View Full Version : Steelers might weather storm without Roethlisberger in short term

11-23-2009, 09:06 PM
Steelers might weather storm without Roethlisberger in short term
Posted Nov. 23, 2009 @ 4:16 p.m.
By Mike Wilkening

First, the Steelers lost QB Ben Roethlisberger to what head coach Mike Tomlin called a "concussion-oriented" injury in Sunday's loss at Kansas City. Then, in the aftermath of the painful 27-24 defeat, one that dropped Pittsburgh to 6-4 and zapped some of its margin for error as it readies for a game at desperate Baltimore (5-5) next weekend, it was learned that Roethlisberger's backup, Charlie Batch, suffered a broken left wrist that could sideline him for the rest the season.

The Steelers' No. 3 quarterback, Dennis Dixon, is in his second NFL season. He appeared in one game in 2008, completing his only pass for three yards. He has not played this season.

The status of both Roethlisberger and Batch figures to be updated on Tuesday, when head coach Mike Tomlin has his weekly press conference. In the meantime, the Steelers appear to be looking at veteran free-agent passers, with Jeff Garcia, most recently with the Eagles, among them, according to the National Football Post. The Post reported the club may also have interest in Cleo Lemon, most recently with the Ravens.

The PFW spin

It's tough to speculate about the seriousness of Roethlisberger's injury, but we know this much: If he doesn't play at Baltimore on Sunday, the Steelers' chances of winning decrease dramatically.

The loss of Batch, 34, isn't insignificant, either. Though he's started only four games since joining Pittsburgh in 2002, he knows Bruce Arians' offense well, and he could have capably run the offense for a few games in Roethlisberger's absence. Dixon is a promising prospect, and he's more athletic than Batch, but the Ravens' defense is not easy for many quarterbacks to crack, let alone a first-time starter. Garcia, an experienced pro like Batch, might have a better chance of succeeding, even off only a few days in the system, but that would be a tall order for him, too.

What's more, the Steelers' offense would be drastically different with Roethlisberger out. No one creates as the pressure closes in like he does. Both Dixon and Garcia can buy time with their feet, but neither would likely be able to make the long and daring throws downfield that make the Pittsburgh passing game so dangerous.

However, for as in much trouble as Pittsburgh would appear to be facing against a tough foe like Baltimore if Roethlisberger is out, the Steelers might be able to get by without him in Weeks 13 and 14 if necessary, as they host the Raiders on Dec. 6, then travel to struggling Cleveland on Dec. 10. Pittsburgh could lean on its running game and defense and come away with wins before having to regroup for a tough three-game stretch to finish the season: home games vs. Green Bay (Dec. 20) and Baltimore (Dec. 27), then a road game at Miami (Jan. 3).

The Steelers' postseason prospects are still pretty good, but they are no cinch to be playing when the playoffs kick off on Jan. 9, and it is hard not to think back to their inability to close out three very winnable road games at Chicago, Cincinnati and most recently Kansas City and wonder if that is not ultimately going to cost them dearly.

11-23-2009, 09:16 PM
As I've said before... It's great that they are saying that Ben is fine. I'm glad he's doing much better but to put him in is STUPID! As much as I would love for him to play the Ravens will be all over him and it takes one more blow that can kill the man. I would rather keep our starting QB then have him go into a coma or die from another blow to the head. Edit: It takes a long time for a person to heal from a concussion. One weeks worth of healing isn't going to work for Ben especially since he's already been diagnosed with 4 of them.

Second impact syndrome (SIS) occurs when someone, usually an athlete, suffers a
second blow or violent snapping of the head while they're still suffering the effects of a previous concussion. When this happens, severe hematoma can result, with the patient quickly losing consciousness, and in many cases, lapsing into a coma and dying from respiratory failure caused by extreme pressure on the brain stem. Even more troubling is the fact that cases of SIS are more often seen in high school football players, since the grade one and grade two concussions they suffer too often go undiagnosed.
In addition, there is the problem of cognitive difficulty caused by a concussion. As Dr. Jacob Rachlin, a neurosurgeon at Boston's Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center explains, "In some cases, a patient will appear to have fully recovered from a concussion, yet months later, experience cognitive problems, such as difficulty concentrating or taking notes.” Though rare, such difficulties do occur, sometimes even after a minor concussion. So, as Doctor Rachlin urges, "If you do experience such difficulties, contact your doctor, don't ignore them. There are things that can be done to help."


11-24-2009, 09:59 AM
Well if the Steelers can figure out how to not spot the other teams points by allowing them dam Special Teams run backs, we might be in a different boat when it comes to big bens injuries. However since we have the top defense in the league, and the psecial teams can F$%##$%$ tackle, we are stuck in the mud.

How is this guy not fired? Why for the past 8 years have our ST sucked so bad?

11-24-2009, 10:27 AM
I may be in the minority on this forum, but I believe we can and will beat the Ratbirds with Dixon. He has been here for 2 previous seasons, he knows the O, he is being coached by a pretty good ex QB, Anderson. Lest we forget, had Dixon not been injured his senior year, he might very well have won the Hiesman and most certainly have been a 1st or 2nd round pick. I say let Ben heal, play Dixon, I have a feeling we might be pleasantly surprised.

11-24-2009, 12:10 PM
What the heck does "concussion-oriented" even mean?

Come on! Don't insult us.