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Old 12-13-2010, 06:20 AM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled
Monday, December 13, 2010
By Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347/1110341-66.stm
(I'm not baffled by it. The lack of calls is part of Goodell's attempt to drvie Big Ben out of the game. - mesa)

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continues to be perplexed by some of the illegal hits to the head and the calls officials are refusing to make after opposing defenders strike him in the helmet.

For the second consecutive week, Roethlisberger was struck in the head, and the referee did not throw a flag. In the second quarter, Cincinnati defensive end Michael Johnson hit the back of his helmet as he sacked Roethlisberger.

"I lost my cool for a second, but I didn't swear at him," Roethlisberger said. "Once again I got the same response as last week. He said he was just trying to tackle me. So I just let it go."

Roethlisberger's nose was broken when Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata's hand hit him last week. He also was hit in the head by Terrell Suggs late in the same game and did not receive a flag. Ngata was fined by the league.

Roethlisberger said there is no sense in complaining about not receiving protection from the officials.

"It is what it is," he said. "It's a violent game. You've never heard me complain about injuries or calls, so I'm not going to start now."

Roethlisberger's teammates are wondering when the officials are going to begin protecting their franchise quarterback.

"We see the hits that Ben takes every week," linebacker James Farrior said. "It's kind of ridiculous that they always miss those calls but any time we breathe on a quarterback they always seem to find that.

"When? We [have] three more games left. I mean, how long should it take?

"It's terrible, man. They protect all the quarterbacks but ours. We're going to keep fighting, we're going to keep on going. Hopefully, they'll catch it some day."

Said safety Ryan Clark: "I already told you, they protect every quarterback in the NFL but ours. I don't know how many times I have to say it. And they protect the ones we play a lot."

Two in one

The Steelers returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game for the first time in more than 12 years.

Troy Polamalu had a 45-yard return and LaMarr Woodley had a 14-yard return. The previous time it happened was Nov. 22, 1998, in a game against Jacksonville. Dewayne Washington returned interceptions of 52 and 78 yards in the Steelers' 30-15 victory.

"You win games when you do that," Clark said. "Coach [Dick] LeBeau puts up all these stats. I believe it's in the 90th percentile that if you score two touchdowns on defense you'll win the football game. Those were big. Troy right now is playing like the MVP of the league on defense."

It was the second time Polamalu returned an interception for a touchdown in the regular season. The other one also came against his college roommate, Carson Palmer.

On Oct. 3, 2004, he returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown against the Bengals, running over Palmer near the goal line to score. This time, Polamalu avoided Palmer near the sideline and stretched the ball over the goal line.

"No one is playing as good as Troy Polamalu in football right now in my opinion," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "When we need a play he provides it, and he did [Sunday]."

Polamalu later got his second interception of the game and sixth of the season against Palmer. It was the second time in his career that he recorded two interceptions in a game. He also did it Nov. 14, 2004, against Cleveland.

The Steelers are 21-3 when Polamalu has an interception.
Woodley scores again

Woodley scored a touchdown for the third time in his career. He also scored on a 77-yard fumble return against Minnesota in 2009 and scored against Baltimore in 2008. Woodley also had two sacks, giving him 8 1/2 for the season.

Tomlin said Woodley owed the team after he jumped off sides on the first drive of the game on a third-down play. The penalty gave the Bengals a first down, and they went down and scored a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.

"That was definitely on me, but my teammates were very supportive, telling me it was no big deal, just keep your head in the game and go out there and make plays. I was able to go out there and make plays. Coach LeBeau put me in position and we did a great job as a team."

Bengals cheap shot

The Steelers felt like Cincinnati linebacker Brandon Johnson took a cheap shot on Ryan Mundy on the final play of the game. The Steelers were forced to punt with five seconds remaining. The punt went out of bounds and the clock ran out, but Johnson blind-sided Mundy after the whistle.

Mundy went after Johnson after the play, and there was a brief skirmish.

"That's what losers do," Farrior said.

More yellow laundry

The Steelers were penalized nine times for 89 yards. Most of the infractions were holding penalties. The Steelers were flagged six times for holding, four on offensive players and two on special-team players.

The offense was able to overcome many of the penalties, but they did slow down the offense, which failed to score a touchdown. The offense has not scored on a drive that started in their territory since the opening drive Nov. 28 against Buffalo.

"On the one drive we might have gone 140 yards," Roethlisberger said. "We kept going and backwards and going and backwards. ... Those things feel good, but it's not good enough because we have to score points. Field goals aren't good enough. Luckily, our defense bailed us out."

On the drive Roethlisberger referenced, the Steelers possessed the ball for 15 plays and 9 minutes, 21 seconds, but did not score.

Randle El contributes

Veteran receiver Antwaan Randle El has been relegated to fifth receiver on the depth chart, but he stepped in and made a big play in the second quarter after Emmanuel Sanders left the game for a few plays with a knee injury.

Randle El made a leaping one-handed grab of a Roethlisberger pass late in the second quarter that set up a field goal just before halftime.

"I want to be prepared and I want to be ready," Randle El said. "I want to make sure I know where to be when I need to be there, so when an opportunity comes, I can cash in. It worked out for me today. I want to continue to do that so I can get opportunities."
Suisham stays perfect

Kicker Shaun Suisham was 3 for 3 on field-goal attempts and is 9 for 9 since replacing Jeff Reed a month ago. Suisham booted field goals of 23, 35 and 41 yards. He is 6 for 6 on field goals between 40-49 yards.

Whitworth lives dream

The fact that the Bengals scored just one touchdown against the Steelers' defense Sunday isn't big news. It's who scored the touchdown that is.

The unlikely scorer was left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who made it 7-0 on a 1-yard pass from Palmer with 9:58 to play in the first quarter. The Bengals would not score again the rest of the game.

"I would have thought that if I would have caught a TD in a game, we would have won it," said Whitworth, who turned 29 Sunday. "I've been begging for a while. We had something that we saw on film that we thought we could exploit, and we were able to do it."

Whitworth, who played college football at Louisiana State University, previously caught a touchdown while playing tight end at West Monroe High School in Louisiana.

T.O. critical of game plan

Terrell Owens, one half of the "Tocho Show" on Versus Network, was somewhat miffed by his lack of production after the game.

"I'm just going with the plays that are called," he said. "I don't call 'em, I just run 'em. Sometimes I feel like I'm just out there running. I got some looks early, but after that, nothing. They [the Steelers] did a great job of game planning."

The statistics show Owens with one catch for 22 yards, that coming on a key third-down conversion from the Steelers' 43 in the first quarter. The drive ended with the Bengals' only score of the game and a 7-0 lead.

In all, Owens was targeted six times, twice on the team's first drive.

"I had to wait 'til late in the game until I got some looks," he said. "You can watch the film. I got no looks. I can't throw the ball to myself."

Owens has seemed more upset with the Bengals' performance this season, even more so than this game. Cincinnati has lost 10 in a row after starting the season 2-1.

"I have no idea," Owens responded to a question about the Bengals having another win in them the remaining three games of the season. "I know we're a talented team. We just have to go out and do our jobs. Personally, I'm having a pretty good season, but that's not why I came here. I came here to make the playoffs."

Ben goes shield-less

Roethlisberger wore a shield on the front of his face mask in the first half to protect his broken nose, but ditched it after halftime after the rain bothered his vision. Roethlisberger said he made the decision after running the two-minute drill late in the second quarter.

"It was starting to get wet," Roethlisberger said. "Every time I hit the ground, it was harder to see. I took it off and went to a different kind of face mask and hoped [the nose] wouldn't get hit."

Ray Fittipaldo: rfittipaldo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1230. Ed Bouchette and Jerry Micco contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10347...#ixzz17zerfPlJ
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

Steelers: Why no flags for hitting Ben?

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sp...tting-ben.html
Sunday December 12, 2010 11:33 PM

PITTSBURGH — For the second straight week, Ben Roethlisberger got hit in the head without a penalty being called. He’s not happy about, and neither are his teammates.

“It’s terrible, man,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said. “They protect all of the quarterbacks but ours.”

Last week in a win over Baltimore, Roethlisberger had his nose broken when struck in the face by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. The officials didn’t penalize Ngata for the head shot, but he was fined $15,000 a day later.

In Sunday’s 23-7 win over the Bengals, Roethlisberger was struck in the head and had his facemask grabbed in the second quarter by defensive end Michael Johnson. Even though Roethlisberger complained to referee Walt Coleman, Johnson wasn’t penalized.

“I lost my cool there for a second. But I didn’t swear at him,” Roethlisberger said.

“Once again, I got the same response (from the referee) that I got last week: that he was just trying to tackle me. So I just kind of let it go. ... It’s a violent game. You’ve never heard me complain about injuries or the calls or anything like that. So I’m not going to start now.”

Steelers safety Ryan Clark isn’t ready to let it go. On one hand, he’s tired of talking about the NFL’s controversial crackdown on flagrant hits. But Clark thinks it’s unfair that other teams aren’t penalized after questionable hits on Roethlisberger.
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“I remember watching a game in Philadelphia earlier this year when (Colts QB) Peyton Manning got brushed in the head,” Clark said. “I mean, if he didn’t have his helmet on, he wouldn’t have even had to fix his hair. And they called a penalty for that.

“(Ben) gets hit in the head again … I hate to say ‘targeted’ … I know everybody says the Pittsburgh Steelers are whining. But to everyone listening, I’m just answering a question (the media asked), and I think it stinks.”

Roethlisberger started Sunday’s game with a clear visor on his facemask to protect his nose. But because of all the rain that fell Sunday, Roethlisberger decided to take off the shield at halftime.

“That two-minute drive going down there (at the end of the first half), it was really starting to get wet. And every time I hit the ground, it made it harder to see,” he said. “So we just took it off and went with a different kind of facemask and hoped I wouldn’t get hit.”

Roethlisberger didn’t get hit in the head in the second half. But he did hurt his right ankle when Bengals defensive tackle Clinton McDonald fell on it early in the third quarter.

Roethlisberger could be seen limping for a few plays, but he never left the game.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

Ask mike vick and the eagles if the refs are protecting him either...holy shit he was taking a pounding last night with no flags. I guess if you get suspended, and you are a QB, the whole "protect the QB" rules don't apply.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

Quote:
Originally Posted by finesward View Post
Ask mike vick and the eagles if the refs are protecting him either...holy shit he was taking a pounding last night with no flags. I guess if you get suspended, and you are a QB, the whole "protect the QB" rules don't apply.
Trouble with the law = no protection in the NFL? That's the common thread between Vick and Big Ben.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

and then when you watch Brees or Brady play, they barely even get touched with a hand, and boom!! Flag. Its truly disgusting.
Alot of the blame lies on the pansy, kiss a** officials who, instead of making correct calls, make calls based on reputation and media. Really piss-poor. Some people say "well, y'know, the NFL office is making them, blah, blah, blah..", but its the ON the field calls they miss, don't call, do call, etc.
The NFL needs a better training program for their officiating crew and need to replace a lot of bodies in the off-season. Because this season has been completely un-acceptable and its not just been against the Steelers. Other teams have suffered from extremely poor officiating as well.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

"That's what losers do," Farrior said

great quote!

I was listening to Steelers radio after the game I can't be sure, but I think Dula said after the game that he's never been much of a conspiracy theorist, however something has to be said to the fact that there are two different sets of rules for certain quartebacks out there.

Sorry if this isn't who or exactly what, but it's close
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

As much as the offense has irked me. They have gotten robbed by the lack of "no calls" on clear violations of league rules. The one play that I found truly disgusting was when two Buffalo Bill players were dog piling on Ben and attempting twist his legs into a pretzel configuration. Nice. Good job refs.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Notebook: Lack of calls has Roethlisberger baffled

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRH View Post
and then when you watch Brees or Brady play, they barely even get touched with a hand, and boom!! Flag. Its truly disgusting.
Alot of the blame lies on the pansy, kiss a** officials who, instead of making correct calls, make calls based on reputation and media. Really piss-poor. Some people say "well, y'know, the NFL office is making them, blah, blah, blah..", but its the ON the field calls they miss, don't call, do call, etc.
The NFL needs a better training program for their officiating crew and need to replace a lot of bodies in the off-season. Because this season has been completely un-acceptable and its not just been against the Steelers. Other teams have suffered from extremely poor officiating as well.
Yeah but we was hit the worst than any other team this season.

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