Daily Archives: January 28, 2012

Ben Roethlisberger Deserves to Know Where the Steelers Offense is Headed

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws a pass as the AFC squad practices Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu for Sunday's NFL football Pro Bowl. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

With the departure of Bruce Arians as Steelers offensive coordinator last week, it was only a matter of time before Ben Roethlisberger shared his feelings on the matter. Not surprisingly, Big Ben wasn’t exactly happy about Arians’ exit, and he has stated that he wants to have a heart-to-heart with team President Art Rooney II to get a feel for what the boss wants, and where the owner sees the offense heading in the future.

What Big Ben said is not sitting well with many in Steeler Nation. I can’t say that I’m surprised. Even before Roethlisberger weighed in with his thoughts, many Steelers fans were hoping he would keep his mouth shut about Arians’ dismissal and just accept that his offensive coordinator was gone.

There are many who want Roethlisberger to just keep quiet, period, as if the title of franchise quarterback wields no power whatsoever. Well, nothing can be further from the truth, especially when it’s a quarterback who has accomplished as much as No. 7 has in his first eight seasons.

Roethlisberger is 80-33 in his career as a starter and 10-4 in postseason games–including a 2-1 record in three trips to the Super Bowl. I’d say he’s earned the right to voice his opinions and deserves to know what direction his bosses will want him to steer the ship in the immediate future.

You might say that other players like Troy Polamalu and James Farrior have earned the right to have an equal say, and to a point they do, but make no mistake, when you’re an elite quarterback in the NFL, you have the most clout. In addition to those stats I just rattled off, there are 100 million other reasons why Ben Roethlisberger is more than just “one of the guys.”

If I were the Rooney family, the front office, and Coach Tomlin, I’d want my starting quarterback to have the guts to voice his opinion.You want him to be the leader. Should he have gone through the proper chain of command and knocked on Tomlin’s door first? Who’s to say he didn’t? Regardless of whether or not he kept his mouth shut, Roethlisberger was going to have that sit-down with Rooney, and sooner or later, it was going to come out. And I can almost guarantee you the reaction would have been the same: “Who does he think he is?”

I’ll tell you who he is. He’s a quarterback who is in the same class as players named Brady, Manning and Rodgers, and regardless of where he is in the pecking-order, he’s part of an exclusive club, and every single one of those guys has power within their organization, and their opinion matters to their bosses.

Roethlisberger should be no different.

Some people think that Big Ben should be kept in the dark about the direction of the offense, that he should have no input at all. I don’t agree with that sentiment. The franchise quarterback should absolutely be part of the brain-trust in finding the next coordinator and shaping the type of offense the Steelers are going to run.

I can’t believe anyone would want it any other way.

You don’t think Tom Brady has an influence on the Patriots offense? What about Drew Brees or Eli Manning? Of course they do.

There are also some that feel that Roethlisberger would benefit from having an offensive coordinator that he couldn’t be close with. In-fact, people have said that a coach who is more a of disciplinarian is what Roethlsiberger needs. Maybe if he was 22 or 23 and right out of college, but Big Ben will be 30 years old the next time he throws a football in a meaningful game, and he’s earned the right to have a coach that he can be comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be someone that he takes to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, but he doesn’t need someone getting in his face at every turn. In my opinion, that would be counter-productive.

Dick Lebeau is one of the best defensive coordinators who ever coached in the NFL–he owns a yellow jacket that proves that much–but he’s also one of the most beloved by his players. Coach Dad has proven that a coordinator can treat his charges with respect and still get them to play up to their highest potential.

Finally, a successful quarterback is like a star of a television show. Is he technically the boss? No, but there would be no show without the big star, and if you bring in a new director, the star and the director need to be able to work together in-order to get the best out of the character.

Regardless of what you think of him, Ben Roethlsiberger was the single-most important ingredient in the team’s recent Super Bowl success. Moving forward, he’ll continue to be the most important ingredient in the organization’s quest for future championships.

I think his opinion should count for something.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Brady lauds Giants’ Manning

Less than a few hundred feet from where he works his magic on the field, Tom Brady was behind a lectern Thursday, marveling at the gifts of another quarterback. As he watched the NFC championship game Sunday night between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, Brady said he could not help but take note of Eli Manning’s poise under pressure.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

Colts Hire Bruce Arians for Open Offensive Coordinator Position


In what could be the shortest retirement in history, Bruce Arians reportedly accepted an offer to be the Colts offensive coordinator just eight days after he left the Steelers.

The Steelers claim Arians retired, but Arians says he was not offered a contract for the 2012 season.

Arians was hired by new Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was Baltimore’s defensive coordinator last season. Pagano must have seen something he liked in Arians, despite the Ravens holding the Steelers to 27 points in two games.

Pagano and Arians are two of the latest new hires in the complete overhaul of the Colts organization. Longtime president Bill Polian was fired earlier this offseason, leading to something of a rift between cornerstone player Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay. Reports came out this morning the two have spoken and have cleared the air.

The question is who will be Arians’ quarterback. All signs indicate the Colts will draft Stanford phenom Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. The Colts owe Manning a bonus of $ 28 million in March, and speculation exists that Manning may be released.

If he isn’t, the Colts will tie up a significant amount of money in their quarterback position, but it may be unavoidable. Even with a healthy Manning, his absence in 2011 exposed the Colts as a very shallow team, talent-wise, and they may not be able to compete next season anyway.

As the Colts continue to overhaul their front office, the roster will be next. They may decide to gut their roster in a rebuilding fashion, which would suggest starting Luck.

In that case, Arians will have perhaps the most important coordinator position in the league. Success in developing Luck quickly into a high-level quarterback could keep him in mind for a head coaching position in a year or two.

This off-season saw many open positions go to relative surprise candidates, like Pagano, and Greg Schiano, who was announced as Tampa Bay’s head coach this week. Miami hired Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin as its head coach as well.

Arians was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator since Ken Whisenhunt was hired as Arizona’s head coach in 2007. He called plays in two Super Bowls, winning one. Known as a quarterback-friendly coach, Arians led Pittsburgh’s quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, to two Pro Bowls (2007 and 2011), and developed emerging WRs Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown into Pro Bowl level performers as well.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Mark Malone Discusses Steelers’ Offensive Coordinator Drama

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Former Steelers quarterback Mark Malone joined Bob Pompeani and Ron Cook on “The Bob Pompeani Show” on SportsRadio 93-7 The Fan Saturday morning.

Most of the discussion was about the Steelers offense and how it will react after the departure of Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator.

Art Rooney II stated that Ben Roethlisberger will have to “tweak” his game to take less sacks. In the past, Mr. Rooney said the that Steelers were becoming too pass-oriented. Malone thinks that it is certainly an advantage to be able to throw the football, but you don’t want to do that and sacrifice a run game completely.

Malone calls the relationship between a quarterback and offensive coordinator “extremely important.” And, whoever succeeds Arians, he will have to have a good relationship with Ben.

For the entire interview, click below:

Filed under: Football, Heard on The Fan, Sports, Sports Talk Shows, Steelers Tagged: Art Rooney II, Ben Roethlisberger, Bob Pompeani, Bruce Arians, Mark Malone, NFL, offense, Offensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ron Cook, Super Bowl

Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers

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Big Ben needs to stop talking ****

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So Ben Roethlisberger is out in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and he brought Bruce Arians, who used to be his offensive coordinator up until he “retired” last week, with him. It’s no secret that Big Ben loved having Arians as his OC so everyone expected Ben to be a little bummed after Brucey came out and said the Steelers “forced” him to retire.
That’s cool. Your friend lost his job and you guys can’t work together anymore – that’s pretty sucky. But this is the NFL, that kind of **** happens so for Big Ben to be going all high school cheerleader on Art Rooney II because his buddy lost his job, is a little extreme.
While Ben was being interviewed by the Trib out in Hawaii, they brought up the Arians situation. Ben responded, “When I get back I’m going to go up to Mr. Rooney’s office and ask him what he wants from me, what he wants from this offense, because I think that’s a viable question for him.”
We’re not in Hawaii so the quote could’ve been taken out of context, and we want to give Ben the benefit of the doubt, but that’s kind of a dick move if that’s his plan. I’m pretty sure what Ary II wants is for the Steelers not to finish next year ranked 21st in scoring offense like they did this year.
Ben then went on to say, “He’s our owner and our boss, so I really would like to know kind of what he wants and where he sees our offense going because I’d like to tell him where I see us going.”
Ben. Noooooo. That’s like walking up to your manager at Walmart and telling him, “We’re not rolling back prices anymore because I’m one hell of a checkout guy. And while you’re at it, I’m getting a raise.” You just don’t do that…and keep your job.
What happens if Ben does give Art II a piece of his mind and the two start butting heads. The last thing the Steelers need is an Irsay/Peyton situation, especially since the Steelers, as Ben put it, “are really close to being an elite offense.”

Let’s be honest, Brucey being here one more year wasn’t going to be the reason the Steelers moved into elite status. The fact that Mike Wallace is now an elite receiver; the fact that Antoino Brown is on his way to getting there; and the fact that if Rashard Mendenhall gets healthy, the Steelers will have two legit running backs; and a healthy-er offensive line is why the Steelers’ offense will be better next year.
The fact that Ben had been showing huge maturation over the past year and half was another big reason the Steelers’ offense has been improving. But if he goes through with this whole hissy fit, that could change…real fast.
The offense revolves around Big Ben. Ever since he found his NFL footing it has, and as long as he’s in the Burgh it will. He should know that. The Rooneys have always been about tradition and winning, and they seem to know when it’s time to say goodbye to certain assets…they’re not exactly popping any cherries with Brucey here. Ben may not like it but it’s what’s best for the team, and if he’s matured as much as he’s said he has then he’ll realize that what’s best for the Steelers is what’s best for Big Ben.
Ben is just pissed about Arians leaving because he pretty much called the shots on offense. He was allowed to take shots and take chances, and he loved that he could run the no-huddle at times. I think he’s afraid that whoever comes in to replace Arians, is going to shut down Ben’s improvisational skills, but if he’s a half decent coach, he won’t.
Ben even acknowledged that Brucey was ready to move on. And Ben’s the sole reason Brucey has been brought back the last two years; he campaigned to keep Arians after the ’09 season and against his better judgement, he talked him out of retirement last year. Like Art II said, it’s time for a change.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers’ Casey Hampton to have ACL surgery

On the same day the Steelers lost one nose tackle to retirement, it was learned they will lose another to major knee surgery. Nose tackle Casey Hampton said he will have surgery today to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury that happened in the season-ending playoff loss in Denver.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

Giants linebacker Kiwanuka heads home for Super Bowl

New York Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka is well positioned for this Super Bowl. Kiwanuka starred at Boston College in the heart of New England Patriots territory, played his entire career in the shadow of New York and will get the chance to go home to Indianapolis to finally play in the NFL’s biggest game.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

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Gronkowski misses 2nd workout in row

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Rob Gronkowski’s playing status for the Super Bowl was listed as questionable Friday after the star tight end missed the New England Patriots practice for the second day in a row with an injured left ankle. Twelve other players also were listed as questionable but participated in practice on a limited basis.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

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Banaszak to take over at RMU in 2014

Former Steelers defensive lineman John Banaszak, who played from 1975-81 and was a member of four Super Bowl teams, was named the head football coach-in-waiting to replace Joe Walton at Robert Morr…

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

Roethlisberger Ticked at the Way Arians Situation Was Handled

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In just reading the comments from Steelers franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger, it sounds like he’s not all that happy with the teams dismissal of his friend and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

Roethlisberger wants answers, and says he will look for and try to talk to team president Art Rooney II when he returns to Pittsburgh. Big Ben is currently in Hawaii getting ready for the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

“When I get back I’m going to go up to Mr. Rooney’s office and ask him what he wants from me, what he wants from this offense, because I think that’s a viable question for him,” Roethlisberger said Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Tribune-Review following a light Pro Bowl practice. “He’s our owner and our boss, so I really would like to know kind of what he wants and where he sees our offense going because I’d like to tell him where I see us going.”

Arians and Roethlisberger were good pals on and off the field. The QB took Arians and his wife to Hawaii as a thank you gift for helping him reach the next level and make the Pro Bowl.

Instead of a fun trip, it will be more of a ‘good-bye’ with the OC not coming back after he did not have his contract renewed. Roethlisberger says the offense was making big strides with the more pass happy style.

“We feel like we are really close to being an elite offense,” said Roethlisberger. “For your leader to be gone is kind of a shocker for us, but you’ve got to be ready for it, and whatever the Rooneys and coach (Mike) Tomlin decide is our next step. I think the (Steelers’) mind was made up, and B.A. was kind of ready to move on as well.”

The Steelers finished 12th in the NFL in total offense, averaging 372.3 yards per game this past season. They tied for 21st in scoring (20.3 points per game).

Rooney also said during an interview this week on the Steelers official site that the offense needs to have less sacks, and that Roethlisberger needs to “tweak” his game.

“From what I understood from that was, just not get hit to so much,” said Roethlisberger, who was sacked 40 times in 15 regular-season games in 2011. “I think some of that’s on me; some of that’s on linemen. It’s on everybody, so I’ll put it on me and try to make those adjustments.”

Source: Steelers Gab

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