The NFL quarterback most often mentioned when observers search for a shorthand description of Blake Bortles is Ben Roethlisberger. So it shouldn’t be a surprise which of the top QB prospects in the draft that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback prefers.
“I talked to Blake, and I know Blake has that fiery chip,” Roethlisberger said on his radio show, reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I think he's going to be the best one of the group because I see something in him, his competitiveness, his leadership. And I think he's got a lot of upside.”
Part of Bortles’ upside is that, at 6 feet 5, 232 pounds, the former Central Florida star is about the same size as Roethlisberger. But then there is Johnny Manziel, who is just under 6 feet and about 30 pounds lighter. So Big Ben expressed concern about how Not-So-Big Johnny would stand up to an NFL pounding. Roethlisberger recalled a recent conversation with Joey Porter, the former linebacker turned Pittsburgh assistant coach.
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“I looked at Joey and said, ‘Joey, do you think if you got a good hit on him, that he would be OK?’ And he said, ‘No, not at all.' And that's my question,” Roethlisberger said. “You have guys like Joey Porter, who's a big guy, guys that are fast like Troy [Polamalu], Ike Taylor coming off the edge, Lawrence Timmons. You'd better be real athletic, get down or be big.”
In any case, whether it’s Bortles or Manziel or any other quarterback coming into the league, the question is how much of an enduring impact he can make, especially when going against the likes of Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
“When I get asked about RG3, Andrew Luck or whoever it is, Cam Newton. It's not about your first year, it's about years 2, 3 and 4. Can you sustain it when defenses, like Coach LeBeau and the defenses he coaches, when they figure you out, can you find a way to stay a step above them?”
H/T Pro Football Talk