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stlrz d
09-30-2008, 06:38 AM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth


Big Ben yells, then wills his team to victory

September 30, 2008 2:25 AM

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH -- Through one half of football, it was difficult to tell which team had the rookie quarterback and which signal-caller owns a Super Bowl ring.

At that point, last year's 10-win team looked like last year's five-win team, and the former five-win team played like the reigning AFC North champs.

So an angry Ben Roethlisberger went inside the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room at halftime and screamed at his offensive teammates of how tired he was of getting his tail kicked.

By intermission, Pittsburgh went 11 straight quarters without a touchdown, and Roethlisberger was sacked 12 times in the past six quarters. Roethlisberger, somewhat out of character, gave a very loud wakeup call for struggling unit and said he was as emotional and vocal as he's ever been.

The Steelers (3-1) and the offense responded by overcoming a 10-point deficit in the second half to earn a 23-20 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens (2-1) to take sole possession of first place in the division. Pittsburgh scored 20 points in the second half and overtime.

"I was tired of being booed and I was tired of being embarrassed on offense," Roethlisberger said of his halftime outburst. "I told the guys that. There's no need for it. I had to make a statement."

It was a classic battle between these bitter rivals that included a lot of jawing an even more hitting.

There were blows thrown, several penalties for both teams, and two banged-up starting tailbacks.

In fact, Steelers rookie tailback Rashard Mendenhall (fractured shoulder) is now out for the season after taking a hard shot in the third quarter. Ravens starter Willis McGahee (unspecified) was injured in the second quarter. He returned in the second half but played sparingly and was a non-factor.

It took a 46-yard field goal from Pittsburgh kicker Jeff Reed to settle this slugfest in the extra period.

Behind a fierce defense and a poised rookie quarterback in Joe Flacco, the Ravens were game. Baltimore took a 13-3 lead after tight end Daniel Wilcox caught a 4-yard touchdown reception.

Flacco tried to his best to outduel Roethlisberger to become the first rookie quarterback to win his team's first three games since Greg Cook did it in 1969. The first-round pick completed 16 of 31 passes for 192 yards and one touchdown. His numbers were identical to Roethlisberger's, who had 191 yards, one touchdown, one interception.

But the difference was Roethlisberger did his damage when the game was hanging in the balance. His 21-yard pass to backup tailback Mewelde Moore on a scramble play set up Pittsburgh's game-winning kick in overtime.

"It doesn't always have to be the prettiest,'' Roethlisberger said.

Flacco made a rookie mistake during a sack and fumble in the third quarter that helped lead to Pittsburgh's comeback. Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison collapsed the pocket and knocked the ball loose for teammate LaMarr Woodley to pick up and return 7 yards for a score.

"I just have to take care of the ball," Flacco said afterward. "If we can take care of the ball there, it's a different story but it happens.

Both the Ravens and Steelers are battered and beaten after this game but have to quickly turn around with big road games next week against the Tennessee Titans (4-0) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2), respectively.

Yet, it was the Steelers who had more smiles in the locker room after a bruising game.

"It's great,'' Roethlisberger said. "3-1 sounds a lot better than 2-2. And it's a divisional game. That matters to us. We'll take it no matter how ugly it is.

Or how loud he has to scream.

BigBen2112
09-30-2008, 08:02 AM
Good for him. Its about damn time. Hearing all the crap about: "This is a good offensive line" etc. Got REALLY old.

Oviedo
09-30-2008, 08:05 AM
Now if Ben would just take the next step and throw quick short passes to his TEs and RBs then we will get this thing rolling.

His first instinct is still to look downfield. You saw that last night when he had receivers open short.

BigBen2112
09-30-2008, 08:11 AM
Now if Ben would just take the next step and throw quick short passes to his TEs and RBs then we will get this thing rolling.

His first instinct is still to look downfield. You saw that last night when he had receivers open short.

Im sorry, but the people who put this on Ben were proved wrong last night when he went out and won the game for us AND when Jaws showed that on the first sack of the game there was no hot route.

People, you can only throw to a hot route/hot receiver when there is one...and Ward was supposedly the hot route but was running a 15 yard route.

How about we call a play with the hot route as the check down back or TE over the middle?

I can also see that when HE went and told the coaches to run a no-huddle that our offense started to move and he started to find the check down receivers etc. Hell, in this one game alone our RBs had more receptions than they did all season...and it won the game for us.

You cant throw 5 yards when the routes are all 15-20 yard routes...well actually you can if the ball slips out of your hand, but then a really big DL picks it off and that's not a good thing.

BigBen2112
09-30-2008, 08:18 AM
Roethlisberger shouted at his offensive teammates in the locker room.

"I was tired of being booed," he said. "I was tired of being embarrassed."

Tackle Willie Colon said: "He's just being a leader. He said you either step up or die, and everyone got it in their minds they were going to fight."

Whether it was those fighting words or something else, the Steelers stunning turnaround late in the third quarter occurred within 15 seconds when it appeared nothing could go right for their offense.
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08274/916193-66.stm

birtikidis
09-30-2008, 09:25 AM
wow, i can't believe Mendenhall is out for the season...

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2008, 09:46 AM
I like how Suzy Kolber's early 3rd quarter report described the team at halftime as "pi$$ed off"

Shawn
09-30-2008, 10:45 AM
Watching the game from the stands last night I witnessed MANY of the issues falling square on Ben's shoulders. MANY times when he got yancy feet he had an open WR. I remember one where Washington was open for 7...Ben starts prancing and throws it into tight coverage. Ben can get mad all he wishes but he is also to blame.

BigBen2112
09-30-2008, 10:49 AM
Watching the game from the stands last night I witnessed MANY of the issues falling square on Ben's shoulders. MANY times when he got yancy feet he had an open WR. I remember one where Washington was open for 7...Ben starts prancing and throws it into tight coverage. Ben can get mad all he wishes but he is also to blame.

Yeah he's to blame that he somehow is unable to forget the fact that the playcalling sets him up for failure and the OL is like a sieve and allows everyone through to beat him to hell. The dude already this season has had a bad knee, shoulder, and hand. Some of the problem is on his shoulders, but I love how people get on him yet praise him when he hangs in and makes a play to win the game...if he threw the ball away and did some things that some people want him to do we'd not get half the big plays that we get because of Ben creating them.

Yeah he has his issues, but the OL is a sieve and the OC is a moron.

LasVegasGuy
09-30-2008, 01:04 PM
Now if Ben would just take the next step and throw quick short passes to his TEs and RBs then we will get this thing rolling.

His first instinct is still to look downfield. You saw that last night when he had receivers open short.


If you ever played quarterback it's about progression. First you look at your #1 and # 2 receivers then if they are covered you look at your # 3 and # 4. The problem with Ben is he never makes it to number # 3 and # 4 because the O-Line can't hold off the defense that long. If we fix the O-Line you will start to see Ben hitting the TE's and RB's more often when the primary receivers are covered.

SteelTorch
09-30-2008, 01:12 PM
Good for him. He wants to win, and never gives up, and that's the way he should be.

And I know Ben is never one to yell at or put down his teammates, but there just comes a time when enough is enough.

Jom112
09-30-2008, 01:17 PM
Now if Ben would just take the next step and throw quick short passes to his TEs and RBs then we will get this thing rolling.

His first instinct is still to look downfield. You saw that last night when he had receivers open short.

Im sorry, but the people who put this on Ben were proved wrong last night when he went out and won the game for us AND when Jaws showed that on the first sack of the game there was no hot route.

People, you can only throw to a hot route/hot receiver when there is one...and Ward was supposedly the hot route but was running a 15 yard route.



It's partly Ben's fault as well. He is definitely not the main culprit but he should share in part of the blame. Jaws showed how Ward didn't turn around for the hot route on the first sack and he was correct. But I remember watching the AFC Playbook show on NFLN, and they showed during the Eagles games how Health Miller correctly turned during a blitz and Ben missed the hot read.

Certain times it's the receivers, certain times it's the rb's, certain times it's the QB and most of the time it's the O-Line...

stlrz d
09-30-2008, 02:01 PM
I like how Suzy Kolber's early 3rd quarter report described the team at halftime as "pi$$ed off"

What I thought was funny is that they silenced the "piss" in pissed off! :lol:

papillon
09-30-2008, 02:24 PM
In the first half last night you could tell immediately that he didn't have any faith that the o-line would be able to protect him. He would drop back and if nothing was there he got happy feet even when there really wasn't any pressure. The second half was much better and finding Moore, Holmes and Miller on some hot reads was good for everyone.

Hopefully, things will continue to improve from technique to communication and the Steelers will be able to make a serious run this season.

I still see the Ivy sack and just wish that Ben and Ward would have been on the same page. That was a big play waiting to happen if Ward pulls up and Ben finds him; I don't think Lewis would have been able to get there in time to prevent a big play.

Pappy

Djfan
09-30-2008, 02:39 PM
He played like the confident Ben we know when he called his own plays that he believes in. When he is stuck with the crap that Brucey A gives him, he looks off his skill level.

Shawn
09-30-2008, 03:17 PM
Watching the game from the stands last night I witnessed MANY of the issues falling square on Ben's shoulders. MANY times when he got yancy feet he had an open WR. I remember one where Washington was open for 7...Ben starts prancing and throws it into tight coverage. Ben can get mad all he wishes but he is also to blame.

Yeah he's to blame that he somehow is unable to forget the fact that the playcalling sets him up for failure and the OL is like a sieve and allows everyone through to beat him to hell. The dude already this season has had a bad knee, shoulder, and hand. Some of the problem is on his shoulders, but I love how people get on him yet praise him when he hangs in and makes a play to win the game...if he threw the ball away and did some things that some people want him to do we'd not get half the big plays that we get because of Ben creating them.

Yeah he has his issues, but the OL is a sieve and the OC is a moron.

Arians can't get Ben to find wide open WRs. He was missing guys all night long. I'm not an Arians fan but seriously...Ben is leaving points on the field.

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2008, 03:41 PM
I like how Suzy Kolber's early 3rd quarter report described the team at halftime as "pi$$ed off"

What I thought was funny is that they silenced the "piss" in pissed off! :lol:

Really? She prefaced it with "I don't know if I can say this on television" but then it came through loud and clear on the broadcast on my TV. No silence, no bleeps, no nothing.

ikestops85
09-30-2008, 05:01 PM
He played like the confident Ben we know when he called his own plays that he believes in. When he is stuck with the crap that Brucey A gives him, he looks off his skill level.

Bingo ... he was very decisive when he was calling the plays. Under BA's playcalling he started to remind me of Neil O'Donnel. :shock:

sd steel
09-30-2008, 05:02 PM
Now if Ben would just take the next step and throw quick short passes to his TEs and RBs then we will get this thing rolling.

His first instinct is still to look downfield. You saw that last night when he had receivers open short.


If you ever played quarterback it's about progression. First you look at your #1 and # 2 receivers then if they are covered you look at your # 3 and # 4. The problem with Ben is he never makes it to number # 3 and # 4 because the O-Line can't hold off the defense that long. If we fix the O-Line you will start to see Ben hitting the TE's and RB's more often when the primary receivers are covered.

But if you see blitz, or are feeling pressure you look for your hots and safety valves. Ben found Holmes, and Ben found Moore to help win this game, but Ben is still holding the ball too long. Maybe Arians is calling 15 yards routes, and the line is not giving him a whole lotta time, but Ben needs to make a decision and let it fly. He looks and pumps and turns and pumps and moves right and pumps etc. The only way defenses are going to back off is if he hurts them with short quick passes. Then they will back off the blitzes and the blitz looks, and give some respect to our short passing game.

Ben pulled the game out, but in my opinion his decisions as well as the poor punting put us in the position to begin with.

stlrz d
09-30-2008, 08:09 PM
I like how Suzy Kolber's early 3rd quarter report described the team at halftime as "pi$$ed off"

What I thought was funny is that they silenced the "piss" in pissed off! :lol:

Really? She prefaced it with "I don't know if I can say this on television" but then it came through loud and clear on the broadcast on my TV. No silence, no bleeps, no nothing.

Oh yeah...check it out again if you can.

VirgilBosett
09-30-2008, 09:35 PM
Watching the game from the stands last night I witnessed MANY of the issues falling square on Ben's shoulders. MANY times when he got yancy feet he had an open WR. I remember one where Washington was open for 7...Ben starts prancing and throws it into tight coverage. Ben can get mad all he wishes but he is also to blame.

Yeah he's to blame that he somehow is unable to forget the fact that the playcalling sets him up for failure and the OL is like a sieve and allows everyone through to beat him to hell. The dude already this season has had a bad knee, shoulder, and hand. Some of the problem is on his shoulders, but I love how people get on him yet praise him when he hangs in and makes a play to win the game...if he threw the ball away and did some things that some people want him to do we'd not get half the big plays that we get because of Ben creating them.

Yeah he has his issues, but the OL is a sieve and the OC is a moron.

Arians can't get Ben to find wide open WRs. He was missing guys all night long. I'm not an Arians fan but seriously...Ben is leaving points on the field.


For what it's worth, I would have to agree with you there MedGuy. I don't think you can really see the entire field, in order to tell if WR's are truly open, unless you are there in the stadium.

However, I really tried to watch as much as possible last night, and there were clearly open targets throughout that he missed. Still have no way of knowing, on certain plays, what progressions Ben went through because of poor protection, but there were guys open all night.

What was very clear to me was that when he started calling his own plays he seemed to increase the number of pass plays where he got rid of the ball quick, and short.....even some of the passes that were incomplete helped back the Ravens off a little.

The line play and Arians are/were weak, but Ben's play was the difference in the second half IMO.