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10-03-2010, 07:32 PM
Roethlisberger returns to Steelers tomorrow
Sunday, October 03, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will report back to the Steelers Monday afternoon, when the players gather for a 2 p.m. team meeting, coach Mike Tomlin said today.
"He'll be back tomorrow," Tomlin said, offering no further comment.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for the first four games of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. During that time, the quarterback was not permitted to visit the team's training facility or Heinz Field, or even talk about strategy with his coaches or teammates.
He has kept a low profile over the past month, politely declining interviews as he worked out with a quarterbacks coach and some receivers in the area.
Tomlin said the Steelers will practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday even though they have next weekend off and do not play again until Oct. 17 against Cleveland at home.
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10-03-2010, 07:36 PM
Ed: Ben a Welcome Return to Steelers
SUNDAY, 03 OCTOBER 2010 19:00 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE
--- Any doubt now who starts at quarterback when Ben Roethlisberger returns Monday? It was a silly debate from the get-go. The offense might have scored two more touchdowns Sunday with him at quarterback. That’s not a knock on Batch, who at 35 did as good a job as could be expected and stayed away from the turnovers and sacks vs. Baltimore. It’s just that Roethlisberger, given that much time by the offensive line against Baltimore, would have picked apart the Ravens.
--- Joe Flacco, where have you been? He had one of his best game, maybe his best, against the Steelers on Sunday and the Ravens needed every bit of it to win the game.
--- What’s up with the Steelers’ defense when given a fourth-quarter lead? They could not blame this one on the absence of Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith. They allowed an 83-yard drive in the first quarter for a touchdown. OK, give them one. But then Baltimore drove from its 33 to the Steelers 2 after the Steelers went ahead 14-10. No, they did not score, but it set up the winning score, that ridiculously easy four-play, 40-yard drive at the end. The Ravens won’t be confused with the New Orleans Saints offense, but the Steelers made them look that way when it counted the most.
--- The Steelers weren’t the only ones who went down in flames. I picked them to win 13-10 and they were ahead 14-10 until the Ravens took command.
--- What’s with the false starts at home?
--- After three games, Charlie Batch has a 76.2 passer rating and Dennis Dixon finishes the season with a 79.4 passer rating. Ratings like that usually mean your team is 1-3, not 3-1.
--- Was that Ike Taylor catching a football for an interception Sunday?
--- Is it maybe time to take the kid gloves off Antonio Brown and let him return some punts? Why else do they have him dress on game days ahead of Emmanuel Sanders if it’s not to return kickoffs and punts?
--- The Steelers used Mewelde Moore early on third downs until he nearly got Batch killed on a blind-side sack that Moore never saw coming. After that, it was Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman on third downs.
--- The Ravens, with 320, had more than 50 percent more yards than the Steelers, who had 210. And the Steelers had only 14 first downs to Baltimore’s 22.
--- Lawrence Timmons again led the Steelers with 13 tackles, nearly double that of linebacker James Farrior, who was third Sunday with 7 behind Ryan Clark’s 9.
--- Linebacker James Harrison forced his third fumble of the season. He had five all of last season, which led the team, and 7 in his phenomenal 2008 when he was defensive player of the year.
--- Yes, Jeff Reed could have won the game had he made his field goal tries from 49 and 45 yards. But Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff also missed one from 46.
--- Mike Wallace came close on two deep passes from Charlie Batch into the end zone, but he caught just two for 24 yards, a total lower than his per-catch average of 26.7 yards.
--- Punter Daniel Sepulveda was superb again, right up to his fifth and final punt. He averaged 49.4 gross, 45.6 net with no touchbacks and one inside the 20. His last punt from the 3 was fair caught at the 50 for a 47 net, only to lose 10 yards on a holding penalty by the Steelers that the ref said was Keyaron Fox, who said it was someone else.
--- Although some in the press box want to, you can’t blame Mike Tomlin for running the ball from his 3 on third-and-10 near the end. He did not get the first down, but he ran 45 seconds off the clock by doing so and did not risk a turnover having Batch throw from his own end zone. There was nothing wrong with turning a lead over to that defense with 1:08 left, even if that defense did not come through.
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10-04-2010, 03:37 PM
Madden Monday: Ben at work is sign of good things to come
By: Mark Madden Beaver County Times
Sunday October 3, 2010 11:45 PM
Baltimore safety Dawan Landry wraps up Rashard Mendenhall.
Times photo by Lucy Schaly
In 13 days, Ben Roethlisberger resumes his job as starting quarterback of the Steelers. One of the most unusual chapters in team history is closed.
It could have been a lot worse.
It was supposed to be a lot different.
Roethlisberger was supposed to be a pariah. Byron Leftwich was supposed to start in his absence. The Steelers were supposed to stink. Going 2-2 in Ben’s absence was the perceived high-water mark; 1-3 or 0-4 seemed far more likely. Roethlisberger would return to a season already ruined.
Instead, Roethlisberger was cheered lustily during the exhibition games at Heinz Field, had a fantastic camp, and if Pittsburgh isn’t yet clutching Ben tightly to its bosom, at least there’s a thaw. Winning helps.
Leftwich got hurt. Dennis Dixon got hurt. The fourth-stringer played, and won. Even if Charlie Batch didn’t excel quite enough to be the people’s choice, he did enough to earn everybody’s respect. (Dixon did Steelers management a big favor going on injured reserve. Cutting Batch after his contribution would have been horribly awkward.)
The Steelers did not pay a lot for this muffler: 3-1 is a Godsend.
Now Roethlisberger returns. After maybe his best camp ever. After refining his game for a month with a renowned quarterbacks tutor. Ben has a 3-1 record to work with and more motivation than he’s ever known.
This season could be over. Lost at 1-3, or 0-4. You’d hate Ben. Oct. 17 against Cleveland at Heinz Field would be an abattoir.
But now? The Steelers are playing with house money. There’s a new shooter coming out. Looks pretty lucky.
But not as lucky as the Steelers so far this season.
Give Yinzer Nation credit for its demeanor while Roethlisberger’s return was navigated. I expected far worse.
Winning has been the primary balm. But the citizens have proven more forgiving than anticipated. Ben, indiscretions aside, does wear the right color jersey. Never arrested, he’s been punished more than his brethren who were. As media scrutiny intensified, the hoi polloi seemed to sympathize. It can be a short jump from perpetrator to victim.
Such grace may yet recede. Roethlisberger is just a few interceptions away from a “SHE SAID NO!” chant. But if Ben yet summons Pittsburgh’s wrath, it will for football reasons. That’s how it should be.
Except for the manic moralizing of a maladjusted minority, Yinzer Nation should be proud of its conduct. Maybe 3-1 is the reward.
As for Batch, the last pass of his NFL career could conceivably be the one intercepted by Ray Lewis to clinch yesterday’s result.
Evaluating Batch’s performance is no easy task. He held the lead at Tennessee. He won at Tampa. Batch made some brave plays at difficult times. He didn’t embarrass himself.
But yesterday Batch was 12-for-21 for 141 yards with no touchdowns, one interception and a 57.8 quarterback rating. I can’t acknowledge that as good. All told this season, Batch is 29-for-49 for 352 yards. Roethlisberger threw for over 352 yards in a single game four times last season.
But nobody expected Batch to be Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger is the best money QB in football. Batch has been a backup most of his career.
In a situation without precedent, you live with whatever happens. What happened these last four weeks shouldn’t be too difficult for the Steelers and their fans to accept. Batch wasn’t good, but he was good enough. Going 3-1 is more than good enough. Incredible, most would say.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).
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10-04-2010, 03:52 PM
Ed: Steelers Receive Exemption for Ben
MONDAY, 04 OCTOBER 2010 15:24 WRITTEN BY ED BOUCHETTE
The Steelers have requested and received a temporary roster exemption for Ben Roethlisberger today. They, however, do not know for how long – a week, two weeks?
Of course, they will not have it for the next game, Oct. 17, so they will have to get rid of someone in order to make room for BR. That someone almost surely will be Steve McLendon, the young backup nose tackle they signed from their practice squad over the weekend to back up Casey Hampton because of the knee injury to Chris Hoke.
The roster exemption, while expected, is good news for McLendon. If he is on the roster as of 4 p.m. Tuesday, he will receive a full game check this week. That would be his third, and game checks are 3-4 times more than what he makes on the practice squad.
Any doubt how BR would be received today was quickly dispelled. The Steelers said they would welcome him with open arms and they did so, literally. Roethlisberger received hugs from Mike Wallace, Max Starks and Arnaz Battle as soon as they saw him, and many others came his way from office personnel, etc.
As of 3:18 p.m., the Steelers have finished their team meeting and broken up into individual position meetings. The press room is full of media, awaiting BR’s press conference, including the NFL Network and ESPN.
10-04-2010, 04:46 PM
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Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger returned to the team on Monday after the completion of his four-game suspension for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.
He joined a team that started 3-1 without him in the lineup, but said he's eager to start contributing at practice on Tuesday and when the team returns from bye in Week 6.
Roethlisberger, who became a lightning rod for criticism after a Georgia DA declined to prosecute him following an investigation into a sexual assault allegation in March, said he doesn't know how fans will respond to him when he takes the field.
As he encountered fans around Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger said, "it's been a lot of warm embraces, a lot of 'can't wait to get you back ... keep your head up.'
"I would hope there's going to be some encouraging cheers and some good things, I hope."
Roethlisberger, who was banned from having any contact with the team during his suspension, said he was welcomed eagerly back into the Steelers facility by teammates.
"To be away from my guys, my brothers, my family, that was one of the hardest parts," he said.
"I think every single one of the guys came up and gave me a big hug."
Roethlisberger said he watched all of the Steelers' games as a fan ("I have no fingernails left," he said.), and worked out for multiple hours every day.
-- Sean Leahy
10-04-2010, 04:48 PM
Enthused Roethlisberger Returns to Steelers
Roethlisberger, tired of watching rather than playing, returns to Steelers
The Associated Press
By ALAN ROBINSON AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH October 4, 2010 (AP)
Ben Roethlisberger learned something during his four-week suspension: He's a lousy spectator.
Roethlisberger says he never got comfortable watching the Pittsburgh Steelers play during his absence, even though they went 3-1 without the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
He returned to their practice facility Monday, where offensive coordinator Bruce Arians already had drawn-up plays waiting for him to review. Roethlisberger attended a team meeting in advance of Tuesday's practice, his first since training camp.
Roethlisberger will have two full weeks of work before the Steelers play Cleveland on Oct. 17. He wishes the Steelers had a game this weekend — instead, it's their bye week — because he misses playing.
10-04-2010, 05:42 PM
Oct 4, 2010 5:01 pm
Ben Roethlisbeger: 'It's Good To Be Back'
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger talks to reporters after completing his four-week suspension.
After a four-week suspension, Ben Roethlisberger is back with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He spoke to reporters at a press conference Monday afternoon.
"First off, it's good to be back here at the facility – especially with my teammates. Good to see coaches, be around my teammates and I'm just excited to get back and get focused on football and focus on this year and trying to get to Dallas."
Reporter: "What have you learned in the last couple weeks?"
Roethlisberger: "I hate being away from football; how much you appreciate meetings and practice and being around the guys and just how hard it was to be away from them mostly."
Reporter: "How were you as a viewer of the game? … "
Roethlisberger: "I have no fingernails left. I was hard – it really was to watch them at home. It was - on the edge of my chair, tried to keep busy, watching, standing up, sitting down, so it was tough, but it was fun watching them win."
Reporter: "What did you do to keep ready? Your routine during the week?"
Roethlisberger: "Worked out a lot. I worked out for two, two-and-a-half hours – longer than I would be if I was out here practicing, threw more balls than I would have if I was here, so just really stayed focus with George, my quarterback coach, and working on footwork techniques, throwing, things like that."
Reporter: "Ben, just not being away, but not being able to have any contact with your teammates – does that make it even more difficult?"
Roethlisberger: "Yes. One of the hardest parts. I mean, obviously I love football – I missed that more than anything, but to be away from my guys, my brothers, my family, that was one of the hardest parts and that's what made coming here today so great. I think every single one of the guys came and gave me a big hug and I was just so happy to see them and I think they were happy to see me as well."
Stay with KDKA for more details.
10-04-2010, 10:59 PM
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10-05-2010, 11:21 AM
Wow! What the hell happened to Madden? I thought his article was spot on. I'm amazed. Maybe I'm still a bit intoxicated from Sunday because I don't think I've ever agreed with one of his articles.
10-05-2010, 03:42 PM
Steelers QB says he's ready to prove his worth to team
By Scott Brown
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
After chewing his fingernails for the past month, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will try to chew up defenses.
Disciplined for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Roethlisberger said yesterday that he is confident he will be ready Oct. 17 when the Steelers play the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
"My arm is ready," Roethlisberger said, adding that he threw more during his four-game suspension than he would have while practicing with the Steelers.
"I think the biggest thing is just refreshing my mind with the offense and getting my timing down with the guys."
Roethlisberger, who worked with personal quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. at Hampton High School, will get extra practice time with his teammates.
The Steelers are off this week because of the bye.
They are scheduled to practice today through Thursday and then follow a regular practice schedule next week.
Roethlisberger's workout today will be his first with the Steelers since Sept. 1.
The seven-year veteran started the process of re-acclimating with the Steelers yesterday.
Roethlisberger ate lunch at team headquarters, took part in players meetings and talked with coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
During the suspension, Roethlisberger was not allowed to have contact with coaches and was barred from team facilities.
"Obviously, I love football and miss that more than anything, but to be away from the guys, my family, that was one of the hardest parts and that's what made coming here so great," he said.
"I think every single one of the guys gave me a big hug, and I was just so happy to see them, and I think they were happy to see me, as well."
Roethlisberger is hopeful he gets a similar reception when he plays a regular season game at Heinz Field for the first time since December.
"If I've seen people out in public, it's been a lot of warm embraces, a lot of 'can't wait to get you back, keep your head up,' " Roethlisberger said.
"There's been a lot of positive feedback from the fans, so I would hope there are going to be some encouraging things and some good things."
Roethlisberger talked publicly for the first time since the end of August. He disclosed, among other things, the beating his fingers took while having to watch the Steelers play on TV.
"I have no fingernails left," Roethlisberger said while holding up his hands during a six-minute interview with reporters. "It was tough, but it was fun watching them win."
The Steelers went 3-1 in Roethlisberger's absence.
The players elected team captains while he was suspended, and Roethlisberger was not voted one after serving as an offensive co-captain the previous two seasons.
"Obviously, that's an awesome honor to be voted a captain of this team, but that's something you have to earn, and I'll come out and give them the best I can," Roethlisberger said.
"Just because you're (not) a captain doesn't mean you can't give this team all you've got."
Yesterday, Roethlisberger said, did not bring an end to a saga that started in March when a 20-year-old college student accused the two-time Super Bowl winner of sexually assaulting her in a nightclub bathroom in Milledgeville, Ga.
Roethlisberger said closure will come at Heinz Field on Oct. 17.
"For me, getting back on the field will be the big test. That's what I'm most excited for because I think the people of Pittsburgh and Steelers fans around the world know that football's my passion, and I want to get out there and show them that."
10-06-2010, 03:02 AM
Oct 05, 2010
Mike Tomlin: Ben Roethlisberger will return as Steelers starting QB
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Ben Roethlisberger will return as the team's starting QB when it returns from bye in Week 6.
Roethlisberger, who returned Monday from a four-game suspension, practiced for the first time with his teammates on Tuesday. Tomlin said the two-time Super Bowl winner would work with the first team.
"He's going to get his normal reps in terms of preparing for the game that he's gotten since I've been here in terms of preparing a starter to play," Tomlin said told Sirius NFL Radio.
"And, of course, he's going to start next Sunday."
In early September, Tomlin stopped short of saying that he would return Roethlisberger to the starting role after his ban. The Steelers went 3-1 without Roethlisberger with backups Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch playing QB.
Their defense is also surrendering the fewest points per game.
Roethlisberger said Tuesday he was pleased he got to reconnect with his receivers in his first practice.
Tomlin told Sirius he was pleased with his QB's performance.
"If today was any indication he looked very good," Tomlin said. "(He) had great velocity on his ball, accuracy. He spread the ball around. You know, it's kind of like the first day of school for him. He's excited to be back in school and he's utilizing all his eligibles.
"So it was a good day today. Of course, ultimately he's going to be measured by his ability to perform in stadiums and we're preparing for that."
-- Sean Leahy
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10-06-2010, 08:52 AM
Apparently TB is now advising people to start BB on their fantasy teams.
Wonder if he knows the Steelers have a bye next week.
10-06-2010, 02:56 PM
Roethlisberger on target in first practice back with Steelers
Published: Oct. 5, 2010
PITTSBURGH -- Ten seconds were all Ben Roethlisberger needed to prove to the Steelers that he wasn't affected by his month away from the NFL.
On the first pass he threw Tuesday in his first post-suspension practice, Roethlisberger found fast wide receiver Mike Wallace far downfield for an over-the-shoulder catch of a perfectly thrown football.
Right about then, Roethlisberger's teammates probably were thinking the same thing: Ben is back.
"We have our whole team here, and we have our leader -- our quarterback -- back with us," Wallace said. "He makes everybody better. The offense is definitely going to go in another direction."
Roethlisberger showed no rustiness or lack of rhythm in his first practice since training camp, zipping passes throughout a 30-minute drill that was incorporated into the practice to quickly put him and his receivers back in sync.
"It was a good step, and I don't think it'll take as long as I thought," Roethlisberger said.
He'll have two more practice days during this bye week to regain his timing and precision, followed by a full work week before the Steelers' Oct. 17 home game against the Cleveland Browns.
"It normally takes a while to get going out there, but it felt pretty good," Roethlisberger said. "I knew that my arm would be good. I knew it would be strong, and I knew it would feel good. It's just a matter of working with the guys."
Since last being with the team on Sept. 2, Roethlisberger worked out almost daily with a collection of receivers at high school stadiums, intentionally throwing more passes than normal because he wasn't doing anything in games. A private quarterbacks coach helped Roethlisberger with his footwork and delivery.
Wallace, the Steelers' fastest receiver, couldn't remember Roethlisberger throwing a bad pass during the entire practice Tuesday.
"We're going to throw the ball because we've got one of the best guys back," Wallace said. "So I'm excited. I've been smiling. Ever since last night, I've been smiling."
There's no need to fret about missing any games. You can watch every contest again with Game Rewind. Get more information here.
Despite having the NFL's 31st-ranked passing offense with fill-in quarterbacks Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon, the Steelers came out of Roethlisberger's four-game suspension about as good as could be expected with a 3-1 record. Apparently, the quarterback himself came out of the suspension about as good as could be expected, too.
By playing as well as they did without the two-time Super Bowl winner, the Steelers put aside any doubts about how Roethlisberger would be welcomed back. Potentially, there could have been hard feelings if his off-the-field problems had led to an 0-4 start, but his teammates insisted they have long since put the quarterback's troubles behind them.
Roethlisberger apologized to them during offseason workouts for potentially jeopardizing their season and, by the time training camp arrived, he was warmly received by fans.
Now, seven months after Roethlisberger was accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman at a Georgia college bar, the Steelers hope there finally is some closure of the issue from a football standpoint. Even if no one is defending Roethlisberger's behavior or the stress he caused an organization that has long taken pride in the way it conducts itself.
"What's in the past is in the past," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "He did his time. He did his suspension, and now we're moving on. And we're glad to have him back with our team. We're 3-1 right now, so we're going to hand it over to him and let him do his thing and try to win ballgames."
The only apology Roethlisberger made upon his return was telling the wide receivers he was sorry they had to do much extra work during an off-week practice.
"What had to be said was said a long time ago," Wallace said. "He was sorry when it first happened, so we didn't need to go over it again or have him apologize. He doesn't have to do that. We know that he's sorry, and we know he's ready to play football."
Roethlisberger's return is expected to open up a Pittsburgh offense that has leaned heavily on its running game. With Rashard Mendenhall averaging 102.8 rushing yards per game -- he's second in the league to Houston's Arian Foster -- the Steelers probably won't ask Roethlisberger to throw an average of 34 times per game like he did in passing for a team-record 4,328 yards last season.
"I think they've been stacking up to defend our run, so ... I'm sure they're going to play things a little differently now with Ben in there," Mendenhall said. "He definitely adds another dynamic to the offense."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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