LATROBE, Pa. -- I have long thought that Ben Roethlisberger doesn't quite get his due as an elite quarterback from a national perspective.
One of only three active quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls, there is also documented evidence of how good Roethlisberger is under another kind of pressure.
Over the past three seasons Roethlisberger has been the best quarterback in the NFL when his pass protection breaks down.
Roethlisberger leads all quarterbacks in completion percentage (51.8), passing yards (1,837) and passing touchdowns (18) when throwing under duress or getting hit since 2011, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
The Steelers, of course, want to minimize the hits Roethlisberger absorbs, especially at this stage of his career. If the Steelers offensive line comes into its own this season -- and everything is in place for that to happen -- Roethlisberger could receive the kind of protection he enjoyed early in his career when he had the likes of Alan Faneca and Jeff Hartings blocking for him.
But it bodes well for the offense that Roethlisberger is still as good as any quarterback when it comes to delivering under pressure.
Check out what Kevin Colbert had to say about Roethlisberger -- and a couple of other subjects -- later today when my video interview with the Steelers general manager is posted. It should be up by 10 a.m. ET.
A couple of other odds and ends:
I'm really looking forward to seeing rookie cornerback Shaquille Richardson in the Steelers' first preseason game Saturday night against the New York Giants. I have been impressed with Richardson, and to paraphrase Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, the game at this level doesn't seem too big for the fifth-round draft pick. William Gay agreed. “He's so calm,” the veteran cornerback said. “I tell him all the time, just use that in a game and you'll be all right. We'll see how he does in live action. I think he's going to be pretty good.”
The Steelers return to practice this afternoon following the players' day off Tuesday. They have gotten through the toughest grind of training camp and will practice two more times this week and four times the following week before breaking camp. Camp drills end with consecutive joint practices against the Buffalo Bills at St. Vincent College.
Camp has been noticeably quieter with Ryan Clark no longer playing for the Steelers. The veteran free safety, who had a heck of a run in Pittsburgh, is now with the Redskins. Here is an update on Clark.