Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger has leapt to the defence of Tom Brady, suggesting that the New England Patriots quarterback is still the best in the business, reports NFL.com.

The 36-year-old might be on course for his worst statistical season in 12 years, but still deserves credit for keeping the Patriots atop the AFC East in 2013.

Brady won three Superbowl titles during his first four seasons as a starter with the Boston-based franchise, though the last of those came in the 2004 campaign.

Despite his lack of success over the past nine years, Roethlisberger retains huge respect for Brady, and praised the quarterback for his continued influence.

"To me, he's the best quarterback in the league and he's done it for a long time," he said on KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. "That's no disrespect to some of these other guys that are doing some amazing things in the NFL right now.

"But to me, it's about wins and championships - and he's got more championships than anybody."

Roethlisberger added: "For the first how many weeks of the season he was playing with receivers that nobody had ever really heard of, so you've got to give him credit for getting his team to 6-2.

"He's got great vision, he's got big arm strength, a great understanding of offense and defense."

Like Brady, Roethlisberger has endured a modest start to the 2013 campaign with the Steelers currently bottom of the AFC North with 2-5.

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