Blog Entry

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 7:27 pm
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have two Super Bowl rings, but even after seven NFL seasons some players remain unconvinced that he's anything more than a glorified game manager. That's the conclusion we're drawing based on Big Ben's recent ranking as the league's 41st best player as voted on by 400 of his peers.

Not everybody feels that way, however. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie took exception and tweeted as much. Responding to ESPN's Skip Bayless, who wrote "Big Ben definitely is in my top 10 NFL players," Cromartie put that Florida State psychology degree to work*:

"@RealSkipBayless same here skip...whoever did the voting is crazy."

Cromartie, who will be a free agent as soon as the lockout ends, has a love-hate relationship with NFL quarterbacks. In January, prior to the AFC Divisional matchup between the Jets and Patriots, he spoke frankly about Our Savior Tom Brady, calling him an "ass----" and offering up a "f--- him" for good measure.

"That's what I think about him," Cromartie said at the time. "I don't really give a damn about him. I don't have to play against him. I play against the receivers."

Despite the blasphemy, the Jets managed to thump the Pats and make it to their second AFC Championship Game in as many years. In the days leading up to the conference finals against the Steelers, Cromartie spoke glowingly of Roethlisberger.

"I love Ben, man," he said. "Ben's a competitor."

We're not sure if the Jedi mind tricks backfired or if Cro was blinded by Big Ben's magnificence (we're thinking it was mostly the former; Roethlisberger completed just 10 of 19 passes for 133 yards and threw two picks in that game), but the Steelers built a 24-3 halftime lead, held on to win by five and made their third Super Bowl trip in five years.

On Tuesday, AFC North blogger James Walker wrote that "[N]o one is laughing this week about Roethlisberger's latest snub. Cromartie certainly doesn't like it, and although Roethlisberger wouldn't admit it, he's probably not happy about it, either."

We suspect that Cromartie is losing more sleep about the lack of paychecks resulting from the lockout than whether Ben's contemporaries think highly enough of his talents. And while Roethlisberger may not be jazzed about it, we're confident that Steelers fans don't much care (we know we don't). At the very least, Big Ben's feelings are at the bottom of the "Things That Concern Fans Most This Offseason" list behind "Resolve labor dispute," "Re-sign Ike Taylor," and "Make sure Mendenhall has a ghost blogger for future posts."

Lists are created for one reason: to encourage debate. But it could be worse for Roethlisberger -- he could be Eli Manning, who isn't expected to be among the top 100 players of 2011. (Seriously? We could understand if this was an all-century team, or even all-decade. But Elisha can't crack the 2011 squad? Yes, we're breaking our own rule about not caring about lists, but this is so ridiculous that even one of the Barber twins has a problem with it.)

If nothing else, we've enjoyed Bayless and Cromartie leading the PR crusade on Roethlisberger's behalf. That's a reality show waiting to happen.

* We have no idea what Cromartie majored in at FSU.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 5:41 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 28, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:44 am

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

Who gives a crap what someone ranks him. I don't care if he was ranked 99 as long as he keeps taking us to Super Bowls that is all that matters at the end of the day. 3 Super Bowls in last 6 years. Where does that rank? And if it was just about defense, ask the Jets and Ravens how that worked out for them. End of Story

Since: Oct 28, 2008
Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:38 am

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

Ben is not a leader on the field? REALLY? I bet those same players who talk about him wish they had a QB who is as tough and competitive and makes plays when in counts like Ben. 3 Super Bowls in last 6 years not just because of defense. Ask the Jets and Ravens defense how that is working for them. More than half the teams would love to have him. Let everyone keep doing player rankings and Ben will keep going to Super Bowls.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2011 9:24 am

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

I agree. 41 is a good placement for Ben based on what he has been able to accomplish. I think he is considered a top 10 QB in the league (8 or 9) but he is a QB that has also been surrounded by decent, (some) top-quality teams.

I say this not to put him down but as anyone who plays fantasy football knows it has always been debatable if you would start Ben or not. His numbers have never been through the roof and sometimes you never know what you will get.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:42 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

I'm a Steeler fan and I don't see the beef, I think being named #41 should be considered an honor. I mean there are 32 teams and 53 guys on each squad, being ranked 41 is pretty damn good, especially when he probably isn't even in the top 3 on his own team. Big Ben is a good QB who has performed in the clutch a lot, but he also has some clear flaws and doesn't deserve to be in th top 3 QBs in the league, he is somewhere between 5 and 7.

Since: May 2, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:17 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

big ben should be #1......a----hole

Since: May 2, 2011
Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:15 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

big ben should be #1......a-hole

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:51 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

Ryan Wilson would not have wrote this if he wasn't upset. Just like Steeler fans would not have written the whiney posts and threads afterwords. No one is thinking Ben Roethlisberger is a game manager, they have just seen the team fail when deviating from it's proven winning formula of pound them with the run game, and hit them hard on defense.

The truth of the matter is that the players that voted see Ben Roethlisberger for what he is. A guy that is hard to bring down, holds the ball too long for better or worse, and still struggles to read defense.

When knowledgeable fans and especially players look at the QB position, they look for someone that can lead a team, and that should be the smartest player in the huddle.

Ben is not that kind of player.

Steeler fans can whine and cry about it all they like, but it won't change the fact that in the NFL he is not regarded as a great QB.

He is actually considered a better player than QB.

Steeler fans should just pray that Mike Tomlin doesn't ever trying to "unleash hell with their pass first offense again."

That hasn't worked out well the two seasons they put the offense in Ben's hands.

And Eli Manning definately doesn't belong on a list of the best players. He is an even greater example of a player riding the coattails of a great defense than ol' Big Ben.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 8, 2011 7:28 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

I think Ben is a much better player than 41, but as a human being, he is not even ranked.  Ben does everything right, plays hard, is a winner.  Off the field, I do not need to tell you that makes many people upset and the 400 or so who voted told him this.  41 is probably about right here.  As for the Crow and Skippers, birds of a feather stink together and they do both stink

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: June 8, 2011 6:54 pm

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

I am no fan of Big Ben the person, but as a football player, he is definitely should be ranked higher than 41.  Everyone talks about this as a QB league, and then they rank this guy #41.  But then again, this ranking is from the players, and I have called them idiots as a group multiple times, so I guess I am not surprised. 

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