in you, too."
I'm sure Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley would have preferred Roethlisberger to simply fall down or throw the football away in that situation, but Colbert's comments speak to a sentiment which goes beyond the 4th quarter interception thrown by Roethlisberger. The comment speaks to the fact the organization realizes "Ben being Ben" is a vibrant truth within the franchise.
Roethlisberger has always created plays in a myriad of ways. Whether it be shaking off would-be pass rushers, scrambling for a gain, or one of his patented pump fakes which equates to a big play down the field. With these plays can come negative plays. Sacks taken an inopportune times, interceptions and the occasional bone-head decision. Believe it or not, Roethlisberger has improved his game in many ways, including minimizing his mental mistakes which can lead to turnovers.
There was a time interceptions, similar to the 4th quarter interception in Week 15, were all too common for No. 7. Now they are a rarity. All signs of a quarterback who is still growing, and with the faith of the organization behind him he and the Steelers offense seem poised to make a postseason push with championship aspirations.
To hear the entire interview, click the player below: