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lamberts-lost-tooth
07-25-2007, 04:52 AM
Steelers' Big Ben could be back in big way
Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Healthy, motivated and arguably in the best shape of his life, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appears poised for a big season.
Early signs may point to a new and improved Roethlisberger, but offensive tackle Max Starks isn't quite buying into Roethlisberger 2.0.

"I think he'll come back to normalcy more than having a big year," Starks said Tuesday.

Translation: Roethlisberger will play like the quarterback who won 27 of his first 31 starts and stamped himself as a rising star, not the one who threw the most interceptions in the NFL last season.

The Steelers' struggles in 2006 mirrored that of Roethlisberger. Their rebounding after going 8-8 and missing the playoffs depends largely on Roethlisberger -- and, specifically, his showing he is a franchise quarterback, not one who merely benefited from the system his first two years in the league.
"You can say all you want; you've got to prove it to the fans and the media," Roethlisberger said. "No, I'm just trying to go out and prove to myself that I can do it, that my career's not over and last year was a fluke."

There were some reasons, well-documented and mitigating, that led to Roethlisberger's subpar season.

It will never be known how much of a role the cumulative effect of the trauma Roethlisberger suffered played in his regression. But he never seemed comfortable in 2006, and at times, he might have tried too hard to prove himself, to show his becoming the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl was no fluke.

He forced his share of throws and ended up tossing 23 interceptions.

That is three more than he had thrown in his first two regular seasons combined.

"Ben has to put more trust in his role players to go out there and make plays," wide receiver Hines Ward said.

Roethlisberger, 25, appears intent on gaining the trust of his teammates by doing things such as starting his workout regimen a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months after the season -- he attributes that to his arriving at training camp in as good a shape as he's been -- and joining those who block for him in a show of leadership.

Roethlisberger did that Monday when he ran with the offensive linemen during a conditioning test even though he was exempt from it.

Such a gesture surely caught the attention of Tomlin, who will pick the Steelers' captains for this season.

Even if he is not a captain, Roethlisberger will be a leader this season just by virtue of the added responsibilities the new coaching staff has thrust on him.

That evidently would be fine with Roethlisberger, and he indicated he would much rather answer questions about the challenge of making adjustments at the line of scrimmage than ones about how a motorcycle wreck and appendectomy have affected his play.

"It's good to be able to come out here and just concentrate on football," Roethlisberger said. "I feel better than I've ever felt."

stlrtruck
07-25-2007, 04:06 PM
There's no doubt in my mind that in order for the Steelers to have major success on the offensive side of the ball, Roethlisberger has to step up and become a leader - even if he's not labeled "captain".

revefsreleets
07-25-2007, 04:19 PM
If Ben has a year anything remotely as bad as last year, I'll change my screen name to "Brownslover" for a full year.

I'm that confident that Ben will be one of the top QB's in the league this season.

HometownGal
07-25-2007, 04:41 PM
I'm not shooting for Ben to be the top QB in the NFL. I just want and expect him to play smart football, not force his throws, do his part to get 'r done and morph himself back to the Ben we all know and love. NOTE: I do, however, believe this will be his best season to-date. :tt02:

Preacher
07-25-2007, 04:44 PM
What I love, is the maturation of Ben

and joining those who block for him in a show of leadership.

Roethlisberger did that Monday when he ran with the offensive linemen during a conditioning test even though he was exempt from it.

Such a gesture surely caught the attention of Tomlin, who will pick the Steelers' captains for this season.


THAT is what the military calls... A leadership function!

Black@Gold Forever32
07-25-2007, 05:28 PM
Mark it down 30 TD passes for Ben this year......I know I keep beating a dead horse but I really would like to see Ben become the first Steelers QB to throw 30 TD passes in a single season....Trust me if Ben threw 0 TD passes and the Steelers won another Super Bowl I will be more then happy...But there is nothing wrong with wanting a Lombardi and Ben setting some single season Steeler records.......

Steelerstrength
07-25-2007, 05:43 PM
I'm not shooting for Ben to be the top QB in the NFL. I just want and expect him to play smart football, not force his throws, do his part to get 'r done and morph himself back to the Ben we all know and love. NOTE: I do, however, believe this will be his best season to-date. :tt02:

:thumbsup::iagree:

Preacher
07-25-2007, 05:48 PM
I'm not shooting for Ben to be the top QB in the NFL. I just want and expect him to play smart football, not force his throws, do his part to get 'r done and morph himself back to the Ben we all know and love. NOTE: I do, however, believe this will be his best season to-date. :tt02:

Actually HTG.. I think the two are one.

Ben was on his way to being one of the TOP QB's of the NFL. So if he gets back to what he was.. He could easily be considered in the top 5.