Ben Roethlisberger: ‘Humbling’ to pass ‘hero’ John Elway in game-winning drives
Ben Roethlisberger passed John Elway, one of his NFL idols, in the record books thanks to last Sunday’s game-winning drive against the Jacksonville Jaguars. To do so was “humbling,” says the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.
Roethlisberger’s one-yard plunge into the end zone with five seconds remaining in the Steelers’ 20-16 win gave him 41 game-winning drives, breaking a tie with “hero” Elway for sixth-place all-time. To say that Roethlisberger is humbled by doing so would be an understatement.
“That’s why I wear 7, because of (Elway),” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “A hero of mine growing up. Anytime you get in the record books, it’s humbling and means a lot. When your name is as close to his and you get to pass him, it’s just an honor.”
Roethlisberger counts Elway among is favorite NFL quarterbacks ever, a list that also includes Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Jim Kelly. When it comes down to it, though, Elway appears to hold the top spot in Big Ben’s view.
“I joked that he could throw a ball through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet,” Roethlisberger said. “Just such a big arm. Not really a runner but would run. I think that’s kind of been my game. I’m not a running quarterback, but you’re not afraid to run and get the yards when you need to. Those kind of things I kind of just mold my game after. I wish my arm was as strong as his, though.”
Roethlisberger also surpassed his boyhood hero in all-time passing yards earlier this season. The Steelers veteran signal-caller now has 54,267 yards while Elway finished up his Hall of Fame career with 51,475.
As happenstance would have it, the Steelers pay a visit to Denver to face Elway’s Broncos on Sunday, something not lost on Roethlisberger amid passing up the Broncos icon in all-time come-from-behind victories.
“Any time you go into a place that’s had a legendary type quarterback that I grew up watching, it is kind of special,” Roethlisberger said.