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83-Steelers-43
10-01-2007, 06:52 AM
Ben dropped ball with old coach
Monday, October 01, 2007
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- What was one of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's ridiculous criticisms of his former offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, after he left to take the Arizona Cardinals' job? That he was too conservative?

You could have fooled me yesterday.

Actually, Whisenhunt fooled the Steelers.

Badly.

There are a number of reasons for Whisenhunt to feel good about his Cardinals' 21-14 victory against the Steelers. You know the obvious one, the one involving the Steelers' decision not to give him their head coaching job when Bill Cowher left after last season despite Whisenhunt's fine work with Roethlisberger and the offense in the Super Bowl year of 2005 and the 15-1 season of 2004. Revenge is oh so sweet.

"Oh, yeah, this is really big for Whiz," said Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a former Pitt star who played a huge part in the victory. "This was definitely not a normal week for us. You could tell Whiz really wanted us to get after it."

But there was another big reason.

Whisenhunt's play calling was huge.

It was anything but conservative.

"That's my mentality," Whisenhunt said afterward, thoroughly confused why Roethlisberger has gone out of his way to attempt to create a grudge between them, much as another great Steelers quarterback -- Terry Bradshaw -- tried to create a silly, imaginary one a few decades ago with Chuck Noll.

It's a crying shame Roethlisberger didn't see Whisenhunt before the game. There was a love-fest when Whisenhunt came onto the field; maybe two-dozen Steelers rushed over to hug him. It's hard to believe it was an accident that Big Ben wasn't among them, especially after he didn't have the class to go congratulate Whisenhunt after the win. "Hopefully, one day, we'll talk," Whisenhunt said.

It's not like Whisenhunt lacked for people patting him on the back.

His players were thrilled for him.

"We all really wanted to win this game," Fitzgerald said. "We've had it circled since the schedule came out."

Whisenhunt's take?

"If you're asking me if I'm excited about us beating the Steelers, sure I am. But I don't have any animosity toward that football team. What I'm proud of is our guys stepping up and making plays and beating a good team to win a game that no one gave us a chance to win.

"This gives us something to build on. It makes us feel like we can play with anybody."

Whisenhunt's prints were all over the victory, starting with the way he handled his quarterbacks. For the second week in a row, he benched young starter Matt Leinart and brought in old vet Kurt Warner to run the no-huddle offense to give the Cardinals a spark. It worked exactly as planned; Warner led a long third-quarter touchdown drive to tie the score, 7-7.

But after Steve Breaston's 73-yard punt return for a score gave the Cardinals a 14-7 lead, Whisenhunt went back to Leinart. Together, the two were marvelous on a touchdown drive that clinched the victory.

On first down at the Arizona 18, when everybody in the rocket ship-like stadium was thinking run, Whisenhunt had Leinart run a play fake to running back Edgerrin James and throw a deep pass to Fitzgerald, who beat cornerback Ike Taylor and made a terrific catch for a 38-yard gain.

"That play was something we worked on all week," Whisenhunt said. "We were just waiting for the right time."

"I lobbied for it," said Fitzgerald, who had 11 catches for 123 yards. "I told coach, 'Just give me a shot. Let me make a play.' "

Later in that drive, Whisenhunt had Leinart sneak for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the Steelers' 24 when a Neil Rackers field goal would have given the Cardinals a 10-point lead.

"I'd have been a dummy if that one didn't work," Whisenhunt said. "It just felt like the right call. I had a lot of faith in our line."

On the next play, Whisenhunt called another play-action pass, this one to wide receiver Bryant Johnson for an 11-yard gain.

Not exactly conservative, right?

"We thought they'd be playing the run and we'd have a shot with the pass," Whisenhunt said, shrugging.

James scored on a 2-yard run moments later to complete a near-perfect day for Whisenhunt. His team didn't just beat the Steelers, his old team. He was able to get Leinart -- his new team's future -- back in the game and have him go home feeling good about himself.

"He showed you why he's going to be a really good quarterback in this league," Whisenhunt said.

The man knows one when he sees one.

He had Roethlisberger, didn't he?

"I'd never say anything bad about Ben," Whisenhunt said. "He's a good quarterback and a good kid."

Whisenhunt would have told that to Roethlisberger's face yesterday. Too bad Big Ben didn't have the decency to give him the chance.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07274/822006-87.stm

The Duke
10-01-2007, 07:00 AM
I really think Ben should have talked with Wiz before or after the game, maybe in some way that affected this play. Anyway, that's in the past, Ben should focus on the next game(and so should the whole team) and hope to someday fix whatever problems there are between him and wiz.

Justin Otstott
10-01-2007, 07:11 AM
I could care less, they must have sumthing going on underground....Im with Ben!!!

HometownGal
10-01-2007, 07:16 AM
I don't believe that Ben not shaking hands with Wiz either before or after the game had any bearing or outcome on how the game turned out, though I think it would have been the classy thing to do. Wiz had his team fired up and ready to do battle and battle is what they did. Gotta give props to Wiz and the Cards for outwitting the Steelers and the coaching staff.

RoethlisBURGHer
10-01-2007, 07:26 AM
I don't think any of the perceived problems with Whiz and Ben had an effect on the game's outcome.

You know what had an effect? Hines Ward, Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu being on the sidelines due to injury.

Atlanta Dan
10-01-2007, 07:26 AM
Ben was too emotional about this game - he is quoted as having told Arians going into this week, "this is my Cleveland for you. [Arians] was fired up about Cleveland."

Arians was fired by Clevelend - Whiz was the O-coordinator for Ben when they won a Super Bowl - how the situations are remotely comparable in Ben's mind is ludicrous. Too bad Cowher and Whiz apparently did not come over to Ben's house to bake s'mores and constantly tell him in a soothing voice what a great guy he was.

Having been sacked 4 times and failing to read the safety on the end zone INT yesterday maybe Ben will now STFU about how great it is Whiz is no longer calling the plays in Pittsbutgh.

If Ben wanted to get his game face on by not shakig hands with Whiz before the game he can be excused for needing to engage in such a childish tactic, but refusing to see Whiz after the game is the type of boorish behavior for which several of us blasted Belicheat when he failed to shake Manning's hand after the playoff loss last season.

This is not slamming Ben for his game performance - it is slamming him for continuing prima donna behavior that we had been led to believe he finally had outgrown after the 2006 season. Ben still has a lot of growing up to do, which considering he is in his mid-20s makes you wonder if he will ever be the great QB we hope he will become.

SteelFist
10-01-2007, 09:03 AM
Ben has blame to take, as he did. But this offensive line is not off the hook. And Ben was being a little too nice when he said the OL had a good game......

There were so many times in this game where Ben and the WR's were not on the same page. And Ben can't take all of the blame for that either.

TackleMeBen
10-01-2007, 09:13 AM
i agree. the oline didnt help out at all yesterday. they were losing the battles in the trenches terribly.

as for ben not shaking wiz's hand.. no big deal its his prerogative. as i said before it doesnt matter what he does someone will always say he should have done something else.. doesnt matter to me.. i still love him and think he is a great qb

83-Steelers-43
10-01-2007, 09:15 AM
Im with Ben!!!

lol, well of course!

Big D
10-01-2007, 09:19 AM
I don't believe that Ben not shaking hands with Wiz either before or after the game had any bearing or outcome on how the game turned out, though I think it would have been the classy thing to do. Wiz had his team fired up and ready to do battle and battle is what they did. Gotta give props to Wiz and the Cards for outwitting the Steelers and the coaching staff.

I agree. I think it was a psych job for whisenhunt. I have a feeling ben had something to do with wiz not getting hired.

delhess
10-01-2007, 09:24 AM
how many 3rd down passes would have went to ward, i feel that was a big factor. when ben is in big trouble, he often tosses to ward or parker, and they were all over parker. i thought they made good use of heath miller however. the o line got beat, and they should not feel good about this game. i think they were exposed a little. hope they bounce back.

lamberts-lost-tooth
10-01-2007, 09:39 AM
Bottom line....better play calling and Ward back in the offense would have made all the difference in the world.

TackleMeBen
10-01-2007, 09:40 AM
what is up with the recievers not running the right routes.. we had this problem last year too.. if they cant do it right then find someone that can. losing is not acceptable..lol

Atlanta Dan
10-01-2007, 09:52 AM
I agree. I think it was a psych job for whisenhunt. I have a feeling ben had something to do with wiz not getting hired.

I would hope/assume the Rooneys would not have relied on a player's dislike for someone as driving their hiring decision for a HC, but since Ben could threaten to bolt in free agency if Whiz was hired (and IMO Ben making such a threat is a definite possibiity given the apparent depth of his animosity) there certainly is that chance.

As stated above, hopefully Ben has this out of his system and can start looking forward to the rest of the season after all the sniping about past seasons. If Whiz was playing head games with Ben then it worked - hopefully a lesson Ben has learned.

Atlanta Dan
10-01-2007, 09:54 AM
what is up with the recievers not running the right routes.. we had this problem last year too.. if they cant do it right then find someone that can. losing is not acceptable..lol

Ben ws clearly pi**ed at Washington running the wrong route - IMO Nate's performance yesterday did not make it likely he will be part of Steelers 2008.

TackleMeBen
10-01-2007, 10:01 AM
Ben ws clearly pi**ed at Washington running the wrong route - IMO Nate's performance yesterday did not make it likely he will be part of Steelers 2008.

yes he was, and i cant blame him either.. he should have slapped upside his head and tell him to either do it right or go sit on the bench..lol..

Edman
10-01-2007, 11:10 AM
Ben had another one of those bitter "moments" every athlete goes through. If he has truly matured, he will put the past behind him and move on. He no longer has questions about Whiz/ Old Regime to deal with this week. Let's see if he shuts up about it. Ben made a mistake, and Whiz left him with all kinds of egg on his face. Let this be a life lesson to him. Shut up, stop the bullcrap, grow up, and play focused.

Remember, our players aren't choir boys. They all have flaws. Take Hines sticking his foot in his mouth at times. It's how they handle it is what I pay attention to.

augustashark
10-01-2007, 03:05 PM
I would hope/assume the Rooneys would not have relied on a player's dislike for someone as driving their hiring decision for a HC, but since Ben could threaten to bolt in free agency if Whiz was hired (and IMO Ben making such a threat is a definite possibiity given the apparent depth of his animosity) there certainly is that chance.

As stated above, hopefully Ben has this out of his system and can start looking forward to the rest of the season after all the sniping about past seasons. If Whiz was playing head games with Ben then it worked - hopefully a lesson Ben has learned.

After what I saw, I agree that ben not wanting Wiz as HC is a possibility.

Ben made the biggest mistake of the game!, bar none. Even getting a FG on that drive I think we win. I went back and looked at the film and he had Nate on a short crossing pattern in the endzone, but he just locked in on Miller.

Ben has shown from day one till now that he will throw INTS in the worst spots. He has not fixed this in 4yrs! Will he ever, I don't know.

Atlanta Dan
10-01-2007, 03:13 PM
After what I saw, I agree that ben not wanting Wiz as HC is a possibility.

Ben made the biggest mistake of the game!, bar none. Even getting a FG on that drive I think we win. I went back and looked at the film and he had Nate on a short crossing pattern in the endzone, but he just locked in on Miller.

Of course given that it was Nate who was open on the crossing pattern, taking your chances on forcing the ball into double coverage may have been the better option.:smile:

TackleMeBen
10-01-2007, 03:44 PM
Nate probably would have dropped the ball, maybe he should invest in some glue for those gloves.. maybe then he can hold onto the darn ball

Virginia Steeler
10-01-2007, 03:54 PM
played terrible and lost by 1 td...it was amazing that they even had a chance to tie at the end....trust me, i am not pleased but to play so poorly and lose by 7 without Ward or Troy (for at least the 2nd half ) tells me that the Steelers are still a good team....i hope they just forget this, refocus and beat Seattle.

Dino 6 Rings
10-01-2007, 04:24 PM
the play call on 3rd and goal is what was suspect. You can only go to the same well so many times before it runs out of water. ANYONE watching film of our first 3 games would have looked for a pass to a TE in that situation. What they wouldn't have been looking for, is a 3rd consecutive run. I was screaming to run the ball, they linebackers were playing off and the secondary was obviously in a "zone" coverage looking for the quick underneath pass. Ben should have seen and checked out. Guess he was to sure of the play that had worked 5 times already...its cool..next time we'll do better over all...besides, it isn't like he has to worry about playing against Wiz anytime soon...not with the 2 qb attack...that's good for a game or two, but not the long haul.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-01-2007, 04:26 PM
Of course given that it was Nate who was open on the crossing pattern, taking your chances on forcing the ball into double coverage may have been the better option.:smile:

lol.....................This is a funny and great post.....:sofunny::sofunny::sofunny: I happened to agree with after seeing how both Washington and Wilson couldn't run a good route to save their lives yesterday and really both didn't have any field awareness......

Dino 6 Rings
10-01-2007, 04:31 PM
I didn't realize Wilson was actually in uniform yesterday.

stillers4me
10-01-2007, 04:56 PM
I have no personal knowledge of Ben's and Whiz's relationship.........and neither does this reporter. And it's none of my business..........who cares.

It's just another little drama to sell a newspaper.

Stlrs4Life
10-01-2007, 05:13 PM
Ben was too emotional about this game - he is quoted as having told Arians going into this week, "this is my Cleveland for you. [Arians] was fired up about Cleveland."

Arians was fired by Clevelend - Whiz was the O-coordinator for Ben when they won a Super Bowl - how the situations are remotely comparable in Ben's mind is ludicrous. Too bad Cowher and Whiz apparently did not come over to Ben's house to bake s'mores and constantly tell him in a soothing voice what a great guy he was.

Having been sacked 4 times and failing to read the safety on the end zone INT yesterday maybe Ben will now STFU about how great it is Whiz is no longer calling the plays in Pittsbutgh.

If Ben wanted to get his game face on by not shakig hands with Whiz before the game he can be excused for needing to engage in such a childish tactic, but refusing to see Whiz after the game is the type of boorish behavior for which several of us blasted Belicheat when he failed to shake Manning's hand after the playoff loss last season.

This is not slamming Ben for his game performance - it is slamming him for continuing prima donna behavior that we had been led to believe he finally had outgrown after the 2006 season. Ben still has a lot of growing up to do, which considering he is in his mid-20s makes you wonder if he will ever be the great QB we hope he will become.




Exactly..........

zoneblitz43
10-01-2007, 05:25 PM
Ben seems to be really bitter about Whisenhunt saying he came back from his injuries too early when he was telling the truth. Ben purposely avoided Whisenhunt before the game while he was smiling and greeting all his other former players and was nowhere in sight after the game ended. I think he left for the locker room. Ben is supposed to be the leader of our team, and it's unacceptable from the leader of our team to act like a big, pouting baby. This behavior is inexcusable to me and shows me he has a lot of growing up to do in this league. Ben has over 50 career starts, 5-1 postseason record, and a Super Bowl ring but emotionally he still acts like a rookie. It's wrong for him to hold a grudge against a guy that helped him win a Super Bowl. I really hope he hears it from Tomlin for how he acted.

fansince'76
10-01-2007, 05:35 PM
As someone who has defended (and taken a bit of flak for) Ben recently over his maturity, I certainly can't excuse his display after the game yesterday. Very unprofessional and very immature. I'm definitely disappointed.

steelpride12
10-01-2007, 05:45 PM
As someone who has defended (and taken a bit of flak for) Ben recently over his maturity, I certainly can't excuse his display after the game yesterday. Very unprofessional and very immature. I'm definitely disappointed.

I agree it's not like him to be unfriendly like that and it is a dissapointment.

revefsreleets
10-01-2007, 06:12 PM
Noll and Bradshaw did not have a very good relationship either. Didn't seem to affect those teams much. Yesterdays game was not won or lost base on animosity between Whiz and Ben, whether real or only perceived or conceived by the media.

Preacher
10-01-2007, 06:44 PM
I agree. It would be nice for Ben to go and shake hands with Wiz. Sadly, he didn't.

However, there was a plethora of mistakes (mental) that caused the loss. On top of that, there was a number of other things as well, including injuries.

As I always say. Once is a mistake, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern.

Let's see what happens next week before we say anything else.