View Full Version : Big Ben runs the offense today

11-23-2005, 11:34 PM

Roethlisberger ran the offense in practice for the first time in nearly a month Wednesday after missing three consecutive games and four of six with knee injuries. He still has pain after needing right knee surgery Nov. 3, but not nearly as much as in past weeks.

"It feels like an eternity since I've been out there," Roethlisberger said. "I can't wait to get out there and get on the field so the guys know I'm back, and hopefully I'm back to stay for a while."

And what about the knee?

"The doctors are telling me it looks good," said Roethlisberger, who initially hurt the knee in the season opener and has been bothered by the injury since. "As long as I keep telling myself it feels good, I'll be OK."

Roethlisberger's return comes exactly when the Steelers (7-3) need him the most, with key games against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday and the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3) and Chicago Bears (7-3) to follow. Clearly, it's the pivotal stretch of the season as the Steelers and Cincinnati compete for the AFC North title.

After losing their only two starts with Tommy Maddox at quarterback, it was evident that the Steelers had to have Roethlisberger for this stretch drive. He is 18-1 as a starter, and the confidence he brings and his ability to win games in a variety of ways is something his teammates value.

"We can't wait to get him out there," right tackle Max Starks said.

And, though nobody in the locker room was saying it, to get the immobile Maddox out of there. Maddox was sacked six times and was nearly brought down three other times in a 16-13 overtime loss Sunday to Baltimore (3-7), a loss that cost the Steelers a chance to move into the division lead by themselves.

Because Maddox couldn't dodge the Ravens' pass rush long enough to consistently get the ball downfield, the Ravens loaded up the line of scrimmage with eight defenders and often dropped only three defensive backs into coverage.

The result was predictable: a season-low 70 yards rushing and a career-low zero yards on two carries for Jerome Bettis.

"They're not going to be able to keep eight in the box if Ben is in there, so it's something we're looking forward to," Starks said.

Duce Staley ran for 76 yards and 64 yards in the only two games he has played much, and now that he's off the injury list after also needing a knee operation, he is expected to be Willie Parker's backup Monday. Parker was held to 59 yards on 18 carries by Baltimore, but his speed could be a factor on one of the NFL's fastest playing surfaces.

In Roethlisberger's mind, the only question is how fast he can get back to game speed. Coach Bill Cowher said Roethlisberger is bound to be rusty - he has thrown only 44 passes in six weeks - but the Steelers might not have much time to allow Roethlisberger to settle in against the Colts.

The Colts have scored 31 or more points in each of their last five games, with three games of 40 or more. By contrast, the Steelers have scored more than 30 points only twice and have been held to 20 or fewer in three of their last four games.

"You can never simulate the game, the game speed, in practice, especially a team like Indianapolis on their Field Turf," Roethlisberger said. "So I think it will be a challenge, I definitely think there will be some rust. The question is, how quick can I knock it off?"

The Steelers have other injury worries, too. Left tackle Marvel Smith (ankle) missed the Ravens' game, which forced them to play rookie Trai Essex for the first time in his career. Predictably, Essex had an uneven game, and he may have to play again Monday. Smith missed practice Wednesday and is listed as questionable.

Still, the Steelers seem annoyed that few seem to be giving them a chance to win despite their 22-4 record over the last two seasons.

"Nobody's giving us a chance to win this ball game," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "You look at the odds, look at the news, I mean the Colts are supposed to win the Super Bowl. But the guys in this locker room, we believe in one another and we'll prepare for them and see what happens on Monday."

11-23-2005, 11:58 PM
On the right is the video http://kdka.com/video

11-24-2005, 12:01 AM
we need big ben to play this weekend

11-24-2005, 12:58 AM
We need the OL to protect him too, and the running game to compliment him. We need alot of things to go right this weekend ! but it can be done!

Avoid LLoyd1975
11-24-2005, 01:59 PM
Lets go Benjamin. We need you back kid.

11-24-2005, 06:34 PM
We need the OL to protect him too, and the running game to compliment him. We need alot of things to go right this weekend ! but it can be done!
If our defence can slow down Peyton I'm hoping our offence will take care of itself and just keep Peyton off the field.

How much better is Indy's defence this year compared to last year?

11-24-2005, 08:02 PM
I heard that Big Ben mentioned that' He was still in pain" This is not good! Should we risk ben playing even if it is Indy??