Adam Schefter often answers reader questions in his blog. Query of your own? Submit it here.
Q: If Roethlisberger wins Super Bowl XLV, giving him three championships already, is he a lock for the Hall of Fame?
-- Patrick (La.)
A: Think so, Patrick. It would be hard to deny him at that point. Of course (as Francis from Philadelphia points out below) Roethlisberger has not been flawless in some of those games. But Pittsburgh would not be winning with the frequency it has without him. And, as long as we're discussing Roethlisberger, to me the greatest play he ever made was the shoestring tackle on Indianapolis Colts cornerback Nick Harper in a divisional playoff game that helped propel Pittsburgh on to the AFC Championship Game in Denver and then Super Bowl XL. If Roethlisberger doesn't make that tackle, the Steelers don't even advance to the Super Bowl against Seattle, in which Roethlisberger did not play particularly well. But now he's knocking on the door of football history.
Q: I know that Ben Roethlisberger is 10-2 as a playoff starter, but how much credit does he really deserve? The Pittsburgh Steelers went 3-1 without him during the regular season and they basically won Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks despite him.
-- Francis (Philadelphia)
A: Fair points on your part, Francis. But Pittsburgh doesn't win Super Bowl XLIII against Arizona without Roethlisberger. It doesn't win many of the games this season without him. It probably doesn't beat Baltimore without Roethlisberger. What he has demonstrated is that he is a quarterback with a rare skill set. He bounces off would-be tacklers and is able to throw downfield with accuracy, much like John Elway once did. His game does have some of the warts that you mention. But Roethlisberger has been the most successful quarterback from a draft class that also included Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Some don't like him. But any team would want him.
Q: The Steelers' defense is (if it isn't already) on the verge of getting old with many of its key starters already over age 30. After this season, how long do you think this defense can remain at an elite level?
-- Gregory (Pa.)
A: As long as this defense has safety Troy Polamalu and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, something tells me it always will be a strong, tough unit, Greg. But think about it: People have been asking this question since the days of the Steel Curtain. Once those great players went away, new ones stepped in. Then more great players. And somehow, this organization has done a great job of finding defensive difference-makers, from Rod Woodson to Kevin Greene to Greg Lloyd to Levon Kirkland to Chad Brown to James Harrison to LaMarr Woodley and so on. It just doesn't seem to stop with the Steelers, does it? Great job of scouting and coaching. Not an accident.
Q: The Steelers' offense has struggled this postseason (second half vs. New York Jets, first half vs. Baltimore Ravens) and many of its points have come off of short fields after turnovers. Why do you think the offense is having trouble?
-- Lee (Miami)
A: Lee, it took three Ravens turnovers for the Steelers to beat Baltimore. It helped that the Jets spotted them the 24-0 lead they did. But that's what the Steelers do. They find ways to beat their opponent, be it through turnovers or key third-down plays. And they believe they're going to find the way to beat the Packers, even if the offense isn't humming the way Green Bay's has at various points this postseason.
Q: How do you think the Steelers will try to slow down Aaron Rodgers? Do you think they will be successful, especially indoors on a fast track? I know the Steelers' D is better than the Atlanta Falcons' D, but that Green Bay offense looked unstoppable on turf against Atlanta.
-- Tyra (Kan.)
A: It did, Tyra. It was the most impressive performance of any unit so far this postseason. But Pittsburgh is capable of bringing pressure from all angles. It is capable of rerouting receivers to the shallow middle part of the field. It is capable of doing things many other defenses cannot. Remember, the Steelers had the NFL's No. 1-rated scoring defense, just ahead of Green Bay's, which ranked No. 2. If anyone can, LeBeau can come up with a game plan to slow the Packers' attack. It won't be easy, but Pittsburgh is up to it.