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Old 12-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #1
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Default Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

Roethlisberger's health far from only concern
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...rce=rss&feed=9
By Mike Prisuta, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 29, 2008

Mike Prisuta is a sports columnist for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached via e-mail.

The scene was almost surreal initially, what with Ben Roethlisberger prone on the Heinz Field turf for what seemed like forever, more than a dozen Steelers medical and emergency personnel hovering over him and a crowd of 63,533 holding its collective breath.

Once the Browns had been dispatched, 31-0, and word had reached the Steelers locker room late Sunday afternoon that all was relatively well with their quarterback, the players were able to laugh about all that had transpired just prior to halftime.

"It's their job to take every precaution possible, and they did that," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Any time you're dealing with a head, especially in this business, you have to be careful."

And if it would have been Keisel's head rather than Big Ben's?

"There's one guy there kicking me in the head saying, 'Do you feel that? Is there any numbness there?'" Keisel said.

"He's a high-profile guy, and he's a big reason we're in the situation that we're in. You have to take care of him and make sure everything's cool."

One tip-off that Roethlisberger would be OK was the thumbs-up gesture he offered just before the cart delivering him to the locker room disappeared up the tunnel, a response to a suggestion from linebacker James Farrior.

Another was that even as Roethlisberger was having his facemask removed and being strapped to a stretcher, there were no groups of players kneeling, holding hands and praying.

It was a concussion, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, which was the best news possible.

So, that's one crisis averted.

But whether Roethlisberger is healthy or not, there are issues these Steelers must confront.

The offensive line remains one of those, as it relates to protection, the goal-line/short-yardage offense and the closing out of games.

The line isn't solely responsible for the difficulties the Steelers have experienced in those areas this season, but it certainly hasn't asserted itself as a confidence-inspiring element of an offense that entered Week 17 ranked No. 23 overall on merit.

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes has likewise left 'em wanting more, even at 12-4.

Holmes caught his career-high 53rd pass with just over two minutes remaining in the first half against Cleveland. Still, given what was expected and what Homes remains capable of, his third season has to be characterized as a disappointment.

The situation up front isn't likely to dramatically improve in the playoffs given the caliber of the defensive front sevens they'll be facing (this just in, Cleveland didn't make the playoffs).

But Holmes has another gear, another level of excellence in him that he must find and consistently display if the Steelers are to make the most of this opportunity.

That goes for punt returns as well as whatever happens when Holmes is on the receiving end of passes.

He flashed a hint of what he's capable of on punt returns at New England and against Dallas. But for the most part this season, punt and kickoff returns have been a concession.

That's tough to overcome even with a No. 1 defense.

Roethlisberger's survival of Cleveland helps ensures nothing.

The Steelers all might want to strap themselves in. The ride is about to get bumpy.

(Hopefully Holmes has learned his lesson and will stay away from the damn weed in the future. If nothing else it was a distraction and I haven't run accross many successful potheads outside of the entertainment field. - mesa)
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

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(Hopefully Holmes has learned his lesson and will stay away from the damn weed in the future. If nothing else it was a distraction and I haven't run accross many successful potheads outside of the entertainment field. - mesa)
Hopefully Holmes is playing football for another team next year. He has been a disappointment anyway, and now he is heading into Plax territory.....stupid mistakes that muddy up the locker room. Get him out of here.

-Mike
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Old 12-29-2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

I don't know, I like Holmes. Not as a kick returner, but he has alot of potential to be a spectacular receiver in the NFL.....unfortunetly it is only potential at this point. I'd really like to see him on the team for one more year you know the saying "you don't know what ya have till its gone"
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

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Hopefully Holmes is playing football for another team next year. He has been a disappointment anyway, and now he is heading into Plax territory.....stupid mistakes that muddy up the locker room. Get him out of here.

-Mike
oh hell no! he needs to stay!! i really think plax is a spoiled lil boy and doesnt listen to anyone. I think coach sitting him and speaking to him had a postive effect on him. he has a supporting group here with vets and coaches. Dont give up on him cause the whole Offense was in a funk this year. He has made clutch cathes and scores for us hell with out him scoring in both ratbirds games i am sure we would have lost especially the first game.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

Holmes just doesn't seem to get it. The so called best receiver on the team needs to be in absolute and total synch with the QB. He needs to get his head out of his arse and start working with Ben in the offseason to get that rhythm. When Ben wants to break off the route, Holmes hardly ever gets it right. Nate Washington seems to get it better than Holmes does.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

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Originally Posted by MJ5150 View Post
Hopefully Holmes is playing football for another team next year. He has been a disappointment anyway, and now he is heading into Plax territory.....stupid mistakes that muddy up the locker room. Get him out of here.

-Mike
I think you're being a little rough on Santo, Mike. There have been several Steelers players who have "muddied up the locker room" this season with their off the field antics, including James Harrison. Get a better line in front of Ben, give him an extra second or two to find Santo and the two of them will light up the field. Santo is a diamond in the rough imho.
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

Do you have some kind of ESP that's telling you that Sweed is going to step up next year and be a great reciever so we can just get rid of Santonio? I can't see that. We need to keep Santonio, this is only his 3rd year. He'll be a star in the future, do you want to see him be a star on another team??
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

As much as I love Ben...

The fact is, When Santo was playing with Leftwich, there didn't seem to be any missed assignments.

I wouldn't lay it all on Santo.

Somehow, he and Ben has to get in sync.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

Getting rid of Santo would be stupid, we are short of offensive threats as it is, why remove possibly our best?
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Roethlisberger's health far from only concern

IMO, this paticular injury could either prove to be the butt-kicker or the down-spiral for Big Ben. Butt-kicker in the sense that he needs to play sharp 24/7 and develop as a quarterback. Down-spiral in the sense that he's been hurt alot recently and could slide into mediocrity.

I also think that the offense kinda just lets Ben do all the work. Maybe, even if Ben is laid up for a week, all the rest of offense will step up their respective games for him and come out hot.

Could be what we need. Or it could be disaster. Some concussions seem to linger for weeks.
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