Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dear Mike Tomlin, Please Sit Ben Roethlisberger This Week


This is one blogger's plea to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Please sit Ben Roethlisberger this week.

Current news has Ben's shoulder okay enough for him to play on Sunday, but it seems like his partially separated shoulder never fully healed despite the bye-week rest.

We welcome an always-dangerous Indy team to town, and their 4-4 record probably doesn't sit too well with the team and fans. Hell, they've been spoiled by success the past 6-7 years, so I'd assume that the .500 record through half the season isn't ideal.

For this, I think the Indy D (In-D? Sorry...) will come at whoever is under center for Pittsburgh. Our O-Line is primed to be exploited at any time. Now, I'm not saying I particularly fear what the Colts will throw at us, but if Ben's in the game...he's gonna get sacked.

There was a time when I thought we needed all healthy players to face Indianapolis. But now, I'm liking our chances against a weakened Colts team, especially with a full game lead over the fraudulent (in my opinion) Ravens.

Indy is going to bring pressure. Everyone we play is going to bring pressure. But my plea to sit Roethlisberger this week isn't due only to the possibility of Ben getting hit. It's to have Ben learn from Byron Leftwich.


There was a pretty telling quote in that P-G article above, which echoed a strong though flying through the minds of Steelers Nation after the win over Washington. Listen to Tomlin:

"[Leftwich] probably did do a better job of getting the ball out, and, no, it did not surprise me," Tomlin answered. "That is one of the characteristics of Byron Leftwich. He got the ball out pretty good in Jacksonville and the different places he has been. That's who he is. He is a quick decision-maker. He is an anticipatory thrower."

In no way is Tomlin wrong about that quote, despite it being prime for criticism. Ben hasn't been on the same page as his receivers this year, as seen from the countless overthrows and miscommunication between WR and QB on the routes early in the Washington game. Leftwich came in and made some good throws before receivers made their breaks, and I was pretty surprised. Here's a guy who admits that he still doesn't fully understand the Steelers playbook, but he anticipated well.

Giving Ben a week will not only strengthen his shoulder, but give him time to watch his backup do what the fans have been asking of Ben...rolling out of the pocket when needed and making quick, accurate decisions.

Oh, and maybe Ben will learn to throw the ball 400 MPH, too!



Sheena Beaston said...

agreed on all fronts

matt said...

you bet your ass he should sit

domski43 said...

i'm on the fence about sitting big ben. if the doctors clear him and he has a productive week at practice i say play him.

I'm scared for his physical well being and want him to get healthy, but that just isnt happening anytime soon. One thing i know about Ben is he bounces back in the face of adversity. when someone says he cant do this or that throughout his career he has proven them wrong. maybe just seeing byron's success when he got rid of the ball quickly along with tomlin's statement will be the "thing" that wakes Big Ben up.

tecmo said...

Sheena - Yes

Matt - Yes

Domski - I'm not so much scared about his health. But Ben, as I've read at certain places, seems to want to be that guy who is always playing through pain...like he kinda thrives on that sort of attention. I want him to sit not only to get a week's rest, but also to see that a backup with limited knowledge of the playbook can get off quick, accurate decisions with the same O Line. Maybe shake some sense into Ben.

That's not to say I don't want him to play. Love the guy, but he's still making the same poor decisions.

tiny350Z said...

agree with you, and also agree with domski. BUT... even if we have leftwich start, it doesn't mean we can't put ben in the game later on.

Cotter said...

I tend to agree. He definitely needs to stay as healthy as possible and he definitely could stand to watch the Offense with Byron at the helm.

BUT, I think the problem isn't just Big Ben. It's that we're forgetting about running the ball. It's getting to the point where opposing Defenses EXPECT us to pass on 1st down. That's just weird. And it makes us a lot easier to stop.

So I'm not against sitting Ben. But I also think we need to take a look at what we're trying to do on Offense when he IS in there.

Then again, I don't know shit. So, whatevs...

Sheena Beaston said...

an article on ESPN.com yesterday listed Big Ben as AFC North Offensive Player of the Year (to date)


but then again look at the caliber of teams beneath us, so in some glimpses, i'd agree

Anonymous said...

FYI, Ben & Tomlin had a candid heart to heart before lunch this week and Ben promised to step up the offence this week if he gets the call...you can bet your bottom dollar he will start. If his production numbers are down, Tomlin will replace him with Byron. Being 1/2 way through the season...Ben pleaded that this is the time he thrives the most.