Ben Roethlisberger had season long accomplishments so impressive that he was considered as the greatest rookie quarterback ever by the end of the NFL 2004 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers started the season with one win and won loss, but when starting quarterback Tommy Maddox was injured in the third game of the season, the role of starting quarterback was placed in the hands of Roethlisberger. Many people thought the Steelers season was in trouble once the rookie took over, but Roethlisberger quickly quieted his critics. In an unprecedented streak, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to 14 straight victories and to the AFC Championship game. Unfortunately, the Steelers lost the championship to the favored New England Patriots, but Roethlisberger had cemented himself as one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL.
Roethlisberger should also be recognized for his off-the-field contributions. He donated his entire paycheck from his first playoff game to the tsunami relief effort and he is currently preparing to take a break from his offseason workouts and charity work, and join a small NFL contingent on a trip toAfghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait. The highlight of the March 29-April 7 excursion will be the opening of the Pat Tillman Center, a USO facility in Afghanistan.