Big Ben's goal: Five Super Bowls
Ben Roethlisberger doesn't think small. Never has. Never will.
Latest example: In a recent interview with Steelers Digest, the Steelers' fourth-year quarterback said his goal is to win five Super Bowls.
Four's no good. Other guys have done that.
"They asked me my dream," Roethlisberger said, "and I said it would be to get five, because that's one more than (Terry) Bradshaw, and, you know, one more than most other quarterbacks."
Actually, the only other quarterback to win four was Joe Montana. Roethlisberger's smile indicated he knows as much.
His dream, to be sure, is not terribly realistic. To some, it might seem as delusional as Kordell Stewart's long-ago guarantee that he would wind up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But in Roethlisberger's case, there is nothing wrong with setting the bar at a record height. He has earned the right to do so publicly.
Remember, Roethlisberger already has visited places no quarterback had gone before.
Nobody in the 87-year history of the NFL had a higher rookie completion percentage (66.4).
Nobody had ever gone 13-0 until Roethlisberger did so in 2004.
And only Montana, Phil Simms and Troy Aikman had better three-game playoff passer ratings than the 125.8 mark Roethlisberger posted two years ago, when the Steelers won at Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver on their way to Super Bowl XL.
Then, amid a flurry of extenuating circumstances, he had a bad year.
Opinions of him changed.
Sports Illustrated's Peter King, for example, recently ranked Roethlisberger 17th among NFL quarterbacks, behind the likes of Jon Kitna, Jay Cutler, Chad Pennington, Jake Delhomme and 37-year-old Brett Favre, who apparently wants to play longer than George Blanda.
Roethlisberger insists stuff like that doesn't motivate him. The bad year apparently did, though. During the offseason, he added a film room to his house.
"One, it's because I'd like to go home and be in my element, where I can sit down there in the movie room and eat dinner while I watch it; it's always going," Roethlisberger said. "And, two, it doubles as a movie room, so I can watch movies."
The video of Saturday's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers won't make for pleasant viewing. Roethlisberger came out running the no-huddle offense -- the offense he has lobbied for -- and accomplished virtually nothing on two series.
The first ended with a Roethlisberger fumble on the third play, when Packers defensive end Cullen Jenkins beat Marvel Smith and knocked the ball from the quarterback's grasp.
The second ended on the fifth play when Najeh Davenport -- who is built like a short-yardage back but has shown little proclivity for the job -- was stuffed on third-and-1.
That was it for Big Ben. He finished 2 for 2 for 14 yards behind a re-shuffled offensive line that was missing guard Alan Faneca.
Nothing gained. Nothing lost. No need to worry. Remember how well the no-huddle worked in a preseason game against Minnesota last year• That didn't exactly translate.
The Steelers have given Roethlisberger everything he needs to succeed -- continuity, in the form of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, ample weaponry and the keys to the offense.
The rest is up to him. And at this point in his still-young career, all things remain possible.