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View Full Version : OK, get off of Ben's back...



JAR
01-11-2009, 08:19 AM
even the Pittsburgh media is saying so. GO STEELERS, bring on the Rats!!!!! :tt1

Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how
Sunday, January 11, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Turned on a national radio show the other day and heard the talking heads ranking the eight quarterbacks still standing as this NFL playoff weekend approached.

They gushed about Ben Roethlisberger and made him No. 1. Not Eli Manning or Donovan McNabb or Philip Rivers or Kurt Warner. Big Ben.

At least somebody gets it.

Sadly, not everybody around here does.

In the past two weeks, during the breathless run-up to the Steelers-San Diego Chargers game today at Heinz Field with a trip to the AFC championship game at stake, there was a ridiculous amount of Byron Leftwich talk. Everything from 'Leftwich gives the Steelers a better shot of winning' to 'Leftwich has to play because Roethlisberger is coming off a concussion' to 'Mike Tomlin should go to Leftwich quickly if Roethlisberger struggles early.'

Silly.

Disturbing, actually.

You would think Roethlisberger is some kind of bum.

None of this is meant as even the slightest knock at Leftwich. Don't make the mistake of thinking that. Leftwich is a terrific backup quarterback and the Steelers are lucky to have him. He is more than capable of helping them to win today should something painful and debilitating happen to Roethlisberger, which, as you know too well, always is a possibility because of the gruesome beating he takes every game. The Chargers knocked him around pretty good when the teams played in November, sacking him four times.

No, this isn't a Leftwich issue.

This is about Roethlisberger.

It is about his greatness.

The concussion from the Cleveland game two weeks ago will have no impact on Roethlisberger's performance against the Chargers. Don't even go there unless you have a medical degree with a neurological background. Steelers neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Maroon is one of the world's top experts on head injuries. If he clears Big Ben to play, that's good enough for me.

Tomlin, too.

The coach quickly and tersely last week ended all speculation that he might treat Roethlisberger differently today or have a quick hook for him if he starts slowly.

That's as it should be.

Would they think of replacing Tom Brady? Peyton Manning? McNabb? Eli Manning ...

Wait, the Philadelphia Eagles did bench McNabb in a game earlier in the season, but that was a terrible call by coach Andy Reid. You never give up on The Franchise in any game, no matter how poorly he might be playing at the time. To do so denies your team of its best chance of winning.

Everybody around here should know that by now. Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense failed mightily at times early in games this season, but he managed to put together now-or-never drives to get five wins in the fourth quarter or overtime.

The most impressive came in a 13-9 win at Baltimore Dec. 14 with the AFC North Division title on the line when the Steelers went 92 yards in 12 plays with Roethlisberger completing 7 of 11 passes for 89 yards and the telling 4-yard touchdown to wide receiver Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds left. But he also did it against the Chargers in the 11-10 win Nov. 16, when he went 6 for 6 for 62 yards to set up the winning field goal with 11 seconds remaining.

In Roethlisberger's five NFL seasons, he has led 18 fourth-quarter or overtime comebacks.

Regrettably, the number should be 19.

The last time the Steelers had a home playoff game -- last season -- Roethlisberger threw three first-half interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars to help dig a 28-10 hole. By his admission, he was awful. But Tomlin wisely stuck with him, and the team should have been rewarded. People who blame Roethlisberger solely for the 31-29 defeat forget that he led four consecutive second-half scoring drives as the Steelers scored 19 unanswered points to take a late 29-28 lead. It was the defense that couldn't make it hold up.

It's nice to think it won't be that close today. Won't it be wonderful if Roethlisberger throws three first-half touchdown passes to help build a 28-10 lead? If it doesn't happen that way, though, it's OK. As long as the game is close in the fourth quarter and Big Ben still is in one piece ...

"When it means the most, I want to be the one the guys look to and count on," he has said. "I want the ball in my hands."

That makes two of us, four if you count the talking heads.

The truly great ones usually find a way to win when everything is on the line.

Don't be surprised if Roethlisberger does just that again today.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09011/941060-87.stm

Injury never holds Roethlisberger back
Sunday, January 11, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers' quarterback was stretched out on the field near the end of the first half and carted on a stretcher into the locker room. His teammates and coaches thought he was done for the season.

Not close. Not only did he play again that year, he trotted onto the field to start the second half of the game and led them to victory.

Those who have watched Ben Roethlisberger play the past five seasons know that kind of scenario is well within his character, the same as it was Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Indeed, Bradshaw seemed down and out many times in his career, only to return as he did on that Oct. 1, 1972 day in St. Louis.

"We thought he broke his ankle," said Ralph Berlin, the Steelers' longtime trainer, now retired. "We got him inside, got the tape off, and he started walking around and said, 'This feels pretty damn good.' We taped it back up, and he started the second half."

Bradshaw returned and threw a 38-yard touchdown to Frank Lewis with 1:06 left for a 25-19 victory in the third game of the season. It helped launch the Steelers to the first division championship in their history, an important step to their four Super Bowl triumphs in the 1970s. And it helped make possible the Immaculate Reception victory against Oakland, their first playoff win.
Gameday data

Kickoff: 4:45 p.m., Heinz Field. TV: KDKA.

The line: Steelers by 6.

Series: Steelers, 20-8, but 0-2 in the playoffs in Pittsburgh.

The skinny: Beware San Diego punter Mike Scifres, who set a postseason record with six punts inside the 20 vs. Indianapolis. His 52.7 ypp average was third-highest in playoff history. ... In case you were wondering, the Steelers were a 9 1/2-point favorite for the 1994 AFC championship game they lost to the Chargers, 17-13.

Many people see similarities in Bradshaw and Roethlisberger, two big, hard-throwing quarterbacks who went down hard, bounced back quickly -- seemingly miraculously at times -- and were always looking to make plays.

Sometimes, they held the ball too long and paid a price; often, they held it just long enough to pull off a magnificent play.

Roethlisberger's best example this season came in Jacksonville when he completed a third-down pass late, with two Jaguars hanging on him, that led to a comeback victory.

"Ben is like Bradshaw," said 1970s safety Mike Wagner. "He's going to fight to the bitter end to make a play.

"Whether it's the Immaculate Reception or Ben running around to make a play, both were trying to achieve the same thing. They're both talented hard-nosed guys."

Wagner has heard things said about Roethlisberger that were said about Bradshaw 30 years ago -- that they milk injuries for high drama. It began for Roethlisberger when he complained about having broken toes after the AFC championship game loss to New England in his rookie season, and coach Bill Cowher disputed it. It's happening again because he was dramatically carted off the field on a stretcher Dec. 28 near the end of the first half against Cleveland, even though it was "only" a mild concussion.

"Sometimes, fans and the media don't appreciate the nature of an injury because the only one who can is the player," Wagner said.
Big Ben Comebacks

When we last saw him, Ben Roethlisberger was being taken off the field Dec. 28.

Roethlisberger will bounce back again from an injury to start in the divisional playoff today against the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field. If that's drama, his teammates are all for it.

"Ben's a damn tough guy," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He's one of the biggest competitors in this locker room. Any time anyone goes down and someone's poking their fingers and they can't feel it, that's scary. Anytime you get numbness and things like that you have to take every precaution. That's the trainers' job to do that, and they did it. Luckily, it was only as severe as it was and he can hopefully help us win this week."

Roethlisberger has been sacked 139 times over three seasons, yet he's missed just two starts in the past 3 1/2 seasons: the 2007 meaningless regular-season finale at Baltimore and the 2006 opener after his appendectomy, which came after his June motorcycle accident.

"Look at what the guy's been through from the time he got here," Keisel said. "He's been through a lot and still stands up in the pocket and makes guys miss and makes plays for us. I think he's tough as hell."

His teammates voted him co-captain of the offense this season, and he's not the aloof quarterback some make him out to be, especially with his offensive linemen. They play poker almost weekly at his house, he often takes them to dinner and he paid all their expenses to fly to Chicago during the bye week this season to celebrate center Justin Hartwig's birthday.

"He took care of everything," Hartwig said. "He takes care of us. He does a lot of good things for us off the field. He's a good dude."

Bradshaw's last dramatic comeback occurred in 1983. The Steelers needed a victory against the Jets in New York to make the playoffs. Bradshaw had not played all season because of an injured right elbow. He started that game, threw two touchdown passes and walked off the field clutching his elbow. It was his final gift to the Steelers and their fans. They won that game to make the playoffs, and Bradshaw never played again.

Dick Hoak, who coached those teams as well as through Roethlisberger's first three years, sees the similarities.

"Ben's a tough guy, he takes a lot of hits," Hoak said. "Some of it is his fault, some the line's fault. He's always trying to make a play, so he's going to get a lot more hits than a regular quarterback. That's the difference between him and other guys."

There's another difference -- a big one. Ben Roethlisberger, like Terry Bradshaw, wins. His 51-20 record is the second-best percentage in the league behind Tom Brady. And today, he starts another journey that could again land him in familiar Bradshaw territory: the Super Bowl. -was also his first game after an offseason motorcycle accident

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09011/941061-66.stm

flippy
01-11-2009, 09:08 AM
Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady didn't become great QBs until after they won their 1st 2 superbowls.

I won't be surprise if Ben follows that same path.

He's done so much so early, we often forget how young the guy is and how much football he has in front of him.

He's the winningest QB in his first 5 years.

But that will be a moot point if he doesn't get the Lombardi.

Ben knows this.

And he wants to be great.

He wants to be the greatest ever.

He's gonna step up.


Wooooooooooo!

AngryAsian
01-11-2009, 09:27 AM
I think all the hype about Ben's "perceived failures" are due to his home playoff numbers:

1 win 2 losses and 8 ints.

Unfair criticism. I would say, but most of the morons base everything on statistics.

NorthCoast
01-11-2009, 09:50 AM
I think all the hype about Ben's "perceived failures" are due to his home playoff numbers:

1 win 2 losses and 8 ints.

Unfair criticism. I would say, but most of the morons base everything on statistics.

It's the same grief they give the older Manning. How you come up in big games is the way you are judged in the NFL. Take a look south at a QB named Romo.....

Back to the article, Wagner's comments about Ben are why I don't believe he will get yanked from the game regardless of how he plays.

Oviedo
01-11-2009, 10:00 AM
I'm a huge Big Ben supporter but he has earned every ounce of criticism and doubt he gets because he continues to try to force the ball into traffic which results in the biggest offense killer-interceptions.

He still continues to ignore easy completions to receivers who are open short to try to get the big play. Recognizing that doesn't make anyone any less of a fan. Hopefully it is part of the maturity process. I really thought Ken Anderson would have helped him in regards to that aspect of his game. The problem that remains is that when Ben throws multiple interceptions we have a much less chance of winning games.

feltdizz
01-11-2009, 10:14 AM
I'm a huge Big Ben supporter but he has earned every ounce of criticism and doubt he gets because he continues to try to force the ball into traffic which results in the biggest offense killer-interceptions.

He still continues to ignore easy completions to receivers who are open short to try to get the big play. Recognizing that doesn't make anyone any less of a fan. Hopefully it is part of the maturity process. I really thought Ken Anderson would have helped him in regards to that aspect of his game. The problem that remains is that when Ben throws multiple interceptions we have a much less chance of winning games.

Ben is throwing more short passes... not the amount we may want but he has improved.. he still takes chances though..

I think the Cleveland injury is where the frustration comes in.. meaningless game and he waits until the last second to complete a 4 yard pass and gets crushed... it was a time when he should be checking down or throwing it away...

Ben plays every play like it's his last drive.. it's noble but as a fan it can be frustrating.

stlrz d
01-11-2009, 10:43 AM
This is about Roethlisberger.

It is about his greatness.

Yes Sir! :tt2

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-11-2009, 11:15 AM
I think maybe Delhomme did us a huge favor last night - "OK Ben, see how it goes when we don't take care of the rock...". I don't know who coaches Ben for situations like these - Coach T, BA, KA ... but Delhomme gave Ben and whoever it is a very "teachable moment" last night.

Take care of business day by day, play by play ... Superbowl XLIII is ours!

Leper Friend
01-11-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm a huge Big Ben supporter but he has earned every ounce of criticism and doubt he gets because he continues to try to force the ball into traffic which results in the biggest offense killer-interceptions.

He still continues to ignore easy completions to receivers who are open short to try to get the big play. Recognizing that doesn't make anyone any less of a fan. Hopefully it is part of the maturity process. I really thought Ken Anderson would have helped him in regards to that aspect of his game. The problem that remains is that when Ben throws multiple interceptions we have a much less chance of winning games. :Clap :Clap :Clap

Some act like Ben is above criticism. He's been playing bad lately and his home playoff record speaks for itself.That doesn't mean I'm not a fan of his or I'm not supporting him. It's just fact.

This whole post season depends on Ben.Don't turn the ball over, period.

Let the defense win the games.

Make the other offense have a long field EVERY TIME.

It sounds cliche but it's true.

He doesn't necessarily have to make big plays but he absolutely can't turn the ball over.

Djfan
01-11-2009, 11:35 AM
Great post! I'm glad to hear that media guys are not all echo clones. Ben is the issue for the rest of this season.

We win today.

Steeler Shades
01-11-2009, 01:57 PM
I think all the hype about Ben's "perceived failures" are due to his home playoff numbers:

1 win 2 losses and 8 ints.
That is somewhat misleading. All 3 of Ben's "good" playoff games were during the 2005 SB run and were all on the road. He put 3 good PO games together in one season. He has only played in 4 road PO games and we all know how he did in the 4th. His three home PO games were all played in the non-SB season and he played poorly in all of them.

Let's just hope that Ben's previous overall PO experience is just that....history. We need him to put together two good home PO games and one road PO game with limited TOs and very few critical mistakes. 8)

Big Kahuna Burgher
01-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Sometimes you need your QB to go out and win the game, with this defense this season we don't need that, we just need our QB to manage the game and protect the ball, seems to me as if Ben and Arian's refuse to recognize this, and the Steelers will win or lose with their weakness
,passing the football ,rather than playing the game in harmony with one of the best defenses in the history of the game.