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Old 10-05-2008, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

I say - why not?

Steelers should trust Big Ben with this one
Make passing offense the first choice against Jaguars

Sunday, October 05, 2008
By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

This is the sort of day when Ben Roethlisberger can earn his contract.When it was proposed to Hines Ward the other day that the Steelers should come out passing, passing and passing some more against the Jacksonville Jaguars tonight, his trademark smile spread across his face and he answered with a laugh:

"You would, of course you would like to."

But Ward has been a Steeler too long. He knows how the team operates and he immediately followed those words with these:

"But we're not going to come out and sling the ball 60 times."

OK, maybe not 60, but what's wrong with, say, 40?

Why shouldn't the Steelers revert to an aerial circus in this crucial AFC game?

They've got a $100 million quarterback and a Five & Dime Store rushing attack. It makes perfect sense to put the game in the hands of Ben Roethlisberger. He's their best offensive player -- by far. Roethlisberger is no longer some young kid who can't be trusted to put the team on his shoulders. He's not a quarterback who should be asked to manage the game, he's a quarterback who should be asked to win the game.

That's the approach the Steelers need to take tonight.

When the discussion gets around to the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Roethlisberger is definitely in it. He was second only to Tom Brady in passing efficiency last season and was third in the league in yards per attempt. He is a proven asset and should be utilized to his fullest. The day is passed when he needed to be a second option. He's a first option of the highest order.

With Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker and No. 1 draft choice Rashard Mendenhall out with injuries, the Steelers are reduced to Mewelde Moore, who is primarily a third-down back; Gary Russell, who was pulled off the practice squad this week and who has seven NFL carries for 21 yards, and Najeh Davenport, who was signed this week and hasn't played since last season. Moore will start. He has carried nine times this season for 19 yards.

It makes perfect sense to turn the game over to Roethlisberger, who has a highly capable corps of receivers. Ward holds every Steelers receiver record, will be a Hall of Fame candidate when he retires and has shown no sign of slowing down in his 11th season. Santonio Holmes, who looks to be ready to become one of the NFL's elite receivers, led the league in yards per catch last season. Former first-round draft choice Heath Miller is an excellent tight end who has been under-used in his Steelers career.

Why wouldn't the Steelers want to more fully employ such talent?

Considering the alternative -- a no-name rushing offense -- it would be dereliction of duty by coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to do otherwise.

To come out with the same run-first strategy that has been the Steelers' calling card for decades would be the height of stupidity in this game.

For what it's worth -- and such stats aren't worth much at this time of the year -- Jacksonville is 24th in the league against the pass and 12th against the run.

Ever the loyalist, Ward argued against throwing the ball.

"Everyone is saying [with all the injuries] that the Steelers can't run the ball, all they can do is pass. That's not necessarily the truth. We're going to try to run the ball."

The Jaguars certainly will be prepared for a Steelers passing attack, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be used.

What's wrong with going with your strength? What's wrong about dictating strategy instead of allowing the opposition to do so?

For decades, the opposition has known the Steelers would run the ball, which is what the Steelers did, and, for most of the time, with great effectiveness. When you have players of talent -- Jerome Bettis, Barry Foster, Parker -- you use them, even if the opposition is geared to shut them down.

Sure, the Jaguars will come after Roethlisberger, particularly if they know the Steelers are emphasizing the pass. Let them come. There are ways of halting a rush, and Roethlisberger is capable of making those changes. Screens, short slants and draws will slow down the rush.

A visiting stadium isn't the best place to use the two-minute offense the Steelers employed so effectively Monday night against Baltimore. That's fine. Go with the conventional passing attack. Roethlisberger has proven exceptional in running such an offense.

It's a no-brainer. The Steelers have the talent to forge an exceptional passing offense. They don't have to talent to run the ball.

Let Big Ben win this game.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

I would love to see Ben air it out this week and light the jags up we owe them and I hope this is the week we do it.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

Here is the link for the story. Damned data base errors wouldn't let me edit my post - tried 8 times!!!

http://postgazette.com/pg/08279/917570-66.stm
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:39 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

I would love for Ben to be able to throw the ball all over the place, but we still need to be balanced. Or we might see some of the same things we saw in the Eagles game. Which was Ben on his back way to much.
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Last edited by 43Hitman; 10-05-2008 at 07:40 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

Ben iscertainly capable of airing out this game.......but is his shoulder? I would hate to lose him for the season (I didn't say that) after throwing a long bomb to Hines or Tone. Love it when he does it, but maybe not smart tonight.
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 10-05-2008, 12:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

It would be nice for Ben to air it out down the middle or deep as long as he can set his feet and be careful about it.
Mathis no matter what has big games against the Steelers and even though we came back in the playoff game, Ben made big mistakes when throwing the ball. Lets hope with the Jags secondary depleted we can make something happen down the field to get the pressure off of the running backs.
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Old 10-05-2008, 04:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

Ben to Big Money Heath all mutha fckin day long. Watch.
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

Yea, but next week Smiz will be talking about how the STEELERS don't run the ball anymore!
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

im pumped we really need this win going into our bye week...
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Old 10-05-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Should Trust Big Ben With This One

Quote:
Originally Posted by NV STEELERS 723 View Post
Yea, but next week Smiz will be talking about how the STEELERS don't run the ball anymore!
Who gives a profanityfilterprofanityfilterprofanityfilterprofa nityfilter. Leave the game planning up to us.
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