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Monday Buzz Column: Brady not better than Ben, + Super Bowl Thoughts

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Tom Brady’s not better than Ben Roethlisberger.

How does that grab you?

A huge portion of the national media and just about everybody in the New England States had declared Brady the best quarterback in the history of football when he advanced to his fifth AFC Championship game last month.

But that AFC Championship game last week didn’t do much to support the theory that he’s the best of all time and it also showed that he’s not as good as Ben Roethelisberger.

I have never seen a quarterback with more room and time to throw on a more consistent basis than Brady, but that sure was not the case in Denver.

Brady has put up some amazing stats and his teams have won a lot of championships but Brady benefits more from the Patriots’s system than the Patriots system benefits from Brady.

Bill Belichick discovered a long time ago that small, quick receivers, who can get open six or seven yards beyond the line of scrimmage, are more valuable than big, fast guys who take more than two and a half seconds to get open.

Spygate proved that knowing what defenses are planning to do before the snap can also come in handy.

It’s simple.

If Brady has more than two and a half seconds to pass, he’s going to kill you with eight yard slants.

If Brady is pressured, he stinks.

He’s terrible outside the pocket and he’s no better than every fourth quarterback in NFL history at throwing the ball downfield.

Which brings us back to Ben Roethlisberger.

He’s not perfect but he’s every bit as good as Brady at dinking and dunking and he’s much better at avoiding the rush and keeping plays alive.

The Broncos defense gave up 300 yards passing twice during the regular season and it was Roethlisberger both times.

Brady threw 56 passes in the AFC Championship game and completed 27 of them.

He was intercepted three times if you count the two point conversion attempt that was picked off.

Kordell Stewart is still blamed for the Steelers losses in the 1997 and 2001 AFC Championship games because of his three interceptions in each.

The defenses he played against may have had something to do with those picks just as the Broncos’ had with Brady’s in Denver.

How many passes did Brady attempt against the Broncos that went more than 25 feet beyond the line of scrimmage?

Brady threw a great long pass to his tight end Rob Gronkowski on fourth and 10 that set up the late touchdown, but mostly it was dinks and dunks.

Roethlisberger had issues with interceptions this season, but I don’t think that Tom Brady would be better in the Steelers’ offense and I’m pretty sure Roethlisberger is asked to throw a lot more low percentage passes.

I do think that the Patriots would be just as good with Roethlisberger as their quarterback. Probably better.

Roethlisberger could throw eight-yard slants all day, just like Brady, but he would also be a lot better at avoiding the rush and keeping plays alive.

I don’t think the Steelers would be better with Brady at quarterback.

Brady looked a lot better a week earlier in the Patriots’ win over the Chiefs, than he did in the AFC Championship.

You know how many times the Chiefs touched him?

Once.

The Broncos knew that they had to break up that Patriots’ funky passing rhythm. They sacked Brady four times and hit him 20 times.

That’s the most hits taken by any NFL quarterback this season.

It was a great lesson for all of the people who fall in love with quarterbacks’ won-lost record.

Wins and losses are about so much more than the quarterback.

Peyton Manning gets a W in AFC Championship game and Brady gets an L, but Manning’s kicker didn’t miss an extra point.

Tom Brady is a great quarterback.

He may be the greatest dink and dunk quarterback of all time but he wasn’t the best quarterback in the league this season and he won’t be next season.

And he’s not better than Ben Roethlisberger.

cam newtown

SUPER BOWL THOUGHTS

–The consensus among fans and local media seemed to be that the Steelers would have been playing the Patriots in Foxboro Sunday if Antonio Brown had been available against the Broncos on Jan 24.

Maybe. But the Steelers’ defense would not have put as much pressure on Brady and, if they had managed to get to the Super Bowl, the Steelers defense against the Carolina Panthers’ offense and the NFL’s best quarterback, Cam Newton, would not have been a pretty sight.

By the way, I’m not afraid of Cam Newton. This is what he said last week when he was asked why he’s a polarizing figure: “I’m an African-American quarterback. That may scare a lot people. They haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

Not only is that ridiculously bad grammar, it’s ridiculous.

Has Cam noticed that a black man has been elected President of the United States?

Twice?

Some people even consider the U.S. Presidency to be even more important than being a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl.

And what’s so polarizing about Cam Newton?

Where did that stupid question come from?

Is a quarterback’s race still relevant?

Who cares?

Cam Newton was the best quarterback in the NFL this season. His team fell one win short of being undefeated.

He put up ridiculous numbers and, not surprisingly, got a lot of attention.

And he had some fun along the way and came up with a harmless celebration dance. Leave the kid alone. Let him play.

The scary thing is that the Super Bowl media horde hasn’t gotten a hold of him yet.

There are lots and lots of stupid questions to follow.

That’s why I do my best to ignore most of what they say and write.

It’s only Monday and I’m ready for the kickoff.

About The Author

John Steigerwald

TIOPS Columnist

John Steigerwald, a life long Pittsburgher, has been covering PITTSBURGH sports since 1977 as a TV anchor/reporter, columnist radio reporter/commentator and talk show host. He is also the author of one of the best selling local books in Pittburgh history, "Just Watch The Game."

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