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Old 01-11-2009, 09:35 AM   #1
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Default Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how
Sunday, January 11, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09011/941060-87.stm

Turned on a national radio show the other day and heard the talking heads ranking the eight quarterbacks still standing as this NFL playoff weekend approached.

They gushed about Ben Roethlisberger and made him No. 1. Not Eli Manning or Donovan McNabb or Philip Rivers or Kurt Warner. Big Ben.

At least somebody gets it.

Sadly, not everybody around here does.

In the past two weeks, during the breathless run-up to the Steelers-San Diego Chargers game today at Heinz Field with a trip to the AFC championship game at stake, there was a ridiculous amount of Byron Leftwich talk. Everything from 'Leftwich gives the Steelers a better shot of winning' to 'Leftwich has to play because Roethlisberger is coming off a concussion' to 'Mike Tomlin should go to Leftwich quickly if Roethlisberger struggles early.'

Silly.

Disturbing, actually.

You would think Roethlisberger is some kind of bum.

None of this is meant as even the slightest knock at Leftwich. Don't make the mistake of thinking that. Leftwich is a terrific backup quarterback and the Steelers are lucky to have him. He is more than capable of helping them to win today should something painful and debilitating happen to Roethlisberger, which, as you know too well, always is a possibility because of the gruesome beating he takes every game. The Chargers knocked him around pretty good when the teams played in November, sacking him four times.

No, this isn't a Leftwich issue.

This is about Roethlisberger.

It is about his greatness.

The concussion from the Cleveland game two weeks ago will have no impact on Roethlisberger's performance against the Chargers. Don't even go there unless you have a medical degree with a neurological background. Steelers neurosurgeon Dr. Joe Maroon is one of the world's top experts on head injuries. If he clears Big Ben to play, that's good enough for me.

Tomlin, too.

The coach quickly and tersely last week ended all speculation that he might treat Roethlisberger differently today or have a quick hook for him if he starts slowly.

That's as it should be.

Would they think of replacing Tom Brady? Peyton Manning? McNabb? Eli Manning ...

Wait, the Philadelphia Eagles did bench McNabb in a game earlier in the season, but that was a terrible call by coach Andy Reid. You never give up on The Franchise in any game, no matter how poorly he might be playing at the time. To do so denies your team of its best chance of winning.

Everybody around here should know that by now. Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense failed mightily at times early in games this season, but he managed to put together now-or-never drives to get five wins in the fourth quarter or overtime.

The most impressive came in a 13-9 win at Baltimore Dec. 14 with the AFC North Division title on the line when the Steelers went 92 yards in 12 plays with Roethlisberger completing 7 of 11 passes for 89 yards and the telling 4-yard touchdown to wide receiver Santonio Holmes with 43 seconds left. But he also did it against the Chargers in the 11-10 win Nov. 16, when he went 6 for 6 for 62 yards to set up the winning field goal with 11 seconds remaining.

In Roethlisberger's five NFL seasons, he has led 18 fourth-quarter or overtime comebacks.

Regrettably, the number should be 19.

The last time the Steelers had a home playoff game -- last season -- Roethlisberger threw three first-half interceptions against the Jacksonville Jaguars to help dig a 28-10 hole. By his admission, he was awful. But Tomlin wisely stuck with him, and the team should have been rewarded. People who blame Roethlisberger solely for the 31-29 defeat forget that he led four consecutive second-half scoring drives as the Steelers scored 19 unanswered points to take a late 29-28 lead. It was the defense that couldn't make it hold up.

It's nice to think it won't be that close today. Won't it be wonderful if Roethlisberger throws three first-half touchdown passes to help build a 28-10 lead? If it doesn't happen that way, though, it's OK. As long as the game is close in the fourth quarter and Big Ben still is in one piece ...

"When it means the most, I want to be the one the guys look to and count on," he has said. "I want the ball in my hands."

That makes two of us, four if you count the talking heads.

The truly great ones usually find a way to win when everything is on the line.

Don't be surprised if Roethlisberger does just that again today.
Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
First published on January 11, 2009 at 12:00 am
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

This is what I'm talking about

Excellent article

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Old 01-11-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Quote:
It's nice to think it won't be that close today. Won't it be wonderful if Roethlisberger throws three first-half touchdown passes to help build a 28-10 lead? If it doesn't happen that way, though, it's OK. As long as the game is close in the fourth quarter and Big Ben still is in one piece ...

"When it means the most, I want to be the one the guys look to and count on," he has said. "I want the ball in my hands."
Now THAT is the true mark of not only a leader, but a champion.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Ben is a leader and a champion!! He will continue to be our leader and he will deliver Pittsburgh another Championship. Stand by him just as his teammates are!!! No disrespect to Leftwich.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

A Ben!

Sorry, I just had to do it. Love this editorial.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Quote:
This is about Roethlisberger.

It is about his greatness.
now that is something you wouldnt hear the mainstream media say..roethlisberger and greatness in the same sentence.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

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Originally Posted by stlrz fan View Post
Ben is a leader and a champion!! He will continue to be our leader and he will deliver Pittsburgh another Championship. Stand by him just as his teammates are!!! No disrespect to Leftwich.
When a guy plays injured and banged up with our O-line in front of him he deserves more professional courtesy and respect than Ben is getting from fans IMO. We shouldn't even be discussing our QB situation.

Last edited by cubanstogie; 01-11-2009 at 10:20 AM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

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Originally Posted by cubanstogie View Post
When a guy plays injured and banged up with our O-line in front of him he deserves more professional courtesy and respect than Ben is getting from fans IMO. We shouldn't even be discussing our QB situation.
i am sure if it was just a knee or shoulder injury we all wouldnt be discussing this. but with a concussion that is different. but i will say, i am convinced that he is a mutant from all the injuries he has suffered and to come back from so quickly.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Quote:
At least somebody gets it.

Sadly, not everybody around here does.
If he only knew.

Really, for all the times Ben has gotten in front of the microphone and shouldered all the blame, who was the guy that missed his blocking assignment? Who was the receiver that ran the wrong route? When the sacks from last year were analyzed, yes a couple of them were Ben's fault. but the majority of the blame was proven to belong to someone else. For every time Ben held onto the ball and was sacked or lost the ball, there were 5 times he made the play that no other QB would have been patient enough for. He's paid the price for all those with his body.

BELIEVE!!!
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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 01-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: Let Roethlisberger find the win, the way he knows how

Good article on Ben. Ben is our leader and will lead us to the win today.
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