“You play to win the game.” – Herm Edwards
“I would rather have Super Bowlers than Pro Bowlers.” – attributed to Chuck Noll
In the mountains of coverage leading up to Super Bowl XLV the analysts on ESPN got into yet another debate over whether or not Ben Roethlisberger is an “elite” quarterback.
To me, he is based on one statistic: There have been a heck of a lot of guys to take a snap in the history of the NFL. Only ten have won multiple Super Bowls and Ben’s name is on that list.
Interceptions, TD passes, and passer rating mean nothing. Winning the game means everything.
Some of the guys on ESPN though, go by a different criteria. Steve Young divided his view of QBs into two areas. The guys who win and the guys who play the position as “an art.” And he went on to essentially say that the only ones that matter are the guys in the latter category.
He said that if guys like Ben and Mike Vick work hard at it maybe they can master both categories. But to take Ben and Vick and make them three-step-drop-and-fire QBs takes away what makes them so special and has allowed them to win.
I can understand that he wants to say Peyton Manning is better than Ben, like a lot of people do, but I can’t buy that argument, because Ben could win seven more Super Bowls with the same style he plays with today and still not be “elite” because he doesn’t play the position the “right way.”
Furthermore, with 32 teams in the league how are the top five guys not considered “elite”? Why is it seemingly only the top two or three that get to claim the title?
So if we had a draft today, the guys at ESPN can have all their elite guys, but I’ll take the one that wins.