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AZ_Steeler
11-10-2008, 05:32 PM
Link to story... (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-bigbensslump&prov=ap&type=lgns)

PITTSBURGH (AP)—Maybe it’s the accumulated wear and tear from all the sacks. Maybe it’s his slightly separated shoulder, the bad thumb, his reduced practice time or the spotty offensive line protection. Perhaps it’s all the above.

Whatever the reason, Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the quarterback he was last season, or even a few weeks ago. He’s certainly not the quarterback the Pittsburgh Steelers expected when they chose to pay him nearly $28 million in salary and a signing bonus this season.

Roethlisberger’s problem is one more befitting a rookie than a five-year veteran who has won a Super Bowl: He keeps throwing the ball to the guys in the other shirts.

His mistakes—eight interceptions in 10 quarters—have cost the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) their last two home games, their once-comfortable AFC North lead over Baltimore (6-3) and maybe a bit of confidence.

Something’s wrong with Big Ben, but neither the quarterback nor his team is saying exactly what it is. The numbers are telling, however: one touchdown pass and eight interceptions in his last three games, compared to nine TDs and three interceptions in his first six games.

“I am not concerned about his confidence,” coach Mike Tomlin said after Roethlisberger’s three interceptions proved pivotal in a 24-20 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday. “He is our quarterback because he is. If you play that position in this league, you have to remain unwavered.”

Maybe unwavered isn’t a word, but the Steelers are having trouble finding the right ones to describe what is wrong with their franchise quarterback. Two weeks ago, his four interceptions were the major reason they lost to the Giants 21-14 in another game they led late.

Roethlisberger’s lower-grade shoulder separation has been an ongoing problem since he was hurt in the Sept. 7 opener, but not enough to prevent him from leading the Steelers to a 5-1 start. He also has a damaged ligament in his left little finger.

The achy shoulder has twice kept him from practicing until Friday of a game week, meaning he missed the two most important practices each week.

“I don’t think it’s that big of an issue,” Roethlisberger said of the reduced practice time. “I’m taking mental notes and I’m seeing everything that is going on, so it’s not as tough as it may seem.”

The falloff in Roethlisberger’s play is a worry, especially with the Steelers readying to play two home games in five days, on Sunday against the Chargers (4-5) and a week from Thursday against the Bengals (1-8).

Roethlisberger’s slippage is evident. He has been sacked the third-most times of any NFL quarterback (28) and he is tied for second with 11 interceptions, or as many as he had last season. His 76.1 passer rating ranks only 25th—he trails Dan Orlovsky and Tyler Thigpen, among others—and is far below his 104.1 of last season.

There was nothing wrong with his 71.4 percent throwing accuracy against Indianapolis, but what ruined his day was his 7.1 completion percentage to the Colts.

His first interception came with the Steelers trying to sit on a 10-point lead and led to a game-changing score by the Colts with six seconds left before halftime. The second set up Indianapolis’ go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The third, thrown into the Colts’ end zone, ended the game.

“When you feel like it’s your fault, it really hurts,” said Roethlisberger, who said his discomfort was more emotional than physical.

None of his teammates would guess afterward how much the bad shoulder is affecting Roethlisberger’s play. The Steelers were coming off a dominating 23-6 win at Washington six days before, but Byron Leftwich—not Roethlisberger— directed the two key TD drives in that second half.

With only three days off between their next two games, the Steelers won’t have much recovery time given their fast-growing injury list that includes running back Willie Parker (shoulder), linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf), cornerbacks Deshea Townsend (hamstring) and Bryant McFadden (broken forearm), left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and, yes, Roethlisberger.

Parker’s shoulder injury appears to be worse than originally thought—the Steelers aren’t saying if he has a torn labrum—but Tomlin said he could play against San Diego.

A bigger concern now might be how Roethlisberger will play.

“It’s frustrating because you feel like you played well, and there’s a turnover at the end of the half and the turnover at the end,” he said. “I take it on myself. I let the guys down, offense and defense, but the good thing is it’s not the end of the season. We’ll come back.”
Something needs to be done... Ben obviously isn't the same or possibly not even healthy as we have all discussed. But his performance is starting to cost the team W's!

Troyisabeast_43
11-10-2008, 05:46 PM
Link to story... (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-bigbensslump&prov=ap&type=lgns)

Something needs to be done... Ben obviously isn't the same or possibly not even healthy as we have all discussed. But his performance is starting to cost the team W's!

Ben has to play better it's as simple as that guys. I would have no problem sitting him the next 2 games against SD and Cincy and going with Leftwich but that most likely is not going to happen. Arians needs to call better plays to put Ben in the best possible situations to succeed and Ben simply needs to execute better. We saw some good things yesterday from Ben early on in the games especially on the opening drive and a lot of the first half, and even on the drive where the Steelers got stuffed 3 times and had to settle for 3. The defense is good enough to carry this team on it's back as long as Ben stops turning the ball over deep in his own end making costly mistakes at key times in the game. There is no magic bullett here that can fix this. Ben is going to be the starter as long as he can go he simply has to play better it's as simple as that. If he plays better and stops turning the ball over the Steelers are capable with this defense of winning the last 7 games of the season. If he keeps throwing picks and turning the ball over we are going to be having this exact same conversation after every single game.

Dean Denton
11-10-2008, 05:51 PM
I'm glad they there are talking about it, and I'm glad Ben is putting it on himself. But If I'm the Rooney's I would be really worried right now. They spent alot of cash on this fancy car, and forgot to get the engine for it. Nothing will change if they dont get help up front. I dont know if Ben can be saved because of how many hits he has taken, and because I have his Jersey now. ooopppss!!!!
I want to see them do something about this. Talk is just talk until you take action for this mess. This is a show me dont blow me league,and I would hope they get this fixed.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-10-2008, 08:54 PM
I don't care what anyone says, when you practice after practice it takes it toll. mental notes are one thing but you miss out on continued timing and practice with your line, WR's, everybody. That is what causes you miss throws, people not on the same page, etc. He's got to get healthy and be at practice and if that means sitting him becuz he can't work through this slump then so be it. I've always been one that you have to work through the hard times, just like Jeff Reed had last year when he struggled alot but he worked through it and now he's as good as it gets in the league.

Maybe Ben needs to just rest and heal up and we'll deal with it with Byron at the controls. Maybe he needs to continue to work at it, nobody knows but him and Tomlin but at this point the season is still wide open but the window is starting close slightly.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-10-2008, 09:09 PM
Something else here, did you see this part?


“When you feel like it’s your fault, it really hurts,” said Roethlisberger, who said his discomfort was more emotional than physical.His confidence is wavering even if he isn't saying it. It's in his head right now and that is affecting him. How much for sure is anybody's guess but he's got to get right in the head as well physically. He's mentally exhausted, beat up, and under a ton of stress. That's his job though and he's capable of coming through this I know it!

The story makes some good points here. Ben's percentages and most of his throws were very good yesterday. He made a ton of big plays for us. But his timely interceptions were just killer and really nailed us where it hurts and we just can't have that. Ben is going to throw picks, it's just the kind of QB he is. He's a risk taker and a guy who wants to make plays but having so many at the worst times of the games when better decisions need to be made is paramount if we're to succeed. This team goes as far as Ben carries us.

Troyisabeast_43
11-10-2008, 09:13 PM
I don't care what anyone says, when you practice after practice it takes it toll. mental notes are one thing but you miss out on continued timing and practice with your line, WR's, everybody. That is what causes you miss throws, people not on the same page, etc. He's got to get healthy and be at practice and if that means sitting him becuz he can't work through this slump then so be it. I've always been one that you have to work through the hard times, just like Jeff Reed had last year when he struggled alot but he worked through it and now he's as good as it gets in the league.

Maybe Ben needs to just rest and heal up and we'll deal with it with Byron at the controls. Maybe he needs to continue to work at it, nobody knows but him and Tomlin but at this point the season is still wide open but the window is starting close slightly.

Well I am not going to throw Ben under the bus yet and say it's time to bench him in favor of Leftwich; however, if Ben has another game this Sunday against San Diego like he did with the Colts yesterday then it will be time to maybe pull the trigger and go with Leftwich. Make no mistake about it this is a MUST win game for the Steelers this week at home if they hope to get back on track and get some momentum going into December and that tough stretch of road games. A loss to the Chargers at home not only is going to mess up the Steelers bye week and division title hopes, but it will also start having people questioning whether or not they are going to make the playoffs...

BlitzburghRockCity
11-10-2008, 09:15 PM
I fully agree, this game is an absolute must win no matter what anybody says. for Ben's confidence, for the team's confidence as well as our record. If we don't win doubt is going to start creeping into everybody's mind it's only natural. It's hard to overcome that's for sure but these guys have got to stick together right now because they don't have anyone but each other. Can Ben work through this, of course he can, but what has to happen to make sure that is the case is him getting healthy and focusing in practice as well as on the field.

steelerschick1220
11-10-2008, 10:17 PM
I adore Ben, but he cost us a win yesterday. I thought we would win this game for sure, especially with how good he looked early in the game. He just needs to stop turning the ball over. He does sound like his confidence is low, so maybe someone needs to give him a pep talk. I don't think he will willingly sit a couple of games, so either Tomlin needs to bench him for a game or two or Arians needs to call a better game plan to help Ben out.

NCSteeler
11-10-2008, 10:48 PM
I don't care what anyone says, when you practice after practice it takes it toll. mental notes are one thing but you miss out on continued timing and practice with your line, WR's, everybody. That is what causes you miss throws, people not on the same page, etc. He's got to get healthy and be at practice and if that means sitting him becuz he can't work through this slump then so be it. I've always been one that you have to work through the hard times, just like Jeff Reed had last year when he struggled alot but he worked through it and now he's as good as it gets in the league.

Maybe Ben needs to just rest and heal up and we'll deal with it with Byron at the controls. Maybe he needs to continue to work at it, nobody knows but him and Tomlin but at this point the season is still wide open but the window is starting close slightly.

100 percent agree, you have to practice. ben needs to practice and until he puts in a full weeks practice I would play the Leftwich.

Steel Trap86
11-11-2008, 12:55 AM
I fully agree, this game is an absolute must win no matter what anybody says. for Ben's confidence, for the team's confidence as well as our record

no doubt, this is a must win. I think the Steelers can beat the Chargers tho, i'd even throw $$$$ on it

:cope::cope::cope:

OC Steel Curtain
11-11-2008, 01:34 AM
u can never blame a loss on one player.. its a team game c'mon now

lloydfan4life
11-11-2008, 07:17 AM
I agree with Top Gun. Ben says it's no big deal that he misses practice and that it's not as hard as it looks and he's still there taking mental notes. That's all well and good but he's not getting the reps with the team and therefore the timing is off. Anyone who's ever played sports knows that practice keeps you sharp and makes you better. Something Ben's not right now.

IMO I think these next two weeks would be a good time to give Ben's shoulder a little rest and let lefty get in there and do the job he's paid to do. Then just maybe Ben can return with a vengeance to face the Pats*, Cowgirls, Ratbirds & Titans. Our whole season is coming down to those four games.

HUNT4SEVEN
11-11-2008, 11:24 AM
If we are gonna win the division an this game coming up Ben has to sit period:imho: let leftwich come in for these next two games,ben needs the rest.I blame Tomlin he's the head coach, he should sit ben an go with an healthy Bryon Leftwich.:yellowthumb::tt02:

Brady Quinn
11-11-2008, 11:26 AM
SIT HIM AND LET HIM GET HEALTHY.

Dean Denton
11-11-2008, 11:28 AM
u can never blame a loss on one player.. its a team game c'mon now
You can when that someone is the QB that throws 2 INT in his own Red Zone.

Brady Quinn
11-11-2008, 11:31 AM
BEN IS HURT AND YOUR COACH WILL NOT MAKE THE MOVE TO GIVE HIM A BREAK. BLAME HIM NOT BEN!

OC Steel Curtain
11-12-2008, 10:17 PM
You can when that someone is the QB that throws 2 INT in his own Red Zone.

Well you can blame the defense for even letting the Colts score.. shouldnt blame ben for everything

BLEIER20
11-13-2008, 01:46 PM
There is 11 guys on the Offense! Can't afford to lose any more games! I would sit Ben just for the simple fact that he is still sore and he is being selfish! Get Well first then thinkn about playing! Start Leftwichin this next game against the Bolts and see how he adjusts! If it's not as good as Mike thought it would be, then put Ben back in! Give Byron some more playing time, just for this reason! We lose Ben, we have Byron, we lose Byron, well, there's DIXON! So who knows!

DIESELMAN
11-13-2008, 08:59 PM
Our OL needs to start playing like they've earned that roster spot. They need to start playing with an attitude, they need to get ****ing mean and nasty. play like you don't want Ben to get sacked let alone hit anymore or how about wanting that TD on 3rd and goal. Get ****ing mean and nasty you ****ing bunch of pussies!!!!!