Bruce Arians, who compares Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger, didn’t end well for the Steelers quarterback.
The differences between the greats and the goods of all time are often small and almost always mental.
Take, for example, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians’ recent assessment of quarterbacks he coached like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning for the Indianapolis Colts and Ben Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Here’s the thing about the praise. Sometimes it’s a zero-sum game. In this case, Brady and Manning are the winners at Roethlisberger’s expense.
Bruce Arians’ praise for Tom Brady brought Ben Roethlisberger to a standstill
To be fair, there are worse things than not being able to match Brady and Manning’s prep flair. The vast majority of quarterbacks can’t. As for Roethlisberger, it is a minor thing and certainly not one that is done with bad faith.
In addition, Roethlisberger was much younger when Arians trained him than Manning or Brady. A bigger hug from “that stuff” could have happened in the years since he left the Steelers. Arians would not be very familiar with this inner growth.
Still, it says something about the nature of greatness. A quarterback can play at a high level and win many games, but the best of the best are cut from a different cloth.
Brady and Manning are where they are in the pantheon of the NFL quarterbacks because they have maximized their preparation and done it consistently.
Roethlisberger has arrived where he is on a different path. That path led him to two Super Bowl wins, so it definitely worked for him. However, he’s not at that top level.
In any case, Roethlisberger could have more in the tank. He brought the Steelers to 12-3 in 2020 with 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns in his 15 games. This isn’t a Brady level, but it’s a solid production for an injured player.