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Steelerlyn
02-27-2007, 07:35 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07058/765245-87.stm

In between year 1 and year 2, I seem to recall a good many references to the fact that Ben was spending a good portion of his offseason in film work with Whisenhunt, Whipple and LeBeau.

While it seems apparent that didn't happen after the Superbowl, I never heard any mention of it, despite the fact that Cook states it was well known. (This also tells me how we can read anything coming from Cook).

I wonder if somehow the opinion of the front office toward Mark Whipple is embedded in this article as well. But that's purely speculation, and it's entirely possible that they felt Ben needed a change.

I have this gut feeling, that this might be one reason the Steelers felt more comfortable going outside the organization to hire Tomlin.

We'll see.
Ron Cook: Big Ben must return with better work ethic
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It's quite plausible, as former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt suggested over the weekend, that Ben Roethlisberger's physical trauma contributed significantly to his lousy season in 2006. It had to have some impact, didn't it? A near-death experience in a horrific motorcycle accident. An emergency appendectomy. A concussion. How much abuse can a body take? How much mental anguish?

But while we're talking plausible, here's another theory:

Big Ben's poor work habits had just as much to do with his rotten play.

In that sense, Whisenhunt's candid observations about Roethlisberger at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis might do the Steelers considerable harm. The last thing Roethlisberger needs about now is an excuse. A kick in the fanny from new coach Mike Tomlin, perhaps. But definitely not an excuse.

In fairness to Whisenhunt, now the Arizona Cardinals' head coach, he wasn't trying to put the Steelers in a bad spot. He merely answered a question about the potential impact of Roethlisberger's injuries and appendectomy on his performance. He said, stressing hindsight, that he, along with everyone else in the organization, including former coach Bill Cowher, might have underestimated the effects of the accident on Roethlisberger. He said he noticed Roethlisberger seemed gun-shy in the pocket much of the season. He also said, again in hindsight, that the team might have been better off playing backup Charlie Batch in the second game against the Jacksonville Jaguars instead of starting Roethlisberger, who was just 15 days past his appendectomy and had missed the opener against the Miami Dolphins.

An honest answer to a fair question, to be sure.

But let's get one thing straight:

Hindsight or no hindsight, Cowher, Whisenhunt and the others did nothing wrong in their handling of Roethlisberger last season. Team doctors cleared Roethlisberger. He wanted to play. He's the franchise quarterback. The Steelers had to play him. They can live with his failures, his 23 interceptions, the team's disappointing 8-8 record. But losing with their backup quarterback would have been intolerable.

No one can say for sure what effects Roethlisberger's trauma had on him. Even now, he probably can't determine that. How do you measure something so ambiguous?

What we do know, though, is Roethlisberger almost certainly would have played better if he had cared more about his job. Maybe it was his immaturity. He won't turn 25 until Friday. Maybe he was a bit too full of himself after his first two NFL seasons were so spectacular. Who knows? But it wasn't exactly a secret at the Steelers' South Side headquarters that Big Ben wasn't the team's hardest worker. A lot of people -- team executives, coaches and even players -- joked how he frequently was the last on and the first off the practice field, although they didn't see much humor in it. Seldom did he stay after practice to throw to his receivers and work on his timing with them even though Hines Ward missed training camp with a hamstring injury, Nate Washington was getting his first real playing time and Santonio Holmes was a rookie. Maybe it would have been different if he had been putting in extra time in the film room. But he wasn't. He's no Peyton Manning that way.

It's nice to think Roethlisberger learned from everything that happened to him last year. One day soon, when he meets with the local media for the first time since the end of last season, he'll be asked about Whisenhunt's comments. Here's hoping he responds by saying: "You know what? I didn't play well last season. The reasons don't matter. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Actually, Roethlisberger said something along those lines after he threw two interceptions in a home loss to the Baltimore Ravens in December, a defeat that eliminated the Steelers from playoff contention.

"I told some of the receivers and some of the other guys that we need to get better. I'm going to stay around here a lot. We'll work out together this offseason and get better together."

Thursday is March 1.

It's time for Roethlisberger to start living up to his word and honoring his commitment.

It's up to Tomlin to make sure he does.

Getting Big Ben right has to be the new coaching staff's No. 1 priority.

House of Steel
02-27-2007, 07:47 PM
Great Article and you know something else, I don't think this is telling the whole story. How do we know if Ben is not working enough? Is there prove to this theory? I want to believe the fact that Ben is going to live up to his philosophy and words saying he and the receivers need to be on the same page. Well, Ben, it is March as of Thursday, I think it is high time to get your *** in gear and prove last year was a damn fluke.

OneSteelSoldier
02-27-2007, 08:10 PM
Great Article and you know something else, I don't think this is telling the whole story. How do we know if Ben is not working enough? Is there prove to this theory? I want to believe the fact that Ben is going to live up to his philosophy and words saying he and the receivers need to be on the same page. Well, Ben, it is March as of Thursday, I think it is high time to get your *** in gear and prove last year was a damn fluke.I totally agree! they say there is a little bit of truth in every rumor. I hope that Ben is taking his career as serious as we are.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-27-2007, 08:27 PM
For everything bad that happened to Ben last year, and I would never wish any of it on anybody ( well except the ratbirds ) hopefully it's a blessing in disguise and serves as a wakeup call for Ben that first 2 years in the league are over and now it's time to start really working. NFL teams have more than enough film on him and know him pretty well so he needs to work all the harder now to make sure that he executes and is sure of his decisions.

We can't expect perfection from Ben, but at this point we just need him to focus, work hard, and use his weapons and he'll be just fine.

kgreen
02-27-2007, 08:36 PM
Ok so Ben had a bad year. Every QB does. Look at Bradshaw. It took him 4 years to get to being an all pro QB. Ben is still in the developmental stages of his career. It was not all his fault he had a bad year. The crash was an accident, the appendectimy was unfortunate and the concussion in Atlanta was uncalledfor. No QB in the NFL and I am inculding Manning and Brady when I say no QB can go through what Ben did last year and still be asked be to the same QB as the previous year. It doesn't happen that way. When you get two concussions and an appendix removed in the same 6 month period, obviously your not going to be the same QB. I still have confidence in Ben. He showed signs late in the year (excluding Baltimore games) that he can comeback. I wouldn't be suprised he if won comeback player of the year next year. He has his core recivers coming back. He has Willie and Najeh (hopefully) back. He may get a Power back in the draft (Leonard or Hunt). What will make this all interesting is a couple of things:
1) No Whiz. Let's face it: Ben and Whiz had something special. Whiz knew how to make Ben comfortable and confident. Now Ben does know Ariens, but will Ariens be able to provide a consistant play calling for Ben to feed off of? It will make Ben's comeback a little interesting and I will watch with great interest to see what kind of relationship they will have.

2) No Hartings. A center might be the second most important thing to a QB. Hartings was a great one and building a relationship between QB and center could take time. However, if Chukky is up to it and Ben has probably gotten in alot of reps with Chukky, then it won't be a big deal. That is the question though, is Chukky ready?

3) Possible changes in the O-line. This goes along with what I was saying about Chukky. If the Steelers don't feel that he is ready and they move Simmons over to center, then that would mean more changes to the line. It would also mean a new learing curve for everyone but the recievers.

I don't the above statements will be that big in deciding what kind of year Ben has. Ben just needs to reassurt his confidence and play like Ben 3.0, the lost Ben of the 2006 season. The Ben that showed up in Cinncy and picked apart their secondary. :helmet:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-27-2007, 08:52 PM
Last year certainly wasn't all Ben's fault, that much is obvious. The man had no OL blocking, an inconsistent running game, a defense that couldn't stop anybody, special teams who couldn't cover to save their life.

Last year was everybody's fault from the janitor to Bill Cowher. The entire team stunk up the joint for 2/3 of the year. The main thing we need to see is Ben commit himself to the work that an NFL QB needs to put in, in order to be successful. You only have so many years to play in this league and you have to make the most of it. The harder you work, the better your chance of being successful. Ben experience more success in the first 2 years in his career than any QB in the history of the league. It's human nature to at time be alittle complacent in life and one could see where he could get that way, especially since he's so young.

Those days are gone though, the SB victory is in the past and it's time to look forward and make another run and that run starts right now in the offseason.

Steelerlyn
02-27-2007, 08:53 PM
Ok so Ben had a bad year. Every QB does. Look at Bradshaw. It took him 4 years to get to being an all pro QB. Ben is still in the developmental stages of his career. It was not all his fault he had a bad year. The crash was an accident, the appendectimy was unfortunate and the concussion in Atlanta was uncalledfor. No QB in the NFL and I am inculding Manning and Brady when I say no QB can go through what Ben did last year and still be asked be to the same QB as the previous year. It doesn't happen that way. When you get two concussions and an appendix removed in the same 6 month period, obviously your not going to be the same QB. I still have confidence in Ben. He showed signs late in the year (excluding Baltimore games) that he can comeback. I wouldn't be suprised he if won comeback player of the year next year. He has his core recivers coming back. He has Willie and Najeh (hopefully) back. He may get a Power back in the draft (Leonard or Hunt). What will make this all interesting is a couple of things:
1) No Whiz. Let's face it: Ben and Whiz had something special. Whiz knew how to make Ben comfortable and confident. Now Ben does know Ariens, but will Ariens be able to provide a consistant play calling for Ben to feed off of? It will make Ben's comeback a little interesting and I will watch with great interest to see what kind of relationship they will have.

2) No Hartings. A center might be the second most important thing to a QB. Hartings was a great one and building a relationship between QB and center could take time. However, if Chukky is up to it and Ben has probably gotten in alot of reps with Chukky, then it won't be a big deal. That is the question though, is Chukky ready?

3) Possible changes in the O-line. This goes along with what I was saying about Chukky. If the Steelers don't feel that he is ready and they move Simmons over to center, then that would mean more changes to the line. It would also mean a new learing curve for everyone but the recievers.

I don't the above statements will be that big in deciding what kind of year Ben has. Ben just needs to reassurt his confidence and play like Ben 3.0, the lost Ben of the 2006 season. The Ben that showed up in Cinncy and picked apart their secondary. :helmet:

Great post, kgreen!

BlitzburghNation
02-27-2007, 08:58 PM
Great read STEELERLYN :clap: I did hear Big Ben say on sirius that he's gonna get together with his receovers and pass,pass,pass,,,,, :clap:
Which I posted in jan.... Let's just hope ben get's focused in the offseason and get's us back to the superbowl :crossfingers:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-27-2007, 09:12 PM
Well it's all but March now so lets see get out there and Pass Pass Pass :yesnod: and get some good workouts in here and there with his guys.

SteelersWoman
02-28-2007, 03:13 AM
Hopefully there'll be news soon that people have been seein Big Ben out doin exactly what he promised. That'll go a long way toward makin us all feel better!

Iron City South
02-28-2007, 05:42 PM
I'm not so willing to give BR a free pass. His poor work ethic and conditioning has been noted many times over the past few years. BR doesn't seem to have a problem with being "OK" and doesn't show the intesinal fortitude and fire to want to be the best at his craft (ala Manning, Palmer, etc.).

Getting by on natural talent will only get you so far ....

Steelerlyn
02-28-2007, 06:43 PM
I'm not so willing to give BR a free pass. His poor work ethic and conditioning has been noted many times over the past few years. BR doesn't seem to have a problem with being "OK" and doesn't show the intesinal fortitude and fire to want to be the best at his craft (ala Manning, Palmer, etc.).

Getting by on natural talent will only get you so far ....

I think Ben has many irons in the fire and I am not sure being Steelers qb is a priority with him.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-28-2007, 06:58 PM
Im willing to give him the benefit doubt I think, for this year yet, simply because of everything that happened last year and mainly because of a new coaching staff on board and a simplified offensive terminology and playbook. The fresh start should be good for Ben and he's got a great chance to showcase everything that made our first round pick.

He needs to seize this opportunity because assuming he stays healthy, there's no reason he shouldnt be successful this year.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-28-2007, 07:18 PM
Im willing to give him the benefit doubt I think, for this year yet, simply because of everything that happened last year and mainly because of a new coaching staff on board and a simplified offensive terminology and playbook. The fresh start should be good for Ben and he's got a great chance to showcase everything that made our first round pick.

He needs to seize this opportunity because assuming he stays healthy, there's no reason he shouldnt be successful this year.

I would comment on Ben's work ethic. But all I would be doing is :deadhorse:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-28-2007, 07:20 PM
Got that right, we've :deadhorse: so much here with that, that it's about high time we see some vid, commentary, or hell I'd settle for a rumor of someone seeing Ben working out at UPMC doing something. :nonod:

DIESELMAN
02-28-2007, 07:23 PM
I think Tomlin coming in will not only improve certain players work habits but it will also point out some of the bad ones as well.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-28-2007, 07:24 PM
I think Tomlin coming in will not only improve certain players work habits but it will also point out some of the bad ones as well.

I agree:plus1:

BlitzburghRockCity
02-28-2007, 07:26 PM
And just how the bad ones react will go a long way to seeing who's on the field come Sept.

steelcurtaingal
03-01-2007, 09:16 AM
i Have had faith in ben that he will come back. i hear from some people that its blind faith, but i dont care. he is a great quarterback, and he will rebound this year. Am i saying he didnt amke mistakes this year? hell no, 22 interceptions cant always be blamed on everything else, but i think he is gonna work really hard, and impress us this year.:tt02: