I’ve long said with an openly admitted bias that Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans are among the most knowledgeable football fans in the National Football League. Much in the same way baseball purists always say “St.Louis is the best baseball town,” Pittsburgh is often credited with being a great football town. Although from my experiences with many new Steeler-friends, I can tell you they know their baseball too.
With this said, the Steeler Nation needs to take a deep breath from time to time and this is one of those times. Over the last week, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has done more talking than he had in the previous four months combined. “The 49ers targeted my ankle. The new playbook requires Rosetta Stone. I graduated from college!”
Some fans think Ben talks too much while others think he is much too quiet. You really can’t have it both ways so just take him for who he is. Should Ben have said anything about the 49ers going after his badly sprained ankle? It doesn’t matter. Not like they are a divisional opponent who we’ll see twice or even once this upcoming season.
If Ben was surprised by this my question to him would be “why?” This particular tactic is older than anything involving BountyGate. If a boxer breaks a guy’s nose is he going to stop hitting that area? Hell no! He’s going to attack the weakness. Just like the Rebellion attacked the weakest part of the Death Star in Star Wars IV. You go for the weakest part, period. End of report. It’s what gives you the greater opportunity for success. A hobbled Ben Roethlisberger is still more of a threat than a healthy Charlie Batch. No offense Chuck, but have to speak the truth here.
As for the playbook, the Steelers’ success has long been based in large part on consistency and when you have the playbook memorized for several straight years like Ben did it becomes second nature. Suddenly, however, there comes change! It isn’t going to be easy folks. It’s going to take time because learning an NFL offense really is comparable to learning a new language. Terminology is different and play calls and audibles are different… It is going to be a slow process, but one that will yield results.
Ben is never going to be confused with a brain surgeon or economist but he says what is on his mind and we as Steelers’ fans should appreciate that. We prefer honesty and a straight-forward approach versus the usual ‘player or coach speak’ we get the majority of the time.
As I said earlier this week, take a breath Steeler Nation. Ben will be fine and so will the offense. If the 49ers can get to the NFC title game while learning a brand new playbook then we sure as hell can. As for Ben, say what you feel man, we have your back whether we agree with you saying it or not. It’s what we seem to like in our QB’s in Pittsburgh.