Best might be yet to come for Big Ben


PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger to the St. Louis Rams?

The veteran quarterback could only laugh off a tweet, which surfaced earlier this week, that has the Steelers dealing him before the trade deadline if they get off to another slow start this season.

“I guess that’s the world we live in. People can make up whatever they want [on social media] and it’s unfortunate,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s why I don’t tweet and Facebook and all that other stuff.”

Roethlisberger – and the Steelers – can each say until they are blue in the face that the shared goal is for him to play his entire career in Pittsburgh, and it still won’t stop speculation about his future.

If team president Art Rooney II is looking to unload the most important Steelers’ most important player since the dynastic teams of the 1970s, he sure doesn’t sound like it.

“I don’t see anything physically that would lead you to believe [Roethlisberger] is starting to tail off in any way,” Rooney told ESPN.com recently. “So I think maybe some of his best years are still ahead of him here.”

Roethlisberger, who turned 32 in March, still certainly appears to be in his prime.

He is coming off a season in which he threw for the most second-most yards (4,261) and touchdowns (28) in his career. The 6-foot-5, 241-pound quarterback is also taking fewer hits with the Steelers running the no-huddle offense more frequently.

Just as significant: Roethlisberger and Todd Haley are in a good place after an, ahem, adjustment period when the latter succeeded Bruce Arians as the Steelers’ offensive coordinator in 2012.

For all of the talk about how the two aren’t exactly golfing buddies, they have in fact hit the links a couple of times together this year, Haley said.

“He’s as competitive as they come,” said Haley, who has a similar reputation. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s on a Sunday or on the golf course. That’s a trait that you love to see guys have. He’s competitive when you start naming '80s music too. He is surprisingly good.”

He’s not bad at playing quarterback, either.

Roethlisberger is in the process of rewriting the Steelers’ record book, and he has the best winning percentage (.669) this side of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning among active NFL quarterbacks.

Cornerback Ike Taylor said Roethlisberger is the most underrated quarterback in the NFL even though Big Ben, Brady and Eli Manning are the only active quarterbacks who have won multiple Super Bowls.

“Just being a tough, hard-nosed guy, I don’t think he gets the credit,” Taylor said of Roethlisberger. “How he plays, the injuries he plays through, that’s why he’s a Steeler.”

Until they trade him to the Rams, anyway.