Ben Roethlisberger is in his 17th season as the Steelers' quarterback. It's been a long and impressive career for the once kid out of Miami of Ohio. To put it in perspective of how long Roethlisberger has been the signal-caller for the Steelers, he has played in three decades and will have played through five presidential elections.
On Sunday against the Texans, Roethlisberger will make history, as he will play his 221st career game with the Steelers, setting a new record for the most games ever in franchise history and passing Hall of Fame center Mike Webster at 220 games. It's an honor that Roethlisberger doesn't take for granted.
"I attribute it to Jesus and just really being blessed," Roethlisberger said of his long career. "I am so thankful to be in the black and gold 17 years later. Almost half my life, I've been here giving Steelers fans everything I have. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I wouldn't want to do it for any other team or any other fans.
"I've been blessed to be around a lot of great football players and talent and teammates. I did take a lot of beating early on. A lot of that was my fault. God made me a bigger man than most quarterbacks, so I think I can take it and I'm just enjoying playing this game."
When Cam Heyward was asked by the media about Roethlisberger making his 221st appearance in a Steelers uniform, Heyward joked, "Was Ben with the Steel Curtain? It seems like he's been playing forever. It's a testament to what he's done."
Heyward also talked about the great amount of durability it takes to play 17 years like Roethlisberger and how there are only so many players that can play that long.
You don't just get there by playing those games, you have to be worthy of that record," Heyward said about Roethlisberger. "I think you got to win at an all-time high level, you got to have a great amount of durability. To take the hits at quarterback in this league, you see a lot of guys drop in and drop out. I know he's coming off a big injury and now he's playing at a high level again. To keep doing it and be consistent in that approach, it's uncanny. There's only about 10 or so guys that are able to do it that long."