View Full Version : Sacks don't scare Steelers

05-29-2008, 06:02 AM

Sacks don't scare Steelers
By Scott Brown
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger said he has a better grasp of the offense Bruce Arians installed last year and is more cognizant of where his outlet receivers are when he comes under a heavy rush. Better awareness, Roethlisberger said, should cut down the number of times he is sacked this season.
That is not to say the Steelers will need less laundry detergent for Roethlisberger's uniform or that the Pro Bowler is trading in his swashbuckling style for a more conservative approach.

"I'm still going to get (sacked), because I'm still going to try to scramble and make plays," said Roethlisberger, who became the highest-paid player in Steelers history in March. "You look at all the big plays we've made, and then you take the sacks. You kind of have to live with it."

If Roethlisberger is willing to live with it, so too are the Steelers. After all, he is the one who absorbs the physical punishment, and the trade-off for the 47 sacks he took last season appeared to be well worth it.

Roethlisberger had arguably the greatest regular season by a Steelers quarterback in 2007, as he set a franchise record with 32 touchdown passes and turned in the best passer rating (104.1) this side of Tom Brady.
His ability to improvise and create a big play when it looks like everything has broken down around him has set Roethlisberger apart as the 26-year-old heads into his fifth NFL season.

The dramatic increase in sacks he has taken the past two years compared to his first two seasons in the NFL shows in some way how much his role and influence in the offense has grown.

"He's one of the quarterbacks who has the unique ability to not only keep plays alive but make plays when it seems they're dead," Steelers tight end Heath Miller said. "That's what makes him fun to play with."

Roethlisberger's derring-do is why coaches have drilled into his teammates to never give up on a play when he has the ball - to "stay alive," as backup tight end Matt Spaeth put it.

Of the QBs who made this year's Pro Bowl, nobody took more sacks than Ben Roethlisberger in 2007-08.

---------------QB Sacks - Games
Derek Anderson 14 - 16
Brett Favre 15 - 16
Jeff Garcia 19 - 13
Tom Brady 21 - 16
Peyton Manning 21 - 16
Tony Romo 24 - 16
Matt Hasselback 33 - 16
Ben Roethlisberger 47 - 15

The downside to the 6-foot-5, 241-pounder's aversion to throwing the ball away is that Roethlisberger makes himself more vulnerable to the kind of hit that could knock him out of a game or sideline him for even longer.
The risk of reining in Roethlisberger is that he might not be the same dynamic playmaker he has been.

But there may be a happy medium for Roethlisberger, and it's all about having a deeper understanding of the offense Arians installed after becoming the Steelers' offensive coordinator in January 2007.

"Knowing where the (running) backs are, knowing where the check-down guys are," Roethlisberger said. "I'm going to be able to get the ball out of my hand sometimes (instead of getting sacked) and get it to our playmakers."

Not that he plans to stop being one himself.

Ben is partly responsible for the sacks he took last year because he holds onto the ball till the last possible second; but the poor pass protection was equally as responsible. Ben better have his head on a swivel this year early on in the season while the OL gets their act together. I like the possibility that our OL has this year if they stay healthy but we'll see for sure once the season starts.

05-29-2008, 08:00 AM
If the line would block!!!

05-29-2008, 08:48 AM
Well aslong as he stay healthy, im fine with him getting sacked. I just fear he wont stay healthy if he keeps getting sacked like he does. Especially since we all know he tends to get small injuries now and then. Small injuries also tends to grow big really quick if you get hit all the time.

I cant help but thinking: How long will he stay healthy if he keeps getting hit all this much? =/

05-29-2008, 09:38 AM
I love Ben madly, but I agree that he holds on to the ball too friggin' long. There were many games I found myself screaming at the TV screen, "THROW IT AWAY, BEN...JUST THROW IT OUT OF BOUNDS FOR THE LOVE OF HEAVEN!!" :cursin::banging:

05-29-2008, 11:59 AM
I did the same thing, but that is Ben. We have to take the good with the bad. I remember a few times I was yelling for him ot throw it away and he ended up making a play....
He knows his shortcomings and sounds like he is working on them. :yellowthumb:

05-29-2008, 12:12 PM
Yes he does wait too long but we've got to get a better line for sure!

05-29-2008, 03:18 PM
The line is certainly built for run blocking not pass protection as evident with willie's totals pre injury... That plus Ben holding it looking for a play equals alot of sacks and I think its something that we may just have to live with

05-29-2008, 03:22 PM
Ben is probably responsible for a number of the sacks, but there were so many times that it seemed the pass rush got to the pocket before he did. He is being a good leader - supporting his guys by taking some of the blame. The play of our line will dictate our season - we are stacked at the skill positions.

05-29-2008, 04:06 PM
Ben is probably responsible for a number of the sacks, but there were so many times that it seemed the pass rush got to the pocket before he did. He is being a good leader - supporting his guys by taking some of the blame. The play of our line will dictate our season - we are stacked at the skill positions.

Very well said.

K Train
05-29-2008, 06:26 PM
dont ask him to change the way plays, he makes **** happen

Black@Gold Forever32
05-29-2008, 06:33 PM
Part of the reason Ben holds onto the ball to long is since he is constantly under pressure...lol People think its so easy to just throw the ball away when being chased by NFL defenders.........lolI agree he needs to take less sacks to stay healthy...But I rather him take a sack then trying to throw the ball away under heavy pressure and it leading to an INT...lol

Taking those hits that Ben does will take effect a QB mentally.....I do believe at times Ben did feel rushed when a pass rush wasn't there at times due to the amount of pressure that he faced during some games....This OL doesn't have to be great.....Just good enough to give Ben enough time to dump it off at times....Having RB's like Moore and Mendenhall will help in this area as well.....Plus I have no idea why we don't see more quick slants?.....Really that play should be a staple of this offense....Plus with Sweed on board that will open many things for this offense...The sooner he picks up the offense the better this whole offense will be....

I also think the OL will be better this year....Smith should be healthy and Mahan will be on the bench......

05-30-2008, 06:02 AM
Ben is guy that will wait till the last possible second for a player to come open, there were countless times over his career so far that he kept drives alive by waiting and waiting in the pocket. I love his presence when it comes to feeling the pressure, he's got a knack for that. Whether he's under pressure or not he's just like Brett Favre; a gunslinger. He'll probably always be like that but BG32 makes a good point about the pressure and sacks taking it's toll on a QB. If we don't sure up the protection for Ben it's going to cut his career short; we need to keep him upright and cut that sack total in half.

05-30-2008, 07:47 AM
The line needs to block and Ben needs to throw the ball away:cope: