Tom Brady's final game in Pittsburgh? Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger reflects
At age 41 and with next season’s Steelers — Patriots matchup predetermined to be in New England, it’s entirely possible that Sunday’s game will be the final appearance at Heinz Field for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Many Pittsburgh Steelers fans would celebrate this because Brady is 11-2 against the Steelers, including the playoffs. Ben Roethlisberger, though, prefers to embrace facing the five-time Super Bowl champion.
“Man, any time you can share the field with maybe the greatest of all time you should cherish it and value it,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “And try to out-play him, which is not an easy task. I don’t go against him (individually) – but it still is a neat thing to play against one of the best of all time.”
Brady, of course, at this point is approaching undisputed recognition as the NFL’s all-time quarterback. Base it on wins, championships, yardage, touchdown passes… Brady is either at the top or near the top of all the categories.
And he’s seemingly still going strong in his 19th season, following up his third MVP award (at age 40) with a season in which he is tied for sixth in the NFL in passing yards and is leading the Patriots to what almost assuredly will be a 15th consecutive AFC East title during a season Brady plays more than one game.
What does Roethlisberger believe is Brady’s secret?
“No, he works hard, he understands football; he understands offense, defense. He’s incredibly smart and I know people laugh at his running or his catching abilities but he’s an incredibly talented athlete when it comes to his arm and some of the things he can do as far as throwing when he’s falling or arm angles and things like that. Especially for an older guy, he does pretty good.”
He does pretty well against Roethlisberger’s Steelers, too. Roethlisberger, including two AFC championship game defeats, is 2-8 all-time when facing a Brady-led Patriots team.
“They are very big challenge for us,” Roethlisberger said. “It hasn’t been a big challenge for them – but for us, it has been.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.