All-Pro pass rusher Terrell Suggs had some high praise for Ben Roethlisberger as well as the “Steelers vs. Ravens rivalry” in a recent interview which was posted on Steelers.com. Suggs, who has played against the Steelers since 2003 and Roethlisberger since 2004 had the following things to say about Pittsburgh’s signal-caller:
This guy won two Super Bowl championships, played in three. The guy is a winner. I think I like that he has his own style. He’s not like those other guys [Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers] that you named. He’s Big Ben. You can’t do anything but respect a guy like that and his physical play.
Definitely. We’ve [Suggs and Roethlisberger] had some conversations that haven’t been on TV and have been on the field of play. There’s a tremendous amount of mutual respect there, but I think we know that we’re each other’s opponent, but even opponents can show respect.
It honestly doesn’t surprise me that both Suggs and Roethlisberger have immense amounts of respect for each other.
To a guy like Suggs, Roethlisberger probably doesn’t embody the classic “drop-back, pretty boy, signal-caller” like some of the other players he was asked to compare Pittsburgh’s quarterback to in the interview. Suggs knows full well how difficult it is to bring “Big Ben” down for a loss, and he knows full well that Roethlisberger is still willing to answer the bell for one more round after being pummeled.
Although he might not garner the type of respect around the league which some of his peers do (and they rightfully deserve the praise), nobody can deny the toughness and the types of numbers which Pittsburgh’s quarterback has put up during his nine-plus years at the professional level.
By that same token, the Steelers’ quarterback has seen and experienced first-hand the type of relentless competitor that Suggs has been throughout his career. Besides the fact that he came back to play for the Super Bowl-winning Ravens last year after he sustained an Achilles injury that summer, Suggs has been an absolute monster off of the edge against the Steelers (13.5 career sacks) and the rest of the NFL (91.5 total sacks).
And even though the Ravens have never defeated the Steelers during postseason play, it has not been because of Suggs. In fact, the pass rusher notched a combined 5.0 sacks in Baltimore’s two postseason losses to Pittsburgh after the 2008 and 2010 seasons.
This weekend’s game should prove be yet another physical affair in this heated rivalry, and I am sure that Suggs and Roethlisberger will be crossing paths plenty of times as well.
Both players have won their share of battles against each other, and I for one am interested to see how the upcoming game between the familiar foes unfolds.
Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher