STEELERS 2006 PREVIEW - QUARTERBACK
By: PITT23 of SteelerAddicts.com
Enough, enough already. You know, I know, your grandma knows. Ben Roethlisberger almost died that day and ESPN seems to think we've already forgotten that. It seems every day they make some type of reference to how all we needed was a "calm and peaceful offseason" and how it was disrupted with Ben riding his bike. There's way too many season previews from the so-called experts saying Roethlisberger might not be ready, but fear not Steelers fans, because those experts haven't seen Ben at a training camp session and they obviously missed the first preseason game where he scrambled twice and got hit once without damage.
Roethlisberger now knows pressure and even though he didn't have the most spectacular performance in the Super Bowl, he can now say he's been there and done that. I don't care much for where other people say he ranks among quarterbacks in the NFL. You can tell me he's dead last in that ranking, but you know what? He works for us and for the system we run. He works very well when we need him whether it's a long pass or a goal line dive into the endzone. He works outside of the designed plays better than anyone else as well.
Say Ben does get hurt though. I'm pretty confident in Charlie Batch and he's a better backup than 90% of the other backup QB's in the NFL. He's no Ben Roethlisberger but he is a former starter and I can't expect Ben to stay healthy the entire season. The defense will be gunning for him so he'll probably take a few shots and Charlie should be ready. The other two quarterback possibilities are a draft pick from this year, Omar Jacobs, and former NFL Europe player Shane Boyd. I like Jacobs for his speed which opens him up for a trick play or two in the years to come and he might also see some practice time catching balls at wideout. When watching Boyd throw, it's easy to see he has a good arm but he has a poor time judging when a softer lob should be thrown and when to gun it.
This is part one in a several part series featuring an outlook on each of the Steelers' positional groups. A new one will be posted every few days leading up to the season opener. Feel free to repost this anywhere with the proper credit and website address. Comments are welcome and appreciated.