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Old 12-13-2007, 07:06 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

This time around, the Jags are going to see a healthier, stronger and much more confident and poised Ben. Good to see that Troy will be back!


Steelers Notebook: Big Ben vs. Jaguars -- No fond memories
Thursday, December 13, 2007


By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

First it was the motorcycle accident, then it was the appendectomy, and then there were the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The stutter-start to Ben Roethlisberger's defense of his Super Bowl ring finally got started at Jacksonville Sept. 18, 2006, and it was not a pretty Monday night sight.

The Jaguars sacked him twice, intercepted him twice, limited him to 17 completions in 32 attempts for 141 yards and a pitiful 38.7 passer rating in a 9-0 shutout.

Someone asked Roethlisberger if the Jaguars blitzed him more because he was two weeks fresh off his appendectomy.

"That would be a good assumption to make," he said yesterday. "I'm sure it wasn't my best game last year by far. I kind of have a bad taste in my mouth about that game last year."

It was a bad start to his worst pro season, one that ended with a league-leading 23 interceptions, 18 touchdown passes and a 75.4 passer rating, along with a 7-8 record in his 15 starts.

Today, as he prepares for a rematch against the Jaguars Sunday in Heinz Field, Roethlisberger is playing a different kind of game. He ranks fourth in the league with a 101.4 passer rating, and his interceptions are down to 11. He has thrown a career-high 26 touchdown passes, two off Terry Bradshaw's 1978 team record.

"I think I'm playing a little bit better and understanding things a little bit better," Roethlisberger said. "Hopefully, that makes us a better offense."

One less big obstacle
The Jaguars placed three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcus Stroud on injured reserve yesterday, and that was all right by Willie Parker.

"I'm sorry to hear that, but it's beneficial to us," Parker said.

Grady Jackson, listed at 345 pounds, likely will replace Stroud next to 335-pound John Henderson.

"That's one [less] big guy in there, but they have Grady. He's bigger than both of them put together," Parker said.

Parker leads the NFL with 1,217 yards rushing and, while he would like nothing better than to become the first Steelers back to win the rushing title in 60 years, he said, "I really haven't had time to reflect on being the leader in rushing.

"You have to credit those guys up front; they've been doing a good job. We've been off lately for a three-, four-game span and kind of got it back the last game. We just have to keep moving, keep plugging."

Injury update
Strong safety Troy Polamalu returned to practice yesterday, and this time there was no re-injury to his sprained right knee. He is expected to start Sunday after missing the past three games.

Roethlisberger did not practice because of a sore shoulder that will not prevent him from playing, coach Mike Tomlin has said. Also not practicing but expected to be ready for Sunday were linebacker Andre Frazier (groin) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (ankle).

As has been the custom on Wednesdays lately, tackle Marvel Smith and receiver Hines Ward rested, as did Jaguars running back Fred Taylor and cornerback Rashean Mathis, both of whom also are expected to play.

Ex-Steeler a hero
Former Steelers place-kicker Norm Johnson is getting the hero's treatment for helping to extract a woman from her overturned car after it skidded on ice and ended upside down in a water-filled ditch.

Johnson, 47, was driving his son to school Monday when the accident happened. He broke a window with a large rock and helped her out of the car in Silverdale, Wash.

Johnson kicked four seasons for the Steelers (1995-98) and ranks sixth on the team's all-time scoring list with 452 points.

Short snaps
Ward needs 73 yards to become the team's all-time receiving yardage leader. John Stallworth holds the club record (8,723 yards) . ... Jeff Reed is tied for third in career scoring with the Steelers. He and Franco Harris have 600 points, although Franco never got one with a kick.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07347/841331-66.stm
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

That was another game Ben had no business starting in last year (along with the Oakland post-concussion game). I don't give a damn if he was medically cleared for it or not - anybody who thinks he was 100% for that game (or the Oakland game) are either blind, stupid, or both.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

But Ben's first Jags game in 2004 should be a good memory - in that Sunday night game in Jax Ben drove the Steelers down the field in the last 2 minutes for the winning FG, which was a furher indication to me Ben had more than just physcal skills.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

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Originally Posted by fansince'76 View Post
That was another game Ben had no business starting in last year (along with the Oakland post-concussion game). I don't give a damn if he was medically cleared for it or not - anybody who thinks he was 100% for that game (or the Oakland game) are either blind, stupid, or both.

Could not agree more!
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

The only game I remember seeing Ben play against the Jags in was his rookie year when he led the comeback... Last year is a blur to me and Maddox played that memorable game against them of course SB year...
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

Quote:
That was another game Ben had no business starting in last year (along with the Oakland post-concussion game). I don't give a damn if he was medically cleared for it or not - anybody who thinks he was 100% for that game (or the Oakland game) are either blind, stupid, or both.
i think he should have sat out all season..lol.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

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i think he should have sat out all season..lol.
He shouldn't have played last year at all....you are right. I think Ben was trying to prove something to himself.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

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He shouldn't have played last year at all....you are right. I think Ben was trying to prove something to himself.
you are absolutely right susie. i think he was too. dude eats pavement for brunch and then wants to show the world that nothing is wrong upstairs...lol...
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

Ben had a fever for that game last year too.


Ben will defiantly have to be on his game, because I don't see us rushing for 100 yards.
Hopefully we will have some success with the screens
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Ben v. Jags - No Fond Memories

This game will be a bloodbath. If there's one team that can kick the Steelers in the teeth, it's the jags.

We need Ben.
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