FORT WORTH -- Kurt Warner would like to see the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger carry a team for a full season, not just in key moments, before considering Roethlisberger for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
RoethlisbergerLike every other player, Roethlisberger must wait five years past retirement before becoming eligible for enshrinement. It's still fun to discuss whether or not a player appears headed for the Hall, a subject ESPN.com's James Walker explored when he asked whether or not a third Super Bowl title would send Roethlisberger on his way.
I was among the the Hall of Fame voters polled for the item. Roethlisberger has been impressive so far, I noted, but it's too early to pass definitive judgment.
Warner made good points Thursday during an interview with Sports 620 KTAR radio in Phoenix. Among them:
"I'm just waiting to see Ben as the guy that carries his team at some point in time. The fortunate thing for him is he hasn't had to do that. He carries them in the last two minutes. He makes some key plays. (He's) phenomenal out of the pocket and ad-libbing. But for me, if you go to the Hall of Fame, you have to be a guy who can carry your team week in and week out as a quarterback. That's my opinion."
Warner has done that, of course, and that could add a self-serving element to his comments. It's not like Roethlisberger has declared himself a future Hall of Famer. Warner is right, I think, when he says there can be an overemphasis on team success. The Steelers won Super Bowl XL in spite of Roethlisberger more than because of him. But after Warner's scoring pass gave Arizona a late lead against Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl two years ago, Roethlisberger answered with the winning touchdown pass.