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BlitzburghRockCity 06-03-2005 08:54 PM

Ben deny's ignoring playbook
Roethlisberger denies ignoring playbook

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger denied Thursday that he and wide receiver Plaxico Burress sometimes ignored the team's playbook in order to make up passing plays designed to get Burress the ball.

An story said Burress adjusted certain pass routes to fit the plays he and Roethlisberger came up with, regardless of the play called by the coaches. Roethlisberger laughed off the report, saying all quarterbacks and receivers adjust on the fly as plays develop.

"I think that's just called improvising," Roethlisberger said. "You make things happen. Sometimes things break down and your only option is to make something happen that's not necessarily in the playbook. I think that's something Plax and I had and I think it's something me and these other receivers also have."

Burress was the Steelers' top draft pick in 2000, but the team did not move to re-sign him after his five-year contract ran out and he signed a $25 million, six-year deal with the New York Giants. After the Steelers' 41-27 AFC title game loss to New England, Roethlisberger lobbied the Steelers to bring back Burress, but it is not believed they made any move to do so.

The Steelers have since signed former 49ers starter Cedrick Wilson to give them another proven receiver with speed. They also drafted 6-foot-5 tight end Heath Miller and 6-4 wide receiver Fred Gibson to replace some of the size lost when the 6-5 Burress departed.

Roethlisberger has said repeatedly that he and Burress had a good rapport on the field and were friends off it, but the quarterback has not publicly criticized the decision not to bring Burress back.

Burress' statistics weren't the best of the Steelers' top three receivers - Burress, Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El - before he missed the final five regular-season games with a hamstring injury.

During the nine regular-season games they started together with Roethlisberger, Ward had 47 catches and three touchdowns and Burress had 31 catches and four touchdowns. Ward made the Pro Bowl for a fourth consecutive season.

Even with Burress gone, Roethlisberger is convinced that he'll have plenty of downfield options.

"I think we've got good new additions in the young guys and Cedrick coming over," he said. "Altogether we've got a bunch of different guys that bring different things to the table but are all very talented."

The Steelers went 15-1, the best regular season in franchise history, as Roethlisberger unexpectedly became a starter during his rookie season. The season ended with Pittsburgh's fourth AFC championship game loss at home since the 1994 season

clevestinks 06-03-2005 09:16 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
:o All great QBs improvise! You make plays fit according to the defense, if you know a cb is playing soft, or over aggressive, you change up the route. If a Safety keeps biting on different fake you improvise. The Press sucks sometimes, leave the kid alone.

BlitzburghRockCity 06-03-2005 09:35 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
Gotta give him credit for having the insight, knowledge of the playbook, and quick thinking to find the open targets when he has too.

hardwork 06-03-2005 11:23 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
"The season ended with Pittsburgh's fourth AFC championship game loss at home since the 1994 season"


ironcitychef 06-04-2005 01:25 AM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
'The controversial "tuck rule," which came to light when a late-game interpretation aided the New England Patriots in a division-round playoff victory over the Oakland Raiders'

Anyways...:blah: I saw this but put it under the Hines better w/o Plax thread. At least he doesn't have to defend not wearing a helmet. If they were changing plays you would have thought Plax would have caught more than 32 balls?

Prosdo 06-04-2005 02:28 AM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
I wish they would just cover actual football instead of trying to make controversy. I would like to hear more about how our draft picks and the new receivers are doing instead of Burress was corrupting Ben and the helmet talk. Its getting old!

bigbensgirl7 06-04-2005 12:18 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
Yes, it's true, Ben and Plax were very good friends and neighbors. They were known to pass the football around in their yards. Does this mean they changed the calls and the playbook to get the ball to Burress more...NO!!! 1st off, if that was the case, I think our coaches would have caught on. Even before his injury, Burress was not out #1 guy (he was and pretty much has always been our deep threat). 2nd, Ben was also on a mission last year. He was the 3rd QB taken in the draft (luckily) and wanted to prove that he could have gone #1. He was also trying to set history (and did)! Why would he jeoprdize that to help one player. I think people would have a much better argument on this if all of a sudden Burress turned into our #1 reciever...but he didn't-case closed. The media is always looking for some sort of controversy and stories to write about in the here it is! I just think it's BS in my opinion.

clevestinks 06-04-2005 01:04 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook

Originally Posted by hardwork
"The season ended with Pittsburgh's fourth AFC championship game loss at home since the 1994 season"


Don`t understand what this has to do with Ben improvising?? I`m just glad he is off to a better NFL start than Brady was!

hardwork 06-04-2005 03:18 PM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
"I`m just glad he is off to a better NFL start than Brady was!"

Don't understand what this has to do with Ben improvising??? However, Bardy had to wait a year for the guy infront of him to get hurt. Ben only had to wait a few days. That's what happens when you join a weak team, you get to play right away.

Now, can we get back to Ben's improvising, geeeeees.

ironcitychef 06-05-2005 01:29 AM

Re: Ben deny's ignoring playbook
Uh HW?, in 1999 you were 8-8, in 2000 you were 5-11, yes? Then why didn't Tom start sooner? Shouldn't he have played right away? And be careful, this isn't the BF so you may want to stay on topic with some factual stuff.

Personally, if you only threw it 25 times at most a game and you were a rookie QB, I would be breaking off routes and throwing to the most open guy I could find as well.

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