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Old 02-24-2007, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says
Saturday, February 24, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- Upon further review, the injuries Ben Roethlisberger suffered last summer contributed to him having a poor season, his former offensive coordinator said today.

Ken Whisenhunt, now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, believes in hindsight that Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident on June 12 coupled with his Sept. 3 appendectomy caused the quarterback problems for most of the season.

"I just saw physically in the pocket there were some things you could just sense he wasn't as confident as he was the year before,'' said Whisenhunt, speaking at the NFL's annual Combine workout session for 326 college prospects. "A lot of that I think was because of recovering from the injuries and having some doubts of whether he was 100 percent healthy or not."

It's the first time someone from the Steelers staff last season has acknowledged that Roethlisberger was seriously affected on the field from his injuries off of it.

Roethlisberger played in all four preseason games after overcoming a near-fatal June 12 accident in which his motorcycle collided with a car in downtown Pittsburgh. He was set to play in the Sept. 7 opener but the unexpected appendectomy sidelined him for that game.

He returned to start Sept. 18 at Jacksonville and did not miss another game that season, even after he had a concussion Oct. 22 at Atlanta.

It was by far his worst season of three in the NFL. Roethlisberger threw for 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions -- three more than in his first two seasons combined. His passer rating of 75.4 was 23 points below his combined rating of his first two seasons.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07055/764831-100.stm
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

Boy, I would have never have guessed that especially after that Raider debacle.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

I think we all knew that his injuries effected his play. Dont need no Einestein to tell us that. I always thought he came back way too soon from all the injuries. Hopefully this season he can stay injury free. I am all for putting him in a bubble so he cant get hurt
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

Injuries?, what injuries?
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

You could definately see him trying to protect his right side during the Jax game. This is one of the few times I ever put the blame on Cowher. He should have been tougher with Ben and held him out a couple more games, especially the week after the Falcons game.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

DUHHHHHHH! You dont say! Wow couldn't figure that one out on my own. Man that Whisenhunt is one smart cookie to notice that!
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

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DUHHHHHHH! You dont say!
I second that. And I'm sorry, I don't want to hear "well, he was medically cleared to play." If anyone thinks Ben was 100% healthy in that Raiders game, they're either blind, dumb, or both. You don't think team doctors aren't frequently pressured to medically clear a player when it's obvious that player has no business stepping onto the field? Please.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

In hindsight, Ben's injuries came while Cowher was not focused on any long term issues other than studying flight schedules from Raleigh-Durham Airport to New York that would get him up to NYC for a post-resignation TV gig on Saturday evening and back home Sunday night. Not exactly the focus you want from your HC when it comes to dealing with a franchise QB having an unstable year.

The season was a complete train wreck and there was plenty of blame for the players and coaching staff to share.

Accordingly, while these observations by Whiz are not real shockers, what would be news is whether or not Whiz voiced an opinion on playing Ben so soon after Ben's many injuries to Cowher and whether the Rooneys asked Whiz in his job interview if Ben should have been rehabbed differently.

Given all of the posts where we expressed our views, Whiz had to have his own view - perhaps that opinion and/or not convincing Cowher to share it hurt Whiz when it came time for the Rooneys to hire Cowher's replacement and for Cowher allegedly to recommend Chan f'ing Gailey as his successor.

As for now, time to look forward rather than look back and hope the injuries were all that caused Ben to regress.
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Old 02-24-2007, 03:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

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As for now, time to look forward rather than look back and hope the injuries were all that caused Ben to regress.
I truly think they were, Dan. Ben looked like he was finally getting back to form in the Atlanta game before he got his bell rung again. If I'm worried about anything, it will be Ben's possibly increased susceptibility to concussions moving forward.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ben's injuries affected his play, Whisenhunt says

The concussion (or concussions? - I assume he got one in the motorcycle wreck as well) is the one that worries me as well.

Prior to watching the America's Game segment on the 1993 Cowboys, I had forgotten Aikman was regarded as questionable for the Super Bowl after getting concussed by what appeared to be a glancing blow in the NFC Championship. Aikman of course subsequently retired early due to concussions, as did Steve Young, Merrill Hoge, and others.

Given the growing information on brain trauma injuries, Ben being brought back for the Raiders game was coaching (if not medical) malpractice.
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