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Old 12-18-2007, 05:56 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben has bigger concerns

Big Ben has bigger concerns
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It was a big game, and the Steelers knew it.
Losing it was disappointing.

The particulars of their 29-22 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday at Heinz Field are unacceptable.

Jacksonville ran almost at will. The Steelers couldn't protect or pressure. They dropped passes, missed tackles, blew coverages and were fundamentally inept.

"It makes you sick to your stomach," tight end Heath Miller said.
"We gotta get a sense of pride about ourselves and pick it up," linebacker James Farrior agreed.

"The accountability thing steps in. You have to look at yourself and see how you played and see how you can get better," cornerback Deshea Townsend added.

The Steelers usually have accountability covered.

If their track record is any indication, the players will accept what they see on tape and respond accordingly.

That should aid coach Mike Tomlin and his staff in trying to fix what ails the Steelers in advance of Thursday night's kickoff at St. Louis.

Tomlin declined on Monday to prioritize the issues confronting his team, acknowledging only "a myriad of concerns."

He also maintained, as he had immediately after the Jacksonville game, that it wasn't time to attempt to re-invent the wheel.

"Sometimes you think there's some mystical solutions to issues and really most of the time there aren't," Tomlin said. "It's fundamental football and your ability to do it under duress."

Ben Roethlisberger has made a season out of proving he's capable of performing amid such circumstances.

The Steelers' offensive line has not.

At times they've insisted opposing defenses have been bringing more rushers than they're capable of blocking, and at times that's been the case.

At times offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has said the problem has been blocking more than it has number of rushers, and at times that's been accurate.

The Jacksonville game falls into the latter category.

Roethlisberger was sacked five times and knocked to the turf more often than that.

He was flushed, hassled, hurried and threatened.

And this despite Jacksonville's insistence on going with predominantly a four-man rush.

An immediate impulse might be to think "max-protection" to combat the problem, to simplify the offense and limit Roethlisberger's potential targets in an effort to keep him upright.

But on the Steelers' third possession they kept tight end Matt Spaeth and running back Willie Parker in to block against yet another four-man rush, and still Roethlisberger was harried and eventually flattened just after releasing what became an incompletion to wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Sadly, that aspect of the Jaguars game was more typical than uncharacteristic.

The Steelers will tackle better against the Rams because that's what they do.

Wide receiver Hines Ward probably won't drop two passes again.

And in the climate-controlled indoor bliss of the Edward Jones Dome, Roethlisberger can be counted upon to be more accurate than he was against Jacksonville.

But the offensive line has inspired no such confidence this season.

And the season has come down to the following as a result:

Either the line takes Townsend's "accountability thing" edict to heart, or Tomlin decides that, after further review, it's time to start scrambling for a mystic solution or two.

Roethlisberger would no doubt appreciate either alternative.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

I gotta admit I was pretty critical of Ben after last season, However, after seeing some of the plays he's pulled of this year despite all of the sacks, hurries, etc. I think he is possibly the best QB in the NFL right now IMHO. I'd like to see how Brady, Manning or anyone else would have done if given Ben's situation this year.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

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Originally Posted by GBMelBlount View Post
I gotta admit I was pretty critical of Ben after last season, However, after seeing some of the plays he's pulled of this year despite all of the sacks, hurries, etc. I think he is possibly the best QB in the NFL right now IMHO. I'd like to see how Brady, Manning or anyone else would have done if given Ben's situation this year.
Imagine if this franchise actually treated him like a franchise QB and built a wall in front of him like those 2 guys have. Oh to dream of Ben dropping back and having 3 seconds to look over the field like Brady does....
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

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Imagine if this franchise actually treated him like a franchise QB and built a wall in front of him like those 2 guys have. Oh to dream of Ben dropping back and having 3 seconds to look over the field like Brady does....
Give it time...I think that dream will come true...
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

Brady and Manning couldn't possibly hope to function int he pressure that Ben has been under.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBMelBlount View Post
I gotta admit I was pretty critical of Ben after last season, However, after seeing some of the plays he's pulled of this year despite all of the sacks, hurries, etc. I think he is possibly the best QB in the NFL right now IMHO. I'd like to see how Brady, Manning or anyone else would have done if given Ben's situation this year.
I dunno if I would call Ben the "best QB in the league right now", but I would certainly call him the best at getting out of the pocket and eluding defenders using his smarts and his legs. Give Ben a strong and solid OL in front of him and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be a Top 2 QB overall.

I don't think A$$ Chin or Peytoon could survive with a Limberger cheese line like the Steelers have. Neither one of them like anyone in their space and pressure throws them totally off their game. Both were indeed blessed with strong OL's.
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

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I don't think A$$ Chin or Peytoon could survive with a Limberger cheese line like the Steelers have. Neither one of them like anyone in their space and pressure throws them totally off their game. Both were indeed blessed with strong OL's.


heres ben taking the snap...
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

Ben is the man this year - no doubt.

He won't win MVP as in most valuable in the league - but he is definately the most valuable to his team for sure !
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

Quote:
Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
I dunno if I would call Ben the "best QB in the league right now", but I would certainly call him the best at getting out of the pocket and eluding defenders using his smarts and his legs. Give Ben a strong and solid OL in front of him and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be a Top 2 QB overall.

I don't think A$$ Chin or Peytoon could survive with a Limberger cheese line like the Steelers have. Neither one of them like anyone in their space and pressure throws them totally off their game. Both were indeed blessed with strong OL's.

Is Limberger cheese holey or does it crumble easily with the slightest bit of pressure? Either of which would make it a good comparison to the O-line.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben has bigger concerns

I'd go with Limberger because its just plain stinky !

Hey Rothlisberger - plays behind Limberger.... in Pittsburgher...
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