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Old 11-28-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default No Ben equals big trouble

No Ben equals big trouble
http://community.post-gazette.com/bl...k/default.aspx
By Bob Smizik | Saturday 5:45 p.m.

If Ben Roethlisberger is unable to start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens -- and there is nothing definitive on his status -- the Steelers will be a distinct underdog but not without a chance to win.

For the moment, Roethlisberger, after acknowledging he had headaches late in the week after suffering the fourth concussion of his career Sunday at Kansas City, is out of the game. If subsequent tests are positive, he might play.

If he doesn’t, Dennis Dixon, with virtually no NFL experience, gets the start. Dixon, who has been the Steelers No. 3 quarterback since making the team in 2008, was elevated to No. 2 when Charlie Batch broke his wrist against Kansas City while playing in relief of Roethlisberger.

Hopefully, the Steelers have a package to take advantage of Dixon’s considerable running skills. If they’re counting on Dixon to win this game with his arm, they could be in trouble.

Former Pitt star Tyler Palko, who was signed to the practice squad on Thursday, would serve as Dixon's backup if Roethlisberger cannot play.

The Steelers running game becomes front and center with Roethlisberger out and not even offensive coordinator Bruce Arians could argue that point. That puts Rashard Mendenhall at the front of the offense and for those who have forgotten, his last appearance against the Ravens did not go well.

Mendenhall started in place of injured Willie Parker in September of last season and on the first play from scrimmage in the second half he was tackled after a 3-yard gain by Ray Lewis and Trevor Pryce The play ended his season. A monumental (and legal) hit by Lewis fractured Mendenhall’s right shoulder.

He carried 9 times for 30 yards in that game. He figures to get considerably more work Sunday, as will Parker.

The fact the Steelers might have to rely on their running game accentuates the absence of starting guard Chris Kemoeatu, the team’s best run blocker, who is out with injury.

The Steelers, 6-4, would make the playoffs if the season ended today. But they cannot afford too many more losses. With Roethlisberger out, the defense -- which is missing Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith -- would be expected to step up and limit the Baltimore offense. But that defense had trouble late against Kansas City, allowing long drives in the fourth quarter and overtime.

It’s a bleak situation but the Steelers are a strong team and capable of beating Baltimore without Roethlisberger. But it looms as a monumental challenge.




Posted: Bob Smizik | with 7 comment(s)
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

Its already official he'll be our # 3 QB
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

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No Ben equals big trouble
really? what a great title for an article... wonder how long it took him to think it up?
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

We won't be without Ben.

He just won't start.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

I think Dixon will be fine. This guy has been waiting and while he will not be Ben I do expect him to have a good game after he settles down. Look for Dixon to make Bigger plays with his arm that he will running the Ball as most think. Dixon can play QB as a passer despite the feelings that he is only a Wildcat QB.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

We'll be ok, as long as the rest of the team plays up to their potential.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

He will be fine if he just takes what teh ratbirds give him and feed the ball to rushard
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

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Originally Posted by stb_steeler View Post
We'll be ok, as long as the rest of the team plays up to their potential.
two words....special teams.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

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Originally Posted by I-Want-Troy's-Hair View Post
two words....special teams.
No doubt. If special teams doesn't give away free TD's we may actually win the game.
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: No Ben equals big trouble

the defense is going to have to come up big to win this game.
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