October 17, 2014

Rookie of the Year: Ben Roethlisberger, 2004

Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Age:  22
College: Miami (OH)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 242

Roethlisberger passed for 10,829 yards and 80 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons and Miami reached the Mid-American Conference Championship in his junior year. He entered the NFL draft and was chosen by the Steelers in the first round (11th overall, and the third quarterback) and, when QB Tommy Maddox went down with an injury in the second game, “Big Ben” moved into the lineup.

2004 Season Summary
Appeared and started in 14 of 16 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Attempts – 295
Most attempts, game – 28 at NY Giants 12/18
Completions – 196
Most completions, game – 21 at Dallas 10/17
Yards – 2621
Most yards, game – 316 at NY Giants 12/18
Completion percentage – 66.4 [4]
Yards per attempt – 8.9 [2]
TD passes – 17 [19, tied with Vinny Testaverde]
Most TD passes, game – 2 on six occasions
Interceptions – 11 [18, tied with Daunte Culpepper, Kyle Boller & Patrick Ramsey]
Most interceptions, game – 2 at Baltimore 9/19, vs. NY Jets 12/12, at NY Giants 12/18
Passer rating – 98.1 [5]
300-yard passing games – 1
200-yard passing games – 4

Attempts – 56
Most attempts, game – 9 (for 16 yds.) at Cincinnati 11/21
Yards – 144
Most yards, game – 40 yards (on 3 carries) at Jacksonville 12/5
Yards per attempt – 2.6
TDs – 1

TDs – 1
Points – 6

Postseason: 2 G
Pass attempts – 54
Most attempts, game – 30 vs. NY Jets, AFC Divisional playoff
Pass completions – 31
Most completions, game - 17 vs. NY Jets, AFC Divisional playoff
Passing yardage – 407
Most yards, game – 226 vs. New England, AFC Championship
TD passes – 3
Most TD passes, game – 2 vs. New England, AFC Championship
Interceptions – 5
Most interceptions, game – 3 vs. New England, AFC Championship

Rushing attempts – 9
Most rushing attempts, game – 5 vs. New England, AFC Championship
Rushing yards – 75
Most rushing yards, game – 45 vs. New England, AFC Championship
Average gain rushing – 8.3
Rushing TDs – 0

Awards & Honors:
NFL Rookie of the Year: League/Pepsi, Sporting News
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: AP, PFWA
AFC Rookie of the Year: UPI, NEA, Sporting News

Steelers went 15-1 to place first in the AFC North with the conference’s best record while leading the AFC in rushing yards (2464). Won AFC Divisional playoff over New York Jets (20-17). Lost AFC Championship to New England Patriots (41-27).

Roethlisberger missed time with a knee injury in 2005 but led the league in yards per attempt (8.9), yards per completion (14.2), and TD percentage (6.3 on his 17 TD passes), and the Steelers won the Super Bowl. In so doing, he became the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Big and mobile with a strong arm, Roethlisberger also benefited from having a solid running attack and defense as he developed his considerable skills. It was tougher going in 2006 as he was injured in an offseason motorcycle accident and also suffered from appendicitis. The result was 3513 passing yards and 18 TDs, but also a league-leading 23 interceptions and the Steelers dropped to 8-8. He bounced back with a Pro Bowl year in ’07 in which he threw for 32 touchdowns and a 104.1 rating, and showed great toughness as he also took many hits – often due to his penchant for holding the ball until the last possible moment. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to another NFL Championship in 2008 as he showed outstanding late-game clutch ability and achieved career highs (thus far) with 4328 passing yards and a 66.6 completion percentage in ’09, although off-field issues caused him to be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. He played well upon his return, giving up just five interceptions while once again leading the NFL in yards per completion (13.3) and the Steelers won the AFC title. Roethlisberger was chosen to the Pro Bowl for a second time in 2011 after passing for 4077 yards but a high ankle sprain limited his mobility in a losing postseason game and a shoulder injury hindered his play in 2012 as he was also asked to refine his style of play with a rebuilding team. He stayed healthy for the full year in ’13 and passed for 4261 yards and 28 TDs. Overall, through the 2013 season Roethlisberger has thrown for 34,105 yards and 219 touchdowns with a 92.6 rating. The Steelers have been 98-50 during his regular season starts and 10-4 in the playoffs, with two NFL titles.


Rookie of the Year Profiles feature players who were named Rookie of the Year in the NFL (including NFC/AFC), AFL (1960-69), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press – Offense or Defense, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, or the league itself – Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year).