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mesaSteeler
09-11-2009, 07:04 AM
Not much has changed from last season
9/11/2009 3:30 AM
http://www.observer-reporter.com/OR/Print/9-11-Steelers-Titans-column\

PITTSBURGH - Forgetting for a moment that the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2008, their season-opening 13-10 overtime win against the Tennessee Titans looked ominously like every game they played last season.

That's not necessarily a good thing.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger started every game in 2008, despite being sacked 46 times. He did miss time in wins over Washington and Cleveland. Considering the way the Steelers' defense played in 2008, Pittsburgh could have lined up in a Wing-T and snapped the ball directly to the running back on every play and beaten those two sad sack teams.

But Pittsburgh cannot continue to allow Roethlisberger to take the beating he has over the past three seasons - 139 heading into Thursday night's game - if the Steelers' franchise quarterback is going to continue to be the franchise quarterback.

Roethlisberger is the one player who this team cannot live without.

We continually heard over the past six months as the team has re-signed five of its own offensive linemen that this was a group with upside, one that would get better the more it played as a unit.

That may happen over time - or it may not - but Roethlisberger might not survive the wait.

The Steelers came out Thursday night throwing a lot of quick passes meant to slow down Tennessee's pass rush, which sacked Roethlisberger five times in the Titans' 31-14 win over Pittsburgh in 2008.

It was a smart move by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. But it was an attack the Steelers quickly got away from after their first two possessions.

If that is a way to keep Roethlisberger upright and opposing teams from tearing him limb from limb, the Steelers may need to continue to do more of it.

Let's face it, the team just doesn't have the rushing attack that will scare a good defense, something it proved again against the Titans.

Without that, those quick passes for four or five-yard gains are every bit as effective as a running play.

Head coach Mike Tomlin might also want to speak to Roethlisberger once again about his propensity to hold the ball too long in certain situations.

It's part of what makes Roethlisberger great, but it also opens him up to some big hits.

With Roethlisberger on the field, the Steelers have the ability to be a Super Bowl contender. Without him, they are just another team, albeit one with a great defense.

That great defense gave the Steelers a chance to win the Super Bowl in 2008, but it was Roethlisberger and his last-minute touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes after driving the length of the field that won it.

F. Dale Lolley can be reached at dlolley@observer-reporter.com

Copyright Observer Publishing Co.

steeltheone
09-11-2009, 07:30 AM
I've always stated this. Without Big Ben we might not even make the playoffs.

GBMelBlount
09-11-2009, 07:44 AM
I've always stated this. Without Big Ben we might not even make the playoffs.

Isn't Ben one of the reasons there is a need for so many 4th quarter comebacks.......

fansince'76
09-11-2009, 08:13 AM
So having a QB that can actually win games instead of a QB that is carried by the running game only to screw the pooch without fail at some point in the postseason when the running game alone isn't quite enough (see most of Cowher era minus '04 and '05) is a bad thing? OK.

T.Richardson
09-11-2009, 08:20 AM
Isn't Ben one of the reasons there is a need for so many 4th quarter comebacks.......

so your blaming Ben?

SteeleReign
09-11-2009, 08:46 AM
Gotta say...after watching the game last night I felt the same way - not much has changed. Yes, we seem to have found a return game & D-Sep has already made a significant difference in the punt game.

However....same old pathetic running game...The only running play that looked decent was the counter to the left when we pulled the guard across - looked like old-fashined Steelers football.

Short yardage??? Why the he!! did we keep the Tank? Was it for his blocking? (didn't see any of that), was it his ability to get the hard-yard? (never had the shot)...I would have loved to see Ike in the situation.

Arians continuing to be predictable in his play-calling?.....Honestly, I would almost prefer giving the keys to Ben & let him run the offense. He seems to have a better idea of what's going on than Arians.

There was a lot to like last night, but I just don't see much improvement in many key areas over last year. I thought that is what the off-season, the draft, pre-season, training camp, free-agency...is all about...fixing what ails you...

GBMelBlount
09-11-2009, 09:12 AM
so your blaming Ben?

Lighten up T. I just asked a question.

GBMelBlount
09-11-2009, 09:17 AM
So having a QB that can actually win games instead of a QB that is carried by the running game only to screw the pooch without fail at some point in the postseason when the running game alone isn't quite enough (see most of Cowher era minus '04 and '05) is a bad thing? OK.

I do not question Ben's ability to win games in the clutch. My question really pertained to the disparity in his "clutch play" vs. at other times. That's all.

KeiselPower99
09-11-2009, 09:19 AM
Still wish we wouldve drafted J.P. Losman in that draft. This Roethlisberger kid is a waste. lol

TerribleSteelyMcBeam
09-11-2009, 12:54 PM
Still wish we wouldve drafted J.P. Losman in that draft. This Roethlisberger kid is a waste. lol


haha yeah, he isnt really much of an impact or anything.

we should probably just run the wildcat

SteelerFanInCA
09-11-2009, 01:03 PM
We played against a solid D last night. I'm going to wait a few games before I say "nothing has changed from last season"