Big Ben helping Steelers pass the test

The Steelers entered the season in search of a new identity. After Sunday’s 27-14 victory over the Browns — the Steelers’ 12th in a row over their AFC North rivals — the path has been clearly defined.

Ben Roethlisberger entered the game with the league’s highest pass-completion percentage (73.8) and didn’t disappoint. Like so many other games this season, the Steelers came out throwing and closed things out on the ground.

“Our game is tailored to the talents of No.7,” Mike Tomlin said after Roethlisberger went 23 of 35 for 417 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. “We are comfortable putting the game in his hands. His high completion percentage is our form of ball control.”

After winning two Super Bowls in his first five years in the NFL, Roethlisberger is still searching for improvement.

“He has become a veteran quarterback who never rests,” Tomlin said. “His better days are ahead of him.”

Roethlisberger had one of those better days against the Browns. He led the Steelers to 543 yards in total offense. According to Tomlin, Roethlisberger completed every pass during Thursday’s practice.

“The ball never hit the ground,” Tomlin said.

Roethlisberger said he has improved because this is the first time he has been healthy enough to take every snap from minicamps, training camp, preseason and throughout the regular season.

“The ball feels real good coming off my hand right now,” Roethlisberger said.

The Steelers have always been known as a team to run first and pass second. However, with a young Rashard Mendenhall and an aging Willie Parker in the backfield, Pittsburgh has reluctantly embraced its new way of winning games.

A pass-first offense help put together the winning drive for the franchise’s sixth Super Bowl title. That same formula has carried over into this season to give the Steelers a new identity, but the mantra remains the same: “In Ben We Trust.” And Roethlisberger already has proven that he can be trusted to lead the Steelers to the top.

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