Take your pick recap

April, 18, 2010
4/18/10
9:00
AM ET
Several days ago we asked Pittsburgh Steelers fans to compare two of the top quarterbacks in franchise history: Ben Roethlisberger and Terry Bradshaw.

This question was sparked after Bradshaw had some interesting comments after Roethlisberger's latest off-the-field misconduct.

Here are responses from our AFC North inbox and a final say on the matter:

Mike from Pittsburgh writes: This one isn't even close. Terry Bradshaw is a much better quarterback than Roethlisberger. Bradshaw’s Super Bowl performances were much better than Ben's, and I believe he will still have more rings than Ben when Ben is done. As far as character goes, it's not even close. Bradshaw is a better person, more loved, and he always will be. Case closed. The Blonde Bomber will always be superior to Big Ben in the eyes of a true Pittsburgher.

Dan Finnegan from Bremerton, WA, writes: There was a time after the SB XLIII win when I seriously believed Ben had a shot to dethrone Terry as the all-time best QB in Pittsburgh. But that time has come and gone with the revelations of his alleged off-the-field behaviors. Terry never had those kind of issues and even worse, took more heat from Steelers fans about his performance on the field in the early years of his career than Ben could even dream of. And Terry wound up being an instrumental part of four Super Bowl victories. I'm not sure Ben will still be around to be part of a third Super Bowl opportunity, let alone a victory.

Mike from St Cloud, Fla., writes: I'd take Terry Bradshaw any day. I have always felt he was under rated and under appreciated by the national media. He went through so much more adversity (not self inflicted) early in his career than Ben has. Many quarterbacks have wilted under less pressure and scrutiny than Terry experienced. I don't know how he kept persevering to become the great quarterback most remember later in his career.

Dave from Miami writes: Terry couldn't hold Ben's jockstrap. Terry heaved the ball deep, and had a two HOF receivers running under it and making catches that dominate NFL Films receiving tapes to this very day. If Terry were good, you wouldn't see Lynn Swann having to make the most amazing catches you've ever seen over and over and over. Terry never made a throw like the one you saw Ben make in SB XLIII, or the one Ben made to beat Green Bay last season (which was even better). And let's be honest here, the talent in the league and the parity have gone way up. No team dominates anymore like the Steelers did then. The league has gone to great lengths to ensure that. Terry is out there. He's bitter and more than half crazy.

Nick from Dubuque, IA, writes: I would go with Roethlisberger over Bradshaw. I'm taking nothing into account but purely skills on the football field. Ben is the better quarterback in nearly all aspects of comparison. Ben is more elusive, better passer percentage, etc. Both had the luxury of great defenses to go along with multiple Super Bowls. But if I had one possession to win the game I'd go with Big Ben to give me the best chance to win.

Antonio Rael from Albuquerque, NM, writes: Let's put in some perspective. When Terry Bradshaw was QB in the 70's he struggled early with the game of football on a professional level. Personally, I think he was a great QB because he was surrounded by two HOF wideouts and a HOF running back. Ben Roethlisberger came in his rookie year and took the team to a 15-1 record and won a Super Bowl the year after with essentially the same surrounding cast. Tommy Maddox had a year before with a 6-10 record. That alone would tell me who I would want on the football field (not off).

Denny Perry from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, writes: Terry Bradshaw any day. I have been a Steeler fan for over 50 years I have seem all the Super bowls and the games they have played. Mr. Bradshaw is a better man on and off the field than Ben will ever be. Terry had a better rapport even with His players, peers and the people in the community in and around Pittsburgh.

Brandon Creason from Richmond, IL, writes: I gotta go with Terry Bradshaw. He has better hair.

Craig from Philadelphia writes: Hands down I would choose Terry Bradshaw. Even though the Blonde Bomber was not very well liked early in his career for his decisions on the field, he at least made good decisions off the field. I certainly don't hate Big Ben, but come on Ben, it's time to grow up. It's time to listen to your peers, including Terry Bradshaw. If there is going to be a rift between the Blonde Bomber and Big Ben, I am poised to believe that a majority of fans will take Bradshaw's side. Ben is already losing fan support.

Chris from Dallas, TX, writes: Let's put it this way. The 'burgh and Bradshaw have had our issues in the past, but never did Terry Bradshaw ever embarrass himself, the franchise, or the city in the fashion Ben has. Ben has consistently shown a lack of respect for the game, the city, and probably most importantly to the Rooneys, which TB would have never done. Bradshaw, for all of things he is or isn't, completely respected Art Rooney and the way the Steeler franchise was run. Ben shows respect for nothing.

AFC North final say

James Walker: I'm surprised how lopsided this vote was in favor of Bradshaw, but I think a lot of it had to do with the emotional reaction to Roethlisberger's recent off-field troubles. Roethlisberger physically is the more gifted athlete with his size, strength and elusiveness to avoid the rush. "Big Ben" also didn't struggle early in his career. But if your definition is overall results, how could you argue with four rings and a Hall of Fame career? That advantage goes to Bradshaw. Roethlisberger has the talent to match those totals, but it will take time to do it. You also have to wonder if Roethlisberger is in the process of derailing his own career before he gets the chance to play a dozen or so years in Pittsburgh.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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