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83-Steelers-43
12-25-2006, 07:34 AM
Cook: Big Ben big reason for bad season
Monday, December 25, 2006

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bill Cowher couldn't stand to watch, at least not live. Can you blame him? As the Steelers lined up midway through the fourth quarter yesterday for a third-and-14 play at their 19 far to his left, he walked up the sideline toward the other end zone, his eyes focused on the Heinz Field scoreboard. Maybe that would change the Steelers' luck; they trailed the Baltimore Ravens, 21-7. Maybe that would slow the Ravens' ferocious pass rush; it had sacked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times. Maybe that would enable the Steelers to convert a first down; they were 1 for 10 to that point. Maybe that would make Roethlisberger actually throw a decent pass; he was awful all day.

Or maybe not.

Cowher never turned -- never took his eyes off the big board -- as safety Dawan Landry intercepted Roethlisberger's tipped pass and returned it 37 yards for what appeared to be the killer touchdown. So what if Landry stepped out of bounds and the Ravens ended up with the ball at the Steelers' 1 after the play was reviewed? They kicked the clinching field goal moments later, on their way to a thorough 31-7 beating that officially took the Steelers' lame playoff hopes off life support.

Somehow, it seemed fitting that the Steelers' last-gasp effort ended with a horrible Roethlisberger pass that was intercepted.

Heaven knows there were plenty of those in this miserable season.

"It will be awfully hard for next year to be any worse," Roethlisberger said with a sad smile.

The kid was talking about his personal turmoil, I think. His horrific motorcycle accident June 12. His emergency appendectomy Sept. 3. His concussion in Atlanta Oct. 22. The hardest hit he ever took in football from Ravens linebacker Bart Scott Nov. 26. But he could have been talking about his season-long performance just as well. It's going to be awfully hard for him to be worse next year.

One of sports' great truisms is that the quarterback always gets too much credit after wins and too much blame after defeats, but we're going to set that aside with the Christmas wrapping paper trash this morning. It's hard to finger anyone more than Roethlisberger for the Steelers' 7-8 record and their pitiful defense of their Super Bowl title. In the six wins that Big Ben led, he threw 11 touchdown passes and four interceptions. In the team's eight losses, he threw six touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Those are damning statistics.

A lot of people will blame Cowher for Roethlisberger's struggles and kick the coach on his way out after his final game, presumably, with the Steelers in Cincinnati Sunday. They'll say he rushed Roethlisberger back too quickly after his accident and appendectomy to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sept. 18. Big Ben threw two interceptions in a 9-0 shutout that night. They'll say Cowher never should have played Roethlisberger in Oakland the week after his concussion. Big Ben threw four interceptions in that absurd 20-13 loss.

But that's not fair to Cowher. The medical people cleared Roethlisberger. He's the Steelers' guy. It's not Cowher's fault that Roethlisberger let him down, let the team down.

Roethlisberger was terrible from the start yesterday, his first pass tipped at the line by linebacker Terrell Suggs. It was one of at least five balls that Roethlisberger had deflected at the line of scrimmage. On the Steelers' second possession, he badly overthrew wide-open wideout Santonio Holmes in the right flat on a third-and-4 play that could have given the Steelers some juice. Appropriately, his final pass was intercepted by Ed Reed, the Ravens' great safety. His passer rating for the day was an abysmal 47.2.

Roethlisberger's problems were especially jarring because Ravens quarterback Steve McNair had a terrific day, throwing for three touchdowns. "We knocked him on his can and he still threw completions," Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel marveled. "He played incredible today. He was unstoppable."

No one in either locker room was saying any such thing about Big Ben.

Somewhat surprisingly, for the first time after a loss this season, Roethlisberger didn't rush to take the blame.

"For the first time in a long time, I felt like I wasn't quite on the same page with the receivers."

When pressed to measure his responsibility for the Steelers' elimination from the playoff chase, Roethlisberger danced, saying, "I told some of the receivers and some of the other guys that we need to get better. I'm going to stay around here a lot. We'll work out together this offseason and get better together."

That's the good news on this joyous holiday morning.

Roethlisberger and the Steelers have to be better next season.

They can't possibly be worse.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06359/748852-87.stm

top break
12-25-2006, 08:11 AM
You can blame Big Ben's poor play and cowher for not playing Batch

Time for Cowher to go he lost the fire

Justin Otstott
12-25-2006, 08:20 AM
omfg.....you have to be playing ^^

stillers4me
12-25-2006, 08:32 AM
There's plenty of blame to all around. It's not just Ben's fault, he just makes an easy target.

OneForTheToe
12-25-2006, 11:37 AM
Wasn't he taking resposibility when saying: "It will be awfully hard for next year to be any worse," ?

HometownGal
12-25-2006, 01:49 PM
Bull puckies. Ben wasn't the sole cause of the Steelers' demise this season any more than he was the sole reason the Steelers made their incredible run and won XL last season. You win as a team and lose as a team - there are no in betweens.

Preacher
12-25-2006, 02:05 PM
And once again I say,

It is Steeler nations favorite game to bash the QB... Jesus couldn't even play for the Steelers.

PAMillerGrrl83
12-25-2006, 02:07 PM
Bull puckies. Ben wasn't the sole cause of the Steelers' demise this season any more than he was the sole reason the Steelers made their incredible run and won XL last season. You win as a team and lose as a team - there are no in betweens.

Number one I love the "bull puckies" slogan. Number two your exactly right, its not fair to place blame on one person. You loose as an entire team and you win as an entire team. It'll be a better year next year.

lotas
12-25-2006, 02:21 PM
And what about Ben's protection? How can you comment on a quarterback's play without even mentioning the offensive line? That is ridiculous, this guy is an idiot, a complete idiot. I'm sorry but our O line was HIDEOUS this year, just HIDEOUS. What, the Ravens sacked us 14 times in 2 games? You're right, screw Ben for not lighting it up against them! Idiot...

fansince'76
12-25-2006, 02:35 PM
And they actually printed this crap in the Post-Gazette? This tool was also probably one of the ones screeching the loudest after Bradshaw was a no-show at the 40th anniversary ceremony during the SB pregame last year. Note to Mr. Cook: Hey numbnuts, do you think getting dissed in the local Pittsburgh media for years by hacks like you in this very fashion might have had something to do with Bradshaw not showing up to the SB, or the 25th anniversary reunion of the '79 Steelers?

Preacher
12-25-2006, 02:43 PM
And they actually printed this crap in the Post-Gazette? This tool was also probably one of the ones screeching the loudest after Bradshaw was a no-show at the 40th anniversary ceremony during the SB pregame last year. Note to Mr. Cook: Hey numbnuts, do you think getting dissed in the local Pittsburgh media for years by hacks like you in this very fashion might have had something to do with Bradshaw not showing up to the SB, or the 25th anniversary reunion of the '79 Steelers?


(Sighing Heavily) at least some people get it!

BigDuke6
12-25-2006, 03:07 PM
Bull puckies. Ben wasn't the sole cause of the Steelers' demise this season any more than he was the sole reason the Steelers made their incredible run and won XL last season. You win as a team and lose as a team - there are no in betweens.

Is that why they all make the same amount of money ??
There's plenty of blame to go around for everyone.
WR, too many dropped balls, blown routes and blocks.
O-Line - nuff said.
DL/LBs - no QB pressure.
Secondary - no one making a play or aggressively covering plus the meltdown of Ike after his BIG contract.
STs - nuff said. Plenty of blame everywhere.....hmmmm....kinda makes you think with all that wrong maybe the HC is the one to blame.
Too many guys, Ike, Max, Kendall, Joey, Ben, Heath, Nate, Cedrick all took a step backwards as far as their play was concerned. The blame for this lies firmly with the coaching staff and the HC is on the hot seat for that. Thats why he makes the big mamoo.
I blame Ben for a horrible season. HE HAD A HORRIBLE SEASON. But if his passer rating were 135.8 we still would only be on the periphery of the playoffs with virtually no chance to repeat. To win the SB you must be hitting on ALL cylinders. This season, we were hitting on very few.

Preacher
12-25-2006, 03:42 PM
Is that why they all make the same amount of money ??
There's plenty of blame to go around for everyone.
WR, too many dropped balls, blown routes and blocks.
O-Line - nuff said.
DL/LBs - no QB pressure.
Secondary - no one making a play or aggressively covering plus the meltdown of Ike after his BIG contract.
STs - nuff said. Plenty of blame everywhere.....hmmmm....kinda makes you think with all that wrong maybe the HC is the one to blame.
Too many guys, Ike, Max, Kendall, Joey, Ben, Heath, Nate, Cedrick all took a step backwards as far as their play was concerned. The blame for this lies firmly with the coaching staff and the HC is on the hot seat for that. Thats why he makes the big mamoo.
I blame Ben for a horrible season. HE HAD A HORRIBLE SEASON. But if his passer rating were 135.8 we still would only be on the periphery of the playoffs with virtually no chance to repeat. To win the SB you must be hitting on ALL cylinders. This season, we were hitting on very few.

true, he had a horrible season, but half his interceptions were balls that were BATTED INTO defensive hands. The turnstyle blocking scheme has something to do with it too. Six in one and half a dozen in the other. Let's give us another year before we start pointing fingers at Ben.

MACH1
12-25-2006, 04:09 PM
Is it Bens fault for all the fumbles too??

BigDuke6
12-25-2006, 04:17 PM
true, he had a horrible season, but half his interceptions were balls that were BATTED INTO defensive hands. The turnstyle blocking scheme has something to do with it too. Six in one and half a dozen in the other. Let's give us another year before we start pointing fingers at Ben.

No, I'm going to place a lot of blame on Ben's shoulders for this year. Just as I heaped praise on him and placed a huge amount of the credit at his feet for our SB XL vic last year. The two go hand-in-hand. We certainly would not have won last year if he didnt lead us there. And I will forever be in awe of him for the promise he made AND KEPT to Bussie about sticking around for another run. As a Steeler fan I will be eternally grateful to Ben for that win but again, its a two-way street. Ben can handle it and certainly he will rebound next year.
Just watch him.

Preacher
12-25-2006, 05:33 PM
And what about Ben's protection? How can you comment on a quarterback's play without even mentioning the offensive line? That is ridiculous, this guy is an idiot, a complete idiot. I'm sorry but our O line was HIDEOUS this year, just HIDEOUS. What, the Ravens sacked us 14 times in 2 games? You're right, screw Ben for not lighting it up against them! Idiot...



:sofunny::sofunny::sofunny::sofunny: I like this guy. He even posts like me... idiot!

X-Terminator
12-25-2006, 05:46 PM
Oy vey :dang:

How in the world do people like Cook get jobs? Can someone please explain that to me?

OX1947
12-25-2006, 08:16 PM
No matter how you want to slice it, when you are a good team and have just won a World Championship, the Qb and the head coach are at the forefront of it all. And with Big ben's accident, cowhers contract situation, that set up the team to fail because all the thinking throughout the off season were two non on the field situations.

The NFL is fast and quick to adapt when it comes to playing certain players or teams. The coaches now are so good that as players and coaches you have to one up everyone to stay ahead. It s a league of change every day, week, year. So with that, cowher and Big ben were unable to really evolve this season. Evolve from being the champion and continuing it. Maybe they were comfortable, maybe it was bad breaks. I think it was all of it. In the Cowher era, this was the worst team he has had. Even the 6-10 teams he had were not this bad. 8 red zone turnovers cost us 4 games. Special team errors cost us two games, I mean that is the difference from 7-8 to 13-2.

A side note on this season is the play of our secondary. What happen ti Ike Taylor, here's a guy who can cover chad johnson 5 times without a TD and yet he is getting burned by the Derek Mason's of the world. I think Anthony Smith was a steal in the draft, and I am hoping Ike cleans his head up because I am hoping for Mcfad, Ike, Troy and Smith to really step it up next year. As far as the draft, this team needs a Shawn Merriman or Shawn Phillips. Someone who can bring us 12 to 13 sacks a seasons. i think Joey has one more year in him and Haggans did not have a good year. We need a pro bowl pass rusher and I mean someone who wrecks havoc every single game.

Preacher
12-25-2006, 08:18 PM
No matter how you want to slice it, when you are a good team and have just won a World Championship, the Qb and the head coach are at the forefront of it all. And with Big ben's accident, cowhers contract situation, that set up the team to fail because all the thinking throughout the off season were two non on the field situations.

The NFL is fast and quick to adapt when it comes to playing certain players or teams. The coaches now are so good that as players and coaches you have to one up everyone to stay ahead. It s a league of change every day, week, year. So with that, cowher and Big ben were unable to really evolve this season. Evolve from being the champion and continuing it. Maybe they were comfortable, maybe it was bad breaks. I think it was all of it. In the Cowher era, this was the worst team he has had. Even the 6-10 teams he had were not this bad. 8 red zone turnovers cost us 4 games. Special team errors cost us two games, I mean that is the difference from 7-8 to 13-2.

A side note on this season is the play of our secondary. What happen ti Ike Taylor, here's a guy who can cover chad johnson 5 times without a TD and yet he is getting burned by the Derek Mason's of the world. I think Anthony Smith was a steal in the draft, and I am hoping Ike cleans his head up because I am hoping for Mcfad, Ike, Troy and Smith to really step it up next year. As far as the draft, this team needs a Shawn Merriman or Shawn Phillips. Someone who can bring us 12 to 13 sacks a seasons. i think Joey has one more year in him and Haggans did not have a good year. We need a pro bowl pass rusher and I mean someone who wrecks havoc every single game.

Great... Here is a post that is critical of Ben... WITH COMMON SENSE..

THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

jbattenhouse
12-26-2006, 06:28 AM
Big Ben certainly regressed this year and had his share of bad plays, reads, throws, etc., but in no way is he responsible for the enitre failure of the team this season. He seemingly came into the league and set it on fire, but remember that in the 15-1 season the Steelers had the #1 rated D in the NFL. Last year we were a bit higher as well and played very well down the stretch. This year, the D's performance slipped and lost that edge.

Also, on offense, the running game seemed to be too inconsistent. Sure, FWP had some great games, but against good defenses the run game went way south. This is not FWP's fault, since he played his heart out every game, but the OL just could not get it done and FWP suffered. Also, I don't believe the O playcalling was setup to take advantage of his strengths, namely speed off the edge and some misdirection plays thrown in as well. He also had nobody reliable to step in and provide a change of pace/breather.

Hopefully some big changes will be coming. If BB stays off motorcycles and dedicates himself to improving his weaknesses and getting some rhythm going with the receivers and backs, if the OL gets some much needed upgrades and blocking schemes for both run AND pass, and if the D gets a few more playmakers and maybe some new wrinkles to the scheme, then a repeat SB performance should be readily available

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 07:21 AM
I think some misunderstood this article. Cook never stated Roethlisberger was the only reason why we have played pathetic football this season. He stated that he was a big reason. How anybody can disagree with that opinion I'll never know, but to each their own.

"Roethlisberger and the Steelers have to be better next season." - Ron Cook

clevestinks
12-26-2006, 09:03 AM
I think some misunderstood this article. Cook never stated Roethlisberger was the only reason why we have played pathetic football this season. He stated that he was a big reason. How anybody can disagree with that opinion I'll never know, but to each their own.

"Roethlisberger and the Steelers have to be better next season." - Ron Cook

Exactly, we could probably name atleast a dozens reasons why we played so pathetic.

Jeff Reed was terrible for starters.

4xSBChamps
12-26-2006, 10:53 AM
How in the world do people like Cook get jobs?
..... 'cause it's against the law to put 'em in a round-room, and tell 'em to pee in a corner?
:hunch:

fansince'76
12-26-2006, 11:47 AM
I think some misunderstood this article. Cook never stated Roethlisberger was the only reason why we have played pathetic football this season.

No, he never came right out and said it, but he sure implied it. The part that got me was his assertion that it "wasn't fair to Cowher" to criticize the decision to start Ben in the Raiders game as the "team doctors had cleared him" when it was obvious to anyone who wasn't blind that Ben WAS NOT 100% that day and was still feeling the effects of the concussion he sustained the week before in the Atlanta game.

stillers4me
12-26-2006, 11:55 AM
I think the headline pretty much sums up his opinion.

Cook: Big Ben big reason for bad season

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 01:47 PM
So what was he implying here?

Most of the Steelers haven't played nearly as well as they did in 2005.

Start with Roethlisberger. It's bad enough that he has thrown 22 interceptions -- more than twice as many as last season -- with the game at Cincinnati Sunday still to play. He has thrown them in bunches. Three in the home loss to Cincinnati. Four in the ridiculous loss in Oakland. Three in the loss to Denver. A total of 18 in the eight losses.

The offensive line hasn't done much to help Roethlisberger, allowing him to be sacked 45 times, almost twice as many times as last season. It isn't just Hartings, who could retire. Tackle Marvel Smith might have regressed more than anyone if only because he played at such a high level in 2005. Guard Kendall Simmons was benched for Chris Kemoeatu for a couple of games midway through the season.

Though Roethlisberger is the season's biggest disappointment, cornerback Ike Taylor is a close second. On Sept. 3, he agreed to a five-year, $22.5 million contract, including a $6.4 million signing bonus. At Thanksgiving, he lost his starting job. On second thought, Taylor -- not Roethlisberger -- is the team's biggest disappointment. At least Big Ben has played well in a few games.

So have outside linebackers Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, just not nearly enough. Porter's most important statistics -- seven sacks and nine quarterback hurries -- are down from a year ago when he had 101/2 sacks and 15 hurries. The same is true of Haggans (six and six after nine and 10 last season).

Even safety Troy Polamalu is having something of a down year despite being named a Pro Bowl starter again. He wasn't the same impact player, his spectacular performance in the win at Cleveland aside. Sunday, he was just flat-out bad, getting beat twice for 35- and 25-yard touchdown passes.

The Steelers who are having a big season make for a much shorter list.

Running back Willie Parker should be named the team's Most Valuable Player this week, even if his season has been maddeningly inconsistent. He has had four 100-yard rushing games and two 200-yard games. He also has had three games with fewer than 30 yards and four more with fewer than 65. And don't forget that fumble he lost at the Ravens' 3 Sunday.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06360/749015-87.stm

Yeah, I still stand by my opinion. I think the above article pretty much sums up his opinion.

clevestinks
12-26-2006, 01:51 PM
Running back Willie Parker should be named the team's Most Valuable Player this week, even if his season has been maddeningly inconsistent. He has had four 100-yard rushing games and two 200-yard games. He also has had three games with fewer than 30 yards and four more with fewer than 65. And don't forget that fumble he lost at the Ravens' 3 Sunday.

I like Aaron Smith for MVP. Not for stats!

fansince'76
12-26-2006, 02:03 PM
So what was he implying here?

That's all well and good, but this is a different article than the one I posted my original comment about - that article did nothing but point the finger of blame at Ben and nobody else - it didn't mention the OL or D and even defended Cowher's allowance of Ben to start against the Raiders, when he obviously was not 100%.

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 02:07 PM
Title of article: Big Ben Big Reason for bad season

Not: Big Ben Only Reason for bad season

Once again, page one "Roethlisberger and the Steelers have to be better next season.".

fansince'76
12-26-2006, 02:11 PM
Title of article: Big Ben Big Reason for bad season

Not: Big Ben Only Reason for bad season


Since we're going to get into semantics here, the part of the statement "big reason" also could be very easily construed as meaning "main reason," could it not?

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 02:16 PM
lol, I look at it as he's a big reason why we had a bad season. Exactly what the title states and I don't disagree. I'm willing to put blame on the o-line, DB's and coaching staff. They are also "big reasons" why we looked horrible this season. Or do you believe that Ben had nothing to do with our defeats? Normally your QB is a "big" part of your offense.

I just figured if he's putting the sole blame this season on Ben he would have stated "Roethlisberger and ONLY Roethlisberger needs to be better next season.". If that's what Cook stated, then I could see why some people are ready to hang the guy.

clevestinks
12-26-2006, 02:20 PM
Hey too bad that we`re not in the NFC, we wood be playoff bound

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 02:21 PM
Hey too bad that we`re not in the NFC, we wood be playoff bound

Aint that the sad truth....lol. That's not making me feel any better CS, but thanks. :wink02:

fansince'76
12-26-2006, 02:23 PM
Yeah, it's cool - I didn't mean to seem so argumentative about it. I don't generally put much stock into what sportswriters say in general anyway - by and large they're no more qualified than you, I, or any of the other folks on this board to play Monday morning QB.

83-Steelers-43
12-26-2006, 02:26 PM
Yeah, it's cool - I didn't mean to seem so argumentative about it. I don't generally put much stock into what sportswriters say in general anyway - by and large they're no more qualified than you, I, or any of the other folks on this board to play Monday morning QB.

Not at all. You didn't come off as argumentative. I apologize if I did so.

As for sportswriters, I'm on the same page as you. Although for the most part, I like Cook. While I do disagree with him at times, for the majority of the time I agree with the guy. He tends to be a straight shooter in a city where happy talk sells papers.

Preacher
12-26-2006, 04:13 PM
Yeah, it's cool - I didn't mean to seem so argumentative about it. I don't generally put much stock into what sportswriters say in general anyway - by and large they're no more qualified than you, I, or any of the other folks on this board to play Monday morning QB.
Not at all. You didn't come off as argumentative. I apologize if I did so.

As for sportswriters, I'm on the same page as you. Although for the most part, I like Cook. While I do disagree with him at times, for the majority of the time I agree with the guy. He tends to be a straight shooter in a city where happy talk sells papers.


:toofunny::toofunny::toofunny::toofunny::toofunny:

And these two posts lady's and gentlemen, is exhibit number 1 as to the proof that we are Steeler fans, and not Bengel fans.

If these two were Bengel fans, they would be threatening each others dogs, cats, goldfish, and elephants right now!

MACH1
12-26-2006, 04:15 PM
:toofunny::toofunny::toofunny::toofunny::toofunny:

And these two posts lady's and gentlemen, is exhibit number 1 as to the proof that we are Steeler fans, and not Bengel fans.

If these two were Bengel fans, they would be threatening each others dogs, cats, goldfish, and elephants right now!

isn't that the truth. :tt02:

DACEB
12-26-2006, 05:00 PM
lol, I look at it as he's a big reason why we had a bad season. Exactly what the title states and I don't disagree. I'm willing to put blame on the o-line, DB's and coaching staff. They are also "big reasons" why we looked horrible this season. Or do you believe that Ben had nothing to do with our defeats? Normally your QB is a "big" part of your offense.

I just figured if he's putting the sole blame this season on Ben he would have stated "Roethlisberger and ONLY Roethlisberger needs to be better next season.". If that's what Cook stated, then I could see why some people are ready to hang the guy.

Unfortunatly, and even though I love the guy, Ben was a big reason for our failures this year (ie Oakland and 1st int in Cincy game).
I really hope Ben does stick around and work with the receivers and watch film in the offseason. He has been great in the past on many occasions, but I hope he uses this year as a lesson and works to get better.

stlrtruck
12-28-2006, 09:31 AM
Bottom line, we won it all as a team and we lost it all as a team!!

Although many individuals had performances for the down fall, it's all about the team and this year they slid into complacency!