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Thread: Kovacevic: Get over it, Ben

  1. #1
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    Kovacevic: Get over it, Ben

    Kovacevic: Get over it, Ben

    By Dejan Kovacevic - Tribune-Review
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012



    Ben Roethlisberger's disposition seemed as sunny as the skies over the Steelers' South Side fields Tuesday morning. It was the opening of organized team activities, and he looked as loose and lively in drills - "I've lost a few pounds," he explained - as he did in animatedly engaging his teammates.

    Big Ben, bundle of joy.

    Right up until someone brought up the playbook.

    And even then, through media questioning of how the franchise quarterback is handling new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's wholly new playbook, Roethlisberger at least went with a grin-and-bear-it approach.

    I asked if he and Haley are on the same page yet.

    "Well, that's the goal," Roethlisberger replied with a broad smile. "I'm going to put in extra work to learn his offense and try to get there."

    Does he like what he's seen of the plays so far?

    "Yeah, sure," he came back, this time with a slight shrug. "It's kind of early to see too much."

    How about this OTA opener?

    "It was frustrating. It gets frustrating at times. But we'll keep learning."

    Roethlisberger's still smiling all this time, by the way.

    Will it be hard to stay in the pocket, as Mike Tomlin and the coaches are urging him?

    "Sure, yeah, I mean, whatever. I'm supposed to get rid of the ball, stay in the pocket, not take hits ... so, I guess I better learn where the protections are coming from so I don't get hit."

    More laughter.

    There was a lot more of this, too. And with each passing answer, it became that much more transparent that Roethlisberger has a long way to go to accept how the Steelers treated him this offseason.

    I don't blame him.

    First, team president Art Rooney publicly stated that Roethlisberger needed to "tweak" his game, meaning to scramble a lot less and stay healthy.

    Think Robert Kraft suggests positional philosophy to Tom Brady?

    Next, Rooney and Tomlin fired Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger's offensive coordinator of five years, and stunned pretty much everyone. Including Roethlisberger.

    Think the Packers pull that with Aaron Rodgers?

    Finally, Tomlin hired Haley, also without Roethlisberger's input, and is implementing a brand new offense.

    Think Peyton Manning didn't pack his own playbook when he flew off to Denver?

    In modern professional sports, the franchise players do have some say. We don't have to like it. The Steelers don't have to like it. But it's the way things work now, with all the money and leverage elite athletes have.

    Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, has achieved far too much in Pittsburgh to have been toyed with this way. He has every right to feel disillusioned by how this winter played out.

    But he also needs to get over it. Like today.

    A week ago, Roethlisberger was asked in a radio interview if the new offense might offer a chance to refresh or refocus. Roethlisberger's response: "Uhhhh ... I think Coach really wants to challenge us. Me, maybe, in particular. I think he felt like I was real comfortable with the old offense, which ... I don't know why that's a bad thing. But I'm not the head coach."

    No, Roethlisberger is not. Moreover, he's not about to undo any of this, either with comments like that or even by quietly taking the field with a chip on the shoulder. Tomlin isn't about to cede control to his players. Arians isn't coming back. Haley isn't rewriting his playbook.

    Time to cope.

    Besides, by all accounts, including that of Roethlisberger himself yesterday, the hardest part of adjusting to Haley's playbook hasn't been the offense. It's been language.

    "I don't think it's going to look all that different once we're doing it," Roethlisberger said. "It's just a matter of getting used to the terminology."

    Again, time to cope.

    Roethlisberger's teammates sound confident he'll do exactly that.

    "From a quarterback's perspective, it's tough changing offenses," wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. "I saw Brett Favre go through it when he got to the Jets. He'd been doing one thing his entire career, and what we were doing, the terminology, it was like a foreign language to him."

    That was with Favre arriving late in training camp of 2008.

    "It's always easier for a coordinator to just come in and implement their own stuff," Cotchery continued. "I understand it. We all understand it. We just have to embrace the change."

    In closing my interview with Roethlisberger, I couldn't help but ask if he'd lost weight primarily to show the Steelers he can still scramble.

    "Nope," he replied. "Just trying to stay healthy. I'm getting old."

    More laughter.

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...en-coordinator

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    I guess I'm the odd man out here, but the firing on Bruce Arians DID NOT surprise me a bit. That old horse and pony show stunk and it was a welcome sight to see the train roll out of town......

    This writer seems to be stirring the sh!t pot here, BOO-HOO if Ben has to learn a new playbook. If our offense could've gotten into the end zone more often, he wouldn't be in this boat. I watched Super Bowl 43 on NFL Network on Sunday morning. We had 7 plays inside the 10 yrd line to try and score during one second-half drive and actually LOST yardage. That was the gripe with the old offense, they were ALL-World between the 20's, but couldn't score points. Guess what folks, points win games, not yards. Change was needed, and I don't feel that Big Ben was slighted by Rooney or Tomlin, they gave BA and BB more than ample time to develop into an explosive scoring machine....they failed. Time to move on. The reference to Peyton Manning is moot, IMO, because the old offense was never a high-scoring affair like PM's was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jooser View Post
    I guess I'm the odd man out here, but the firing on Bruce Arians DID NOT surprise me a bit. That old horse and pony show stunk and it was a welcome sight to see the train roll out of town......

    This writer seems to be stirring the sh!t pot here, BOO-HOO if Ben has to learn a new playbook. If our offense could've gotten into the end zone more often, he wouldn't be in this boat. I watched Super Bowl 43 on NFL Network on Sunday morning. We had 7 plays inside the 10 yrd line to try and score during one second-half drive and actually LOST yardage. That was the gripe with the old offense, they were ALL-World between the 20's, but couldn't score points. Guess what folks, points win games, not yards. Change was needed, and I don't feel that Big Ben was slighted by Rooney or Tomlin, they gave BA and BB more than ample time to develop into an explosive scoring machine....they failed. Time to move on. The reference to Peyton Manning is moot, IMO, because the old offense was never a high-scoring affair like PM's was.
    The writer "Stirring the ... pot"? I don't think so. I think his point is that Ben is doing the pot stirring right now. And, he believes that Ben needs to stop.
    Even if Bill Belichick was getting an atomic wedgie, his face would look exactly the same.

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    The writer states agreement that Ben has been treated unfairly, that's my point. I don't agree with the writer's assessment of the situation, but I do agree that Ben needs to quit smarting off about it and move on.

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    Ben has a ways to go to become a team leader and he isnt very smart.
    STFU, learn something, stay healthy and produce.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post

    Think Robert Kraft suggests positional philosophy to Tom Brady?

    Think the Packers pull that with Aaron Rodgers?

    Think Peyton Manning didn't pack his own playbook when he flew off to Denver?
    Did any of those guys find themselves in the news with two separate sexual assault allegations within a period of 12 months?

    No?

    Why would the coaches, front office and ownership not trust Ben to make these decisions himself?

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    No one was surprised BA was canned... I think the timing of it threw people off because of Tomlin's presser.

    The things that make Ben great are also the things that get him in trouble... he is stubborn, has a big ego and likes doing things his way. It's great when it works but it can be a disaster when it doesn't and I'm talking about on and off the field.

  8. #8
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    I watched Ben's interview on Steelers.com and Ben was nothing but positive. He wasn't disparaging in any way, but he made it clear that there was work to do and he was there to work. So, what's the problem?

    IMO, all this stuff has been manufactured drama by the press. Ben isn't whining or complaining. He's being a good soldier and doing what he has to do. I'm sure it's not easy when you think that if you hadn't missed on a few opportunities to score your friend might not have gotten fired. Still, no griping on his end, just being professional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    Did any of those guys find themselves in the news with two separate sexual assault allegations within a period of 12 months?

    No?

    Why would the coaches, front office and ownership not trust Ben to make these decisions himself?
    But more than that, did Brady and Rogers barely make it through the past season in one piece because of their playing style? Ben was severely damaged goods by the playoffs last year. I hardly find it unfair that Rooney asked him to tweak his game after seeing what Ben endured last year. And it's nice to see the team put an emphasis on the Offensive Line in the draft because no one outside of Ben has had any praise for our line in the past 5 years.

    A little tweak to Ben's game and a new Offensive Line and Ben might actually reach the playoffs on both legs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    But more than that, did Brady and Rogers barely make it through the past season in one piece because of their playing style? Ben was severely damaged goods by the playoffs last year. I hardly find it unfair that Rooney asked him to tweak his game after seeing what Ben endured last year. And it's nice to see the team put an emphasis on the Offensive Line in the draft because no one outside of Ben has had any praise for our line in the past 5 years.

    A little tweak to Ben's game and a new Offensive Line and Ben might actually reach the playoffs on both legs.
    Bingo! They stated their position and then went out in the draft and backed it up. Ben doesn't manage this team or call the shots in coaching personnel, he only manages the offense when it's on the field. No one hung him out to dry by firing BA.

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