NFL

Why Does Ben Roethlisberger Wear No. 7?

Ben Roethlisberger has always been attached to No. 7. He’s worn it every season during his 17 years as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He wore it when he was playing college football at Miami of Ohio. What’s with the number that’s always attached to Big Ben?

Ben Roethlisberger bouncing back from injury

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Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered their first loss of the season in Week 13 this season. After beginning the season 11-0, the Steelers were shocked at home by the Washington Football Team this week. The Steelers, however, are still tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the best record in the NFL.

The Steelers were revived this season after Roethlisberger returned from a season-ending elbow injury. Last year, Roethlisberger saw his season come to an end in Week 2. The Steelers bounced between quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges and finished the season at 8-8. Roethlisberger’s return this season has the offense in gear again.

Roethlisberger has thrown 27 touchdowns against seven interceptions through 12 games this year. He’s on pace to break his career-high for touchdown passes (34) that he set in 2018. He’s completed 66.9% of his passes.

Roethlisberger has had a Hall-of-Fame career

Ben Roethlisberger had an outstanding college career, playing quarterback for three years at Miami of Ohio. In his junior year, Roethlisberger threw for 4,486 yards and finished with 37 touchdown passes. He entered the 2004 NFL draft after his junior season and was the 11th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It didn’t take Big Ben too long to adjust to life in the NFL. He started 13 of the 14 games he played in 2004 and went 13-0, guiding the Steelers to a 15-1 regular-season record. Pittsburgh lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC title game. Roethlisberger, however, does have two Super Bowl rings.

Roethlisberger has been named to the Pro Bowl six times, including four straight seasons (2014-17). Twice, he’s led the league in passing yardage. In 2018, he collected a career-high 5,129 passing yards. For his NFL career, Roethlisberger has compiled a record of 168-80-1, playoffs included.

Big Ben explains why he wears No. 7

Before a November in Denver game in 2018, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger heard John Elway’s name mentioned in conversation during a media chat. Elway was the strong-armed quarterback of the Denver Broncos in the 1980s and 90s. When Elway’s name came up, Roethlisberger chimed in.

“That is why I wear 7,” said Roethlisberger, according to Steelers.com. “Because of him. A hero of mine growing up.” Elway is now the President of Football Operations and GM for the Broncos. “He knows I wear seven because of him,” said Roethlisberger. “To me it’s the same, I talk about those four quarterbacks, (Joe) Montana, (Dan) Marino, Elway and (Jim) Kelly, those four guys I was lucky to grow up watching them.”

Roethlisberger said he molded his game after Elway, but wishes he had Elway’s arm strength. “I joked that he could throw a ball through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet,” he said. “He has such a big arm. Not really a runner, but would run. That’s kind of been my game. I am not a running quarterback, but you aren’t afraid to run and get the yards when you need to. Those kinds of things I molded my game after. I wish my arm was as strong as his.”