‘Prime and ready to play great football,’ don’t be shocked if Ben Roethlisberger leads the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl XLVIII

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Ben Roethlisberger is vital to Pittsburgh’s success.

Plagued by arm, shoulder and rib injuries throughout the 2012 season, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now feels “great” and is actively participating in workouts.

“I feel like I’m in my prime and ready to play great football,” said Roethlisberger, 31, who the Steelers (8-8) took 11th overall out of Miami University in the 2004 NFL Draft.

“Big Ben,” who tossed 26 scores, against a mere eight picks, for 3,265 yards in 13 games, is an instinctual signal-caller who thrives by scrambling, creating and extending plays.

The 6-foot-5, 241 pound Roethlisberger, a two-time Pro Bowl selection who has helped guide the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships since earning the 2004 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, is as important to Pittsburgh as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning are to their respective teams.

Hence, considering their surefire future Hall of Famer was wounded and missed invaluable action, it’s not coincidental the Steelers uncharacteristically struggled on the gridiron last autumn.

Roethlisberger, long criticized, ridiculed and punished for his boorish behavior and actions away from the field, seems to have matured as a man and is poised to revitalize Pittsburgh’s offensive attack.

“Prime and ready to play great football,” Ben Roethlisberger makes the Pittsburgh Steelers as viable a contender as any to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVIII next February in the swamps of Jersey.

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