Just before the 2016 NFL Draft, Carson Wentz joined Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a workout and dinner. The two share the same agent, which led to the friendly meeting. It allowed them to discuss life and interests outside of the football field.
At the time, the veteran quarterback was sure he'd end up competing against Wentz as a member of the Browns, but instead he's now preparing to see the Eagles' rookie in Week 3 of the regular season.
"Smart. Understands the game. Physically gifted, both in his legs and his arm. Can make all the throws," Roethlisberger said of Wentz. "I was really surprised. I thought I was going to be facing him two times a year in Cleveland."
To this point, Wentz has impressed the masses and even Roethlisberger admits the rookie has performed well in the opening two games.
More importantly though, the Pittsburgh quarterback sees Wentz has taken the advice he gave months ago to heart. Having gone through the ups and downs this league can bring, he was happy to share his secrets to success with the newcomer.
Week 3 features the Battle of PA between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. Get to know some of the key players on the Steelers roster that the Eagles will have to contain.
"We talked a lot, but I think the thing that was most important that I try to relay to young quarterbacks is don't try and do too much," Roethlisberger said. "Let the game come to you. Let the flow of the game, let the team, everything just kind of let it flow to you and don't try to do too much. I think he's doing that right now awesomely."
Due to their similar stature, small-school background and playmaking abilities, the comparisons between Wentz and Roethlisberger have already begun pouring in.
For the Eagle, it's a major compliment, but one that he doesn't feel can be made so early in his career. The rookie has watched Roethlisberger for years, admiring the unique playing style, and tries to take a similar approach to his own game.
"Watching Big Ben has always been fun," Wentz said. "I've always found it intriguing the way that guy plays the game differently than a lot of guys and he's fun to watch. That guy can make some really big plays and it's pretty impressive."
Wentz also enjoys studying the way the Steeler extends plays and thinks on the fly. It's an aspect the rookie also has in his game, and one that will only continue to develop as he gains more experience at the NFL level.
"I think that he's a guy that when in trouble he uses his legs to get out of trouble. I think you see some of that," Roethlisberger explained. "You see some of that athleticism coming from him. Obviously, he's a lot younger than I am, but like I said, he's played two games. He's got a long way to go, but he's on the right track."
Through the first two weeks of the season, Roethlisberger and Wentz have both posted big numbers with quarterback ratings of 95.5 and 94.1, respectively. Both will look to do the same this Sunday when they meet again in the Battle of Pennsylvania.