Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

  1. #1
    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    By Alan Robinson (CP) 14 hours ago

    PITTSBURGH, Pa. Their US$102 million quarterback isn't around now, and he won't play at least until October. The Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in an unprecedented situation, preparing for a season that will open without their suspended star.

    If that was their only problem, perhaps the Steelers' off-season wouldn't seem so hectic, unsettled or disrupted, but it's not. Not even close.

    There are numerous unsettled issues on both sides of the ball as the Steelers go through a month's worth of spring practices, and not all of them are likely to be resolved by the time training camp arrives. Or the season, either. Or by the return of Roethlisberger from a six-game suspension that has disturbed nearly every aspect of the Steelers' springtime preparation.

    It's not just that they're auditioning three quarterbacks for a starting job at a time when nearly every NFL team has that issue settled. Or that the receivers aren't working with the man who will primarily throw them the ball. It's a lot more than that.

    Santonio Holmes didn't help, either.

    Holmes and all the assorted problems he brought may be gone, and the Steelers don't have to deal with the former Super Bowl MVP's off-field issues. The downside to his departure is that it's thinned the Steelers' depth at wide receiver and eliminated their most productive downfield threat.

    Mike Wallace was an effective No. 3 receiver as a rookie and significantly upgraded the Steelers' speed. But, as Hines Ward said, there's a big difference trying to get open on every down as Wallace now must do as opposed to doing so once or twice a series.

    "We've got plenty of time for that to sort itself out," coach Mike Tomlin said.

    Willie Parker is gone, too, and while injuries helped cost the three-time 1,000-yard running back his starting job last season, his absence leaves the Steelers without a proven backup to Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall has not gone a whole season from start to finish as the No. 1 back.

    "I think he (Mendenhall) is capable of a lot more, to be quite honest," Tomlin said.

    While Mewelde Moore has been a capable fill-in runner at times, Jonathan Dwyer might be one of the NFL's most valuable sixth-round draft picks if he can make an immediate contribution.

    And their six losses in which they failed to hold leads last season, mostly because their secondary repeatedly failed to slow opposing passing games in the fourth quarter? To address that, the Steelers brought back former starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, but he was traded by Arizona because he caused a near-identical problem there.

    There's also the issue of protecting Roethlisberger or, for at least the first month of the season, protecting Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch.

    The Steelers' pass protection issues aren't likely to go away when Roethlisberger returns, or because they drafted lineman Maurkice Pouncey in the first round. Their 50 sacks allowed last season were second in the NFL to Green Bay's 51.

    The offence is looking much different this spring, and not only because Roethlisberger is barred from taking part in their workouts.

    Offensive co-ordinator Bruce Arians is showing off more two-back looks than usual, an apparent response to team president Art Rooney II's proclamation that the running game especially near the goal line must be better. Last season, the fullback role was effectively filled by tight ends.

    The Steelers might not have had so many blown leads, especially during their season-altering five-game losing streak late last season, if they had run the ball better near the goal line during their 9-7 season. Their only reliable goal-line runner was Gary Russell, and they let him go without explanation.

    There's the age factor, too, another worry as the Steelers prepare for a season in which nearly all of their key defensive starters will be 30 or older. They weren't the same defensively last season after safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Aaron Smith were hurt, and no off-season preparation can prevent disruptive injuries, especially to the oldest and most-experienced players on a team.

    "I'm not a fortune teller. I don't know how the season's going to go," Ward said. "That's what is uneasy, the uncertainty."

    [url=""] ... vtQ23D525A[/url]
    2017 Mock

    1. T.J Watt, OLB/DE, Wisconsin - will be a huge mistake if available and we pass

    2. Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut

    3. Kevin King, CB, Washington

    3. Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland

    4. Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic

    5. Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M

    6. Barry Sanders, RB, Oklahoma State (How can you go wrong with that name, however the sample size is so small that his dad may be better even in his 50's)

    7. Alec Torgersen, QB, Pennsylvania

  2. #2
    Starter The Man of Steel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Kryptonburgh, PA

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    Oh no, the sky is falling!

  3. #3
    Pro Bowler Steelgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    Jeez, how many bad ways can the media spin this dilemma..... I swear, 90% of the articles say the SAME thing, but just word it differently. Is there really that little of other things to write about

  4. #4
    Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Hey Roger...

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    Funny, i call that group of authors and posters here the Chicken Little Society. :P
    Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of their women.

  5. #5
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Hawaii 5-0

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by Yinzerdude
    Oh no, the sky is falling!

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    It's all much worse than that. See, every other team is a well balanced machine of football genius and excellence. Right?
    Steel City Mafia
    So Cal Boss (Ret)

    My son's first Kansas Turkey!

  7. #7
    Legend RuthlessBurgher's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Where the Rubber Meets the Road (in NEPA)

    Re: Roethlisberger's absence not only issue for Steelers

    Their only reliable goal-line runner was Gary Russell, and they let him go without explanation.
    I believe Russell was released by the team after being involved with a marijuana bust in Columbus, OH.

    Ruthless 2017 Mock Draft:
    1.30 ILB Zach Cunningham 6'3" 234 Vanderbilt
    2.62 OLB Jordan Willis 6'4" 255 Kansas State
    3.94 CB Sidney Jones 6'0" 186 Washington
    3.105c DE Tanoh Kpassagnon 6'7" 289 Villanova
    4.135 CB Howard Wilson 6'1" 184 Houston
    5.173 FS John Johnson 6'1" 205 Boston College
    6.213 TE Michael Roberts 6'4" 270 Toledo
    7.248 RB Elijah Hood 6'0" 232 North Carolina

    2015 MNF Executive Champion!


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts