Saturday, January 22, 2022

Bill Cowher praises Ben Roethlisberger on ManningCast: ‘He just represents what a Steeler is’

Jeremy Brevard, Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Cowher was fittingly the first guest on Peyton and Eli Manning’s special “Monday Night Football” broadcast to close Week 17, with Ben Roethlisberger making potentially the last home start of his career. And the former Steelers coach had nothing but high praise for his former quarterback, telling the Manning brothers that Roethlisberger “just represents what a Steeler is.”

“The grit, the determination,” Cowher explained. “Just watching him grow … we were able to accomplish a lot.”

Cowher, of course, won Super Bowl XL in 2005 with Roethlisberger under center, and also oversaw Big Ben’s Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign the season prior. More than 15 years later, the CBS Sports analyst and 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee said he still keeps in touch with Roethlisberger, even offering some advice ahead of Monday’s game against the Browns.

“I texted with Ben this afternoon,” Cowher said. “I told him, ‘Embrace the evening.””

Because of Roethlisberger’s penchant for late-game heroics, including countless fourth-quarter comebacks over the course of his career, Cowher added that he also joked with Big Ben about taking a different approach in Monday’s AFC North contest.

“How about this novel idea? How about (pretend) the first quarter is the fourth quarter, and then you play three overtimes?” Cowher said he told Roethlisberger. “Just come out there, have fun, stay in the Shotgun.”

Roethlisberger, 39, hasn’t officially said 2021 will be his final NFL season, but he hinted this week that “all signs” point to Monday’s Week 17 showdown being his last start at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

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