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DIESELMAN
12-15-2008, 11:30 AM
BALTIMORE – Ben Roethlisberger (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6770/;_ylt=Ai3tk4__lKNsHSNEPpoQeiCr0op4) scrambled to his left and saw an opening, and for a split second the Pittsburgh Steelers (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/pit/;_ylt=AhuPsX5tb1n8W6zn7eUH5Ter0op4)’ relentlessly confident quarterback was sure he’d be the one to score the first and decisive touchdown in a game of perpetual door-slamming.

This is it. I’m going in.

http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/tools/med/2008/12/ipt/1229334573.jpg

Or not: As he stepped forward to the 10-yard line, Roethlisberger saw a trio of Baltimore Ravens (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/bal/;_ylt=Au41bP8RY8LHoVY.C_zVn9er0op4) defenders closing fast and he realized that running for the end zone on third-and-goal with a three-point deficit and less than a minute remaining wasn’t a viable option.

Should he throw the ball away to set up a tying field goal, which would likely mean that this bruising showdown between the NFL’s top two defenses would extend to overtime?

Forget about it.

“You know me,” Roethlisberger said afterward in a cleared-out visitors locker room at M&T Bank Stadium. “I hold onto the ball too long. Throw it away early and go for the field goal, or keep running around and try to win it? I chose the second option, ‘cause that’s how I am. Oh well.”

If the fifth-year quarterback couldn’t resist taking a jab at his critics in that context, it was hard not to excuse him. Roethlisberger had just willed his team to a 13-9 victory over the Ravens that clinched the AFC North title and put the Steelers (11-3) in position to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, all by drawing on the same improvisational skills that some analysts have cited as a flaw in his game.

So yeah, Big Ben may absorb a few extra takedowns behind the line of scrimmage, but there’s no denying that he has a lot of sack when his team needs him most.

Having driven the Steelers from their own 8-yard line to the brink of a season-defining victory against the NFL’s second-ranked defense, Roethlisberger wanted no part of a throwaway. After he saw “everything collapse” and decided against running it in,

Roethlisberger bought time by rolling back to his right. He then coolly fired a hard pass on the run to wideout Santonio Holmes (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/7774/;_ylt=AlU5wIkNkLSilHZT_k856ZKr0op4), who caught it while standing in the end zone but appeared to be pushed back to the 1 by Baltimore safety Ed Reed (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5910/;_ylt=AmitxrohSJzdJ9IWCjhurHyr0op4) before the ball broke the plane.

“You’ve got to have that swagger,” Roethlisberger says. “Playing all these tough games, it’s not going to make us any weaker. We’re getting stronger and stronger every week, whereas last year we were getting weaker as the year dragged on. At this stage last year we felt like we were tired.”

The 2007 AFC North champion Steelers lost three of their final four regular season games, then suffered a 31-29 home defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/jac/;_ylt=AqaFIsWGQgZu76jjaML3H.Cr0op4) in their playoff opener.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh earned its fifth consecutive victory and reaffirmed the notion that no NFL team will be as battle-tested or prepared to pull out a tight game come playoff time.

Roethlisberger radiated confidence in the huddle, relishing the chance to go deep to Holmes on the first play. The Ravens, however, had tight coverage on Pittsburgh’s deep threat, causing Roethlisberger (22 of 40, 246 yards, three sacks) to look elsewhere. Fortunately for the Steelers, he found St. Elsewhere – or, as wideout Hines Ward (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/4323/;_ylt=ApsifGjJFH7FVszAGmReH9ar0op4) is known in Baltimore, Satan In Cleats – in heavy traffic on the right side.

After Sunday, their counterparts in black-and-gold can’t help but set their sights even higher.

“There’ve been a lot of people who’ve criticized our offense – it’s not flashy, and we’ve had our rough moments – but as a team we’re all in this together,” Ward said as he walked to the team bus. “And what better way to win it than to take it 92 yards against the Baltimore Ravens, in their house? That’s the best feeling in the world. And with a leader like Ben, we know we’re capable of anything.”

Get ready, Music City. Right now, no one in the NFL is making more noise than the Steelers, and you know they’ll embrace the moment.

Rest of the story (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AsNtqDtoc9j_tuk2POpxE7ZDubYF?slug=ms-morningrush121508&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

LatrobePA
12-15-2008, 11:41 AM
Good read, thanks for sharing!

AZ_Steeler
12-15-2008, 12:46 PM
I think the cause of the offense is starting to surface tot he top now. Big Ben said:

“I hold onto the ball too long. Throw it away early and go for the field goal, or keep running around and try to win it? I chose the second option, ‘cause that’s how I am. Oh well.”
which was followed by this statement

If the fifth-year quarterback couldn’t resist taking a jab at his critics in that context, it was hard not to excuse him.
I personally think he is reading the papers and watching too much Sports Center! He's out there on the field thinking the entire game then realizes his team his losing and goes out their and forgets everything that has ever been said and does the things we know he is capable of. He needs to drown all that stuff out and just go out and have fun!

BlitzburghRockCity
12-15-2008, 01:06 PM
That's just Ben being Ben and taking a shot at his critics. I don't know that we can say that he reads too much media coverage and such. Im sure he hears that kind of stuff every day from the media in the locker room, plus they do production meetings every weekend before the game with the commentators and Im sure they bring it up too. It's just something you can't avoid no matter how much you try. Whether you read it or not other players do, coaches do, media, whatever so it's bound to be in your mind.

Ben is who he is, he's not going to change and the Steelers fans who these old school people that want to gripe about holding onto the ball too long, want to run more, this and that, blah blah blah..times have changed. We have a pro bowl, super bowl winning, QB who will own every passing record in team history 5x over before he's done and while he's flawed at times and drives us nuts but he's also the reason we are where we are to this point since he got into the league.

blackngold29
12-15-2008, 01:36 PM
If you watch the way Ben said his, "You know, because I hold onto the ball too long." It's pretty funny. Link (http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80d50426)(toward the end)

BlitzburghRockCity
12-16-2008, 11:24 AM
Personally I think it's funny when players take shots at the people who critique them, sooner or later it has to get on your nerves so if you can get a shot in without stirring the pot too much and causing an uproar, why not! LOL

ejsteeler
12-16-2008, 12:13 PM
I saw the interview and it was funny. Everyone in the room chuckled.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-16-2008, 06:22 PM
Funny I never really have been one to complain about Ben holding onto the ball to long since I know what he can do at times when extending the play....My only complaints about Ben is his brain fart INTs and when he does take a sack knocking out of field goal range at times....But I much rather for Ben to take the sack then throw up an INT that could lead to a TD........But I have no problems ever with Ben extending a play to go for the win like he did Sunday....That is what makes Ben special.....

All I ask for Ben is to try and limit the brain fart INT's.....But the Steelers better get an OL in place so Ben doesn't always have to take contact and extend a play....I don't mind to see him take hits at times but if he keeps taking the hits at the rate he is then he won't last to much longer......