PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – No quarterback in the NFL gets rid of the football faster than Ben Roethlisberger, that has helped the Steelers to a 6-0 start. It has also led to an uncharacteristic number of tipped passes.
“Coach Tomlin says all the time ‘if you’re not going to get home, get your hands up’,” Roethlisberger said on Wednesday. “I think that’s what we’re seeing a lot from defenders when they think they are not going to get home or they think the ball is coming out quick they are getting their hands up. That’s creating some tipped balls. We are not too alarmed with it yet.”
Roethlisberger believes that the ball comes out so quick, often offensive lineman are unable to set their blocks and because the receivers are early in their routes, the ball must come out lower.
The 17-year vet seems to have really embraced the new wrinkles of the run-pass option that offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and quarterbacks coach Matt Canada installed. He gets rid of the ball in an average of 2.29 seconds, the next fastest current NFL starting quarterback is Nick Foles at 2.5 seconds.
Ben said having big hands is key for him because sometimes he doesn’t have time to find the laces on the ball. What is also key is his relationship with Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.
“One of the most underrated things that people probably won’t talk about, to be good in the quick game you have to have a good snap,” Roethlisberger said. “Pouncey snaps a spiral, you can catch it, you know you are going to catch a good snap and the ball can come out quick. I think that’s very underrated when it comes to the quick game.”
When Roethlisberger talked with reporters on Wednesday he said he had just come out of a meeting with Ficthner to discuss the tips. And while there may be some tweaks, these changes not only have the team unbeaten, but averaging 30 points a game. By contrast, the Steelers did not score 30 points in one game last season.
“We have a long way to go,” Roethlisberger said. “We are still trying to improve every week and it starts with me. I have to get better. I will keep trying to do that, but it’s not going to be any easier this week because we are facing one of the best defenses in the game.”