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Old 12-11-2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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While Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (thumb) is talking about having offseason surgery, there does not appear to be any thought by the team at not playing him down the stretch even if they were to lose during Week 14. The team's training staff has come up with a splint for Big Ben's thumb that puts pressure on his wrist so he can grip the football bet and they are hopeful the support will be enough that he can continue playing. The general thought process is the team does not have a chance without him on the field. So, while he will probably need surgery, it is not necessary immediately and he feels he can play through it. The injury is considered moderately serious in nature, but not serious enough to keep him off the field. Most owners who had him in their lineups last week will tell you with three interceptions, the team can't win with any quarterback this year.
Back to the running game issues... while it all starts up front with the offensive line, RB Willie Parker is also not helping matters. Unfortunately, he may be the best of the bunch for the team because if the Steelers did not like how he was playing they would play Duce Staley over him. According to sources close to t the team's back of the future despite a few good games this year. He's played well enough that the team doesn't want to make too many major changes so he will remain the starter for the remainder of the season.
Speaking of Staley, he's simply been passed over for Parker, at least for this season. The team may once again bounce him to the inactive list during Week 14 and activate RB Verron Haynes, who has been inactive the last two games, because Haynes is much better on special teams than Staley is. Plus, the team has been killed in special teams and they feel having Haynes active can help them there. It's clearly becoming obvious Staley won't be a factor down the stretch barring some drastic event. The team feels they have enough depth with Parker, Jerome Bettis and Haynes on game day, so Staley becomes the odd man out. Furthermore, head coach Steelers have disappointed across the board this season; the passing game, running game, receivers as well as defensively. The real question is if they even deserve to get into the playoffs? Many fantasy players would say no along with Steelers fans. Sources close to the situation don't feel the loss to the Indianapolis Colts affected the team's mindset in their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last week. The Steelers simply are not playing well and ran into two good teams in a row. Mentally, the team has not the Colts. Last weekend they just did not make the plays they needed to and their special teams also let them down. One big difference between this Steelers' team and previous ones is the defense has not shown the ability to stop the run. That was obvious the past two weeks while both Bengals RB Rudi Johnson and Colts RB Edgerrin James ran over 100-yards against them. What it all boils down to is the Steelers simply are not as good as what everyone thought they were and their players are regressing.
Go Deep...You'll Always Beat'em Deep....

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