View Full Version : Cowher & Big Ben to blame for season?

11-08-2006, 10:04 AM

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The genesis for a season that has gone terribly wrong may be traced to a pair of seemingly unconnected events that occurred long before any member of the Pittsburgh Steelers stepped on a field: A motorcycle wrecked. A mansion purchased. A season ruined?

Ben Roethlisberger's decision to not strap on a helmet before he rode his racing-style motorcycle through downtown Pittsburgh on a sunny June day. A pen scrawl on a North Carolina luxury home sales agreement.

Unwittingly, they may have caused self-doubts, worry and distraction to creep into a team renowned for its confidence and set the stage for one of the worst performances ever by a returning Super Bowl champion.

How's this for downsizing your goals?

Only weeks after the Steelers were talking so confidently of making another Super Bowl run, coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday he has only one immediate goal for a sagging team that has lost six of seven games: "Win a game."

Right now, these Steelers (2-6) can't aspire to much more than that.

"This is new territory for this group of players," Cowher said.

What the Steelers may ask themselves someday is whether this whole mess would have been different if Roethlisberger hadn't wrecked his motorcycle. Or if Cowher hadn't stunned the franchise by buying a $2.5 million luxury home in Raleigh, N.C., and moving his family there before the season started.

Roethlisberger, the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl at age 23, came out of his bloody crash as well as could be expected with a broken jaw, a concussion and other relatively minor injuries. He later apologized to his teammates and, only last week, said he is no longer riding bikes.

But while he healed quickly, it was evident once the season started he wasn't close to being the quarterback he was during the playoffs last season.

He was set back further after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix and missed the opening game.

When he returned, his timing and decision-making weren't the same and, while he has played effectively in three of his last four starts, he has a 1-5 record after going 27-4 in his first two seasons.

Players don't always confine their poor judgment to a football field, and Roethlisberger may have set his team back by a season simply for the selfish pleasure of feeling the wind blowing through his hair on a sunny day.

Equally surprising was the decision by Cowher, a man who despises distractions, to move his family out of Pittsburgh with only one season beyond this one remaining on his contract.

Cowher has not said if he will coach the Steelers again in 2007, and there is growing speculation he will retire after this season. Still, how long can a successful coach who, at 49, is 30 years younger than Joe Paterno stay out of the game?

It's an interesting point of view, making those 2 assumptions for the season going badly. Im not sure I agree with those 2 being the main reason for the season going down but it presents an interesting thought into how much of a distraction its become. Let's face this team has always fed off of Cowher being the master motivator and teacher, this much we know that hasnt happened this year.

As far as Ben goes, its not just the accident but rather that, the apendectomy, the concussion, its all served to set back his progression as a QB and also appear to make more apprehensive in his decision making on the field.

We've all talked about his many times here already about how BC's head doesnt seem to be in the game as much as before. I will never question his dedication to the Steelers but this season I do question his dedication to coaching in general anymore and how much he wants to do it after 2007 if at all.

11-08-2006, 11:04 AM
I can't really place a blame on Ben for the motorcycle crash, he did his part and got back to a point where he was able to take the field August 12 just 2 months after his crash. he showed his teammates that he was determined to get back on the field and be there for them and that is what he did. As for the appendectomy... as Forrest Gump said, "It happens!" :)

Now Cowher buying a home in NC... that's a afferent story. Being that his wife is from the area the team should understand him wanting to move his family back there and hopefully Cowher sat down with his team and told them his plans... that would be the noble thing to do. But if this team is hanging in limbo and not knowing then it can lead to a team that has lost its confidence and is very distracted. I don't want to speculate because I wasn't in the locker room and I didn't hear what Cowher told these guys but I get the impression the team is in a state of uncertainty because if Cowher told them he was going to retire then the team would do their best to see he went out on top. :2cents:

11-08-2006, 12:13 PM
I as well can't really say Ben is to blame. I have to go with Cowher is to blame. As I said the fire seems to be gone and the decision making is just bad.

11-08-2006, 01:55 PM
I wonder what happened first, the motorcycle accident or the condo purchase?

11-08-2006, 02:04 PM
I won't blame Ben for this season. What happened to him mwas unfortunate but like AZ said...he recovered on time. I guess we should also blame him for getting appendicitis also.

Now putting the blame on Cowher I can see. I don't so much think the condo purchase is the reason, but if you watch him on the sidelines and in his press conferences...you can tell he has lost his fire. He is allowing the team to play undiciplined football and it seems as though he got what he wanted and now he's done.

Black@Gold Forever32
11-08-2006, 06:22 PM
Well I blame Ben for riding the motorcycle. He slapped the Steelers organization and hit teammates in the face when he did that. But that little bike ride isn't the main reason for the Steelers 2-6 record. Alot of reasons can be placed as the reason for this season being a nightmare.

It all started in the off-season and has snow balled since then. Now it just seems the Steelers can't get out of their funk. I just hope Ben stays healthy and finishes strong. He is going to be key going into next year for the Steelers.

11-08-2006, 06:37 PM
i think the whole team is to blame....cowher doesnt make the passes of fumble the balll.......

11-08-2006, 06:42 PM
No Cowher does the planning.

11-08-2006, 06:59 PM
so your saying cowher plans on where ben will throw the ball and plans to fumble this much??? give me a break, sure he has had some ****** calls this year but these guys are playing like **** period....

11-08-2006, 07:01 PM
if they could keep a hold of the ball then we would be 6-2 right now not 2-6.....they are just beating themselves......there are lots of theorys of who is to blame, but bottom line is the turnovers....

11-08-2006, 07:49 PM
if they could keep a hold of the ball then we would be 6-2 right now not 2-6.....they are just beating themselves......there are lots of theorys of who is to blame, but bottom line is the turnovers....

enough said!

11-08-2006, 10:06 PM
The entire team is affected by Cowhers lack of committment to next year and Ben's play has affected the whole team..but so has everyone else's. They're all the blame starting with BC all the way to the practice squad but the distraction of BC is definately something that has to resonate all over the locker room.