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fordfixer
10-10-2010, 12:14 AM
Suspension allowed Roethlisberger to focus on mechanics
By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Sunday, October 10, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 03639.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_703639.html)

If Ben Roethlisberger's transition from football exile to the football field proves to be a relatively seamless one, the Steelers quarterback may have to credit a rake.

Yes, a rake.

Avoiding a swinging one is one of many drills that Roethlisberger took part in over the four-plus weeks he wasn't allowed to practice with the Steelers or play in any games.

How much his work with a personal quarterbacks coach sharpened Roethlisberger's game will ultimately be determined by, well, the games.

But Roethlisberger returned to practice last week armed with the confidence that he will be ready for his season debut next Sunday when the Browns visit Heinz Field.

"I feel like my feet are a lot faster and quicker," Roethlisberger said, "and I feel like the ball's getting out of my hand quicker."

Roethlisberger trained with George Whitfield Jr. as many as four days a week at Hampton High School while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

The two first worked together last January in California, and they were nothing if not thorough during their second go-around, as Whitfield spent September shuttling between his home in San Diego and Pittsburgh.

They worked tirelessly on Roethlisberger's fundamentals while also simulating what he would have done in practices with the Steelers -- and what he will see in games.

One drill involved Whitfield tossing bean bags to different spots on the field and Roethlisberger racing to them and working on the feet that have been so adept at sidestepping opposing pass rushers.

Then there was one of the "chaos" drills, as Whitfield referred to it.

Positioning himself outside of an imaginary offensive line, Whitfield would rush at Roethlisberger wielding a rake after the latter had dropped back to pass.

"I lined (the rake) with styrofoam, and (Roethlisberger) kind of laughed," said Whitfield, who specializes in training quarterbacks at all levels. "I'd start charging in right after him, and I'd have it raised up in the air. And he knows once I get to him, I'm going to come swinging down on him, and the object is for him not to be there. I'd swing it across. I'd swing it down. I'd swing it at an angle -- basically trying to get his adrenaline up and make sure that he does not have that kind of comfort (zone)."

Roethlisberger, Whitfield said, would have him rush from various angles and at different times -- sometimes he delayed his start -- to simulate how defensive coordinators might try to attack him.

That underscored, Whitfield said, how active a role Roethlisberger took in his training program.

"When we came into it, he was like, 'What do you want to work on?' " Roethlisberger said of Whitfield. "I said, 'Well, there's a couple of small things I wouldn't mind you looking at. If you see something let me know and if it's something I don't think I should do, I won't do it.' "

The biggest question regarding Roethlisberger is how much his absence compromised his timing with players such as Hines Ward, Heath Miller and Mike Wallace.

The Steelers' bye week gave Roethlisberger three extra practices to work with his receivers. And one former NFL coach said he doesn't think timing will be as much of an issue with Roethlisberger as it might be with other quarterback because of how much he improvises.

"Ben's game is so unique," said former Ravens coach Brian Billick, who's now an NFL analyst for Fox. "I've never seen a quarterback do more with 20 to 25 throws just because of the number of plays he makes outside of the pocket."

Roethlisberger did his share of throwing during his NFL-mandated layoff, working regularly with former Pitt and Saints tight end Darnell Dinkins as well as former Miami (Ohio) wide receiver and onetime teammate Jaime Cooper.

"We erred on the side of chopping more wood than we probably should have," Whitfield said of the amount of throwing Roethlisberger did, "but I think it's going to pay off for him."

Roethlisberger, Whitfield said, did more than just play pitch and catch with his receivers. He practiced calling plays at an imaginary line of scrimmage and barked out details such as which wide receiver should cut his route short if there was a blitz.

The two also watched film together, Whitfield said, and got the chance to work extensively on Roethlisberger's mechanics -- something most quarterbacks rarely have the time to do once the regular season starts.

Whitfield said they also talked about Roethlisberger not trying to do too much when he's back on the field for the Steelers.

That doesn't mean the Steelers won't lean on the sturdy signal caller. They are 31st in the NFL in passing offense (136 yards per game), and Roethlisberger is an established franchise quarterback and winner of two Super Bowls.

"To get to where we want to go, we have to have him on the field and playing," Ward said.

Whitfield will be among those at Heinz Field next Sunday when Roethlisberger plays his first regular-season game in more than 10 months.

He will watch with as much anticipation as Steelers fans but said he has no doubt that Roethlisberger will be ready.

"From a playing standpoint, once the ball's snapped, he's had thousands and thousands of reps in the last four weeks," Whitfield said. "When he gets out there, I just expect him to be sharp and collected and just be very, very aware that, 'Hey, I just need to do what No. 7 has to do.' I know he's going to come out and perform real well."

NorthCoast
10-10-2010, 09:12 AM
This all sounds great, but the reality is even team practices can't simulate games very well. If the OL can figure out the Browns' blitzing, Ben could have a huge day. Last December, the OL never did figure it out and the O was pathetic. I am also hoping that having Ben back will counter some of BA's pathetic offensive strategy. I think a good dose of hurry-up O might just settle the cool the rush a little. Having Pouncey at center and Flozell at RT will be huge as well, because Hartwig and Colon had awful days last December IIRC. The Browns have upgraded their team speed and this Hillis guy has turned out to be an emerging stud at RB. Smith & Co. will have their hands full occupying the line to keep our LBs clean. Even if we manage to get up early, I don't see this Browns' team quitting like in the past. All 4 of their games have been close, down to the wire type games, with a couple coming from behind.

papillon
10-10-2010, 09:48 AM
This can't be true; Ben doesn't put time into making himself better in the film room or on the practice field. At least, that's what many would have you believe that Ben is some genetic freak that is able to play quarterback in the NFL without any personal effort.

People take statements like "I learn better on the field rather than in the film room" and immediately believe that Ben doesn't want to get better. :roll:

Pappy

feltdizz
10-10-2010, 10:59 AM
If we heard these stories about Ben's off season workouts during quiet off seasons then I thInk Ben wouldn't have the rep he had. Some said Ben never gained weight it was just the surgery... but he sure looks healthier and more fit then he did in the GA photo. Not sure if he is this dedicated if the GA incident didn't happen.

I don't think Ben will have any problem adapting to game day speed. It's not like he missed a whole year and couldn't work out. It was 4 games. He will be fine.

JDSteeler
10-10-2010, 11:36 AM
This all sound really good, but then I remember that we have an
idiot OC....

RUTFM will be the primary game-plan.

Trust me, we will all be pulling our hair out at one time or another.

JD

Crash
10-10-2010, 02:04 PM
He gained weight last year because he needed time to heal, and lets face it, when you win two Super Bowls there are "perks" that come along with that ie. black tie events and appearances.

But this whole notion that he gains a ton of weight every off season and never shows up to Latrobe in shape simply isn't true.

siss
10-10-2010, 02:21 PM
Quiet offseason for Ben?
NO such thing!\ :HeadBanger

Has it occurred to anyone that if Ben wasn't really trying all that hard for the last 6 years and now is working with a QB guru and working out all the time, that he will be nearly unstoppable. He was already hard to bring down. Now he thinks he's quicker on his feet.

Im scared for the rest of the league. Ben's coming out swinging!

NJ-STEELER
10-10-2010, 02:27 PM
Quiet offseason for Ben?
NO such thing!\ :HeadBanger

Has it occurred to anyone that if Ben wasn't really trying all that hard for the last 6 years and now is working with a QB guru and working out all the time, that he will be nearly unstoppable. He was already hard to bring down. Now he thinks he's quicker on his feet.

Im scared for the rest of the league. Ben's coming out swinging!

...The two first worked together last January in California, and they were nothing if not thorough during their second go-around, as Whitfield spent September shuttling between his home in San Diego and Pittsburgh....

feltdizz
10-10-2010, 02:49 PM
He gained weight last year because he needed time to heal, and lets face it, when you win two Super Bowls there are "perks" that come along with that ie. black tie events and appearances.

But this whole notion that he gains a ton of weight every off season and never shows up to Latrobe in shape simply isn't true.

Cowher spoke about Ben's nonchalant approach and "as long as we are winning" response. Ben even admitted to giving less than 100% in practice and locker room settings in interviews. Ben's style of play isn't by the book or Peyton Manning like but he is truly gifted. Sometimes the truly gifted can chill, party and practice and still play like a champion.

I don't think Ben gets fat and then works it off in camp.. but you can't tell me the new photo's of Ben looking lighter and tighter is due to his normal off season workouts.

stlrz d
10-10-2010, 03:52 PM
He gained weight last year because he needed time to heal, and lets face it, when you win two Super Bowls there are "perks" that come along with that ie. black tie events and appearances.

But this whole notion that he gains a ton of weight every off season and never shows up to Latrobe in shape simply isn't true.

Haters are always looking for something to hate.

Jooser
10-10-2010, 03:57 PM
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g127/kev_ed_2005/MiyagiWaxOff_Thumbnail.gif

Muss get feet better, muss learn balance Ben-san!

Crash
10-10-2010, 04:46 PM
How can Peyton Manning be giving all this off season prep work when he's filming 10 commercials every off season?

I honestly feel Peyton's off season work does not differ from Ben's much. The ADVANTAGE Peyton had was his old man played NFL football also, and he had access to NFL game films at an early age where as Ben did not.

feltdizz
10-10-2010, 05:06 PM
How can Peyton Manning be giving all this off season prep work when he's filming 10 commercials every off season?

I honestly feel Peyton's off season work does not differ from Ben's much. The ADVANTAGE Peyton had was his old man played NFL football also, and he had access to NFL game films at an early age where as Ben did not.

Peyton may look like a stiff but the guy has been hilarious on SNL. He could film 10 commercials in 2 days. Maybe it's just perception but the guy looks like a film nerd... his daddy's last name means little IMO. Plenty of former QB's have had kids follow in their footsteps and most are not on Ben's level.

AngryAsian
10-10-2010, 05:29 PM
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g127/kev_ed_2005/MiyagiWaxOff_Thumbnail.gif

Muss get feet better, muss learn balance Ben-san!


Dude, your Asian accent sucks. :lol:

SteelAbility
10-10-2010, 07:45 PM
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g127/kev_ed_2005/MiyagiWaxOff_Thumbnail.gif

Muss get feet better, muss learn balance Ben-san!


Dude, your Asian accent sucks. :lol:

Correct. It's not "better" ... it's "bettuh." And it's not "learn balance" ... it's "lunah balancuh." :mrgreen:

Jooser
10-10-2010, 08:26 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
10-11-2010, 12:14 AM
This all sound really good, but then I remember that we have an
idiot OC....

RUTFM will be the primary game-plan.

Trust me, we will all be pulling our hair out at one time or another.

JD

Yes, we have all learned by now that you are not a big Arians fan. But do you really think that the Steelers will be running the same gameplan with a healthy Ben as he did with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch?

feltdizz
10-11-2010, 08:48 AM
This all sound really good, but then I remember that we have an
idiot OC....

RUTFM will be the primary game-plan.

Trust me, we will all be pulling our hair out at one time or another.

JD

Yes, we have all learned by now that you are not a big Arians fan. But do you really think that the Steelers will be running the same gameplan with a healthy Ben as he did with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch?

yes he does... BA will do everything in his power to make sure we are only up by 4 points so the D can blow it late in games.

It's all part of his master plan... we will lead the lead in plays of 20+ yards, have Ben throw for 4000+ and our WR's will both have 1000 yards and Mend will have 1500 yards...

but BA will make sure they all fall short of the GL and lose.. because BA really works for the Stains. :wink:

ramblinjim
10-11-2010, 09:20 AM
well that would explain some things. You know hindsight is always 20/20 but I remember the game in Cleveland last year, it was below zero with a 30 mile per hour wind and we pass the ball 40 times against a bad team? Really?

I typically avoid the BA bashing because it's like religion and politics, you're never going to change someone's mind but man that game's play calling just burns my @ss.

feltdizz
10-11-2010, 09:38 AM
well that would explain some things. You know hindsight is always 20/20 but I remember the game in Cleveland last year, it was below zero with a 30 mile per hour wind and we pass the ball 40 times against a bad team? Really?

I typically avoid the BA bashing because it's like religion and politics, you're never going to change someone's mind but man that game's play calling just burns my @ss.

That whole game was horrible. While fans like to bash BA for it and it's well deserved..

Ben looked very glossed over on the sideline that game too.. it looked like he was still recovering from a concussion.

I think we need to remember what our D looked like stopping Cribbs that game. IT wasn't pretty and this Hollis guy is a load. We can't take this team lightly.