Strictly as a player, however, Roethlisberger hasn't gotten the respect he deserves. There are many theories for that. He's a lumbering (but effective) runner. He frequently holds on to the ball too long. He plays for a franchise traditionally known for its defense and power-running game.
"Bottom line, if you ask football people, they're going to put Ben Roethlisberger up there with [Manning and Brady] almost unanimously," said Bill Polian, Colts president. "No one would leave him out. And others who have made the Pro Bowl, for example, wouldn't even get consideration if you took a poll of all 32 general managers."
It's worth noting that Ben Roethlisberger has never won a league MVP while Manning and Brady have (soon-to-be) six MVPs between them. It's also worth noting that when the Steelers have had a defense unable to get teams off the field (as they did in 2006 and 2009), Roethlisberger has been unable to guide the Steelers to the post-season.