Hard Hat Award (Game #5, @ Jax)
Stillers QB Benji Roethlisberger is the winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
BenRoth was coming off a short week after taking his weekly pounding back in the pocket on MNF versus the rugged Ravens. In pain due to a shoulder injury, Ben was unable to throw anything more than baby lobs late in the week. On game day, he had a pain injection and went for broke. Broke he did, as he broke the Jaguar defense and the hearts of the Jaguar faithful with a gutty, never-say-die effort in which he willed the team to a come-from-behind victory over the Jaguars, 26-21.
To be sure, the evening was no picnic for BenRoth. On the game first series, his WR (Holmes) slipped and stumbled on a curl route, and the pass was picked off a returned for a TD. Undaunted, Ben quickly led the offense to a tying TD, and then hit Nate with a perfect strike on a deep route for the lead. Late in the 4Q, Ben engineered the winning drive, making 2 tremendous plays on that drive --
- 1st play of drive - Ben eluded rush, then hit Ward for 16 yards.
- 3d & 8 late in drive - Ben, with 1 defender grabbing him and another zeroing in, threw off balance and somehow hit Ward for 18 yards, in as brave & spectacular a play as you�ll see a QB make all season.
Ben finished with over 300 yards (309), a first since Nov. 2006. With the running back position decimated, the Stillers needed a clutch, prolific performance by Ben, and just like the UPS man, he delivered.
Others receiving consideration from The Committee were Bryant McFadden, Jamie Harrison, Chris Hoke, LeMarr Woodley, Mewelde Moore, and Darnell Stapleton. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansie football leads to defeat.
Kudos to Roethlisberger for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, Ben!
Previous 2008 Hard Hat Winners:
Week 1, vs.
Week 2, @ Clev: Keyaron Fox and Jamie Harrison
Week 3, @ Phil:
Week 4, vs. Balt: Jamie Harrison and LeMarr Woodley