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Offensive Load to be On Ben’s Shoulders in 07

With Big Ben back to 100 percent this season, there is no question that heading into training camp in Latrobe that all eyes will be on Roethlisberger to get back to form of two seasons ago. If the Steelers, with a new head coach, a defense in transition, and a team that needs to regain its confidence is going to get back to form, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of Ben.

And that’s just the way he wants it. “He is a tremendous competitor and he’s a very talented guy,” coach Mike Tomlin said earlier this offseason after a round of OTA’s. “He communicated well with all of the other players. He’s kind of a ball junkie. I didn’t know that about him, but he is talking about football on a day-to-day basis. He is really into it and I was very pleased with him.”

The big thing about Ben this offseason is of course the fact that the motorcycle accident of a season ago is behind him, and now with a new offense that puts more pressure on him, it’s time for him to step it up and put 2006 in a trash can. “I’m still trying to progress as a leader and just continue to lead this offense,” he said. He is going to simply have to lead this offense. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said earlier in the offseason that the team was going to throw in some 4 and even 5 wide out sets, maybe harking back to the 1995 season.

If that’s the case, and I do hope they open up the offense some this season, it will need to be up to Roethlisberger to make it happen. By using players like Santonio Holmes, tight end Heath Miller, and of course – Hines Ward, the Steelers passing game should be a high point of the 2007 season.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

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