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Big Ben Right To Call Steelers’ Offense Best He’s Ever Had


Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to great teams. Throughout his prolific tenure in Pittsburgh, Big Ben has thrown to Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, handed the rock to soon-to-be Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis, and won two Super Bowls in a career that may still yield at least one more championship ring. So it’s no mean feat for the elite quarterback to announce that this year’s Pittsburgh offense is arguably the best unit he’s ever been a part of.

“I hate to say yes or no, because I don’t want to offend anybody else that’s been here,” said Roethlisberger. “But if you look at the stats from the NFL, we had the number one wide receiver and the number one overall back. Kind of hard to argue with those numbers.” They may all have their place in Black and Gold folklore, but it’s hard to imagine any Steelers of the past taking umbrage over the diplomatic Roethlisberger’s remarks.

The Steelers boasted undoubtedly the most explosive offense in the league last year. Were it not for Le’Veon Bell’s untimely injury that kept him out of Pittsburgh’s wild card loss last season, there are some who believe the Steelers would have willed their way to an unprecedented seventh Lombardi trophy on offensive firepower alone.

Even the Canton-bound Bettis – who has heaped plenty of his own praise onto Bell – was never the consummate running, blocking and receiving back that Bell is, even in his prime. Ward may be a hero to Steeler fans everywhere, and Holmes may have made the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, but neither possessed the elusiveness, sheer speed and route running that have made Antonio Brown the game’s most reliable receiver.

And that’s just the stars. Pittsburgh’s versatile offense is supplemented by the underrated veteran Heath Miller, sophomore speedster Martavis Bryant and, perhaps most importantly, an offensive line that more closely resembles an NFL-calibre unit as opposed to five cardboard cutouts. When under pressure, Big Ben is still a threat to any defense. But when kept upright, he is like a video game veteran playing Madden on rookie difficulty, as the Colts and Ravens learned in consecutive weeks last season.

Pittsburgh’s offense will need to live up to every bit of its offseason hype, because the other side of the ball will need all the help it can get. The team’s inevitable transition on defense has finally arrived, with Keith Butler taking over from Dick LeBeau, in tandem with a mass exodus of veterans who have already given their all to the team that made them superstars.

The offense might sell tickets, but it will be the young crop of raw talent on defense that decides just how far the Steelers go in 2015.

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