Connect with us

Opinions

Take a Seat: Time for Tomlin to Sit Roethlisberger


As the Four Tops sing – it’s the Same Old Song. The Steelers last two home games have been almost exactly the same. They have gotten a lead, look to put the opponent away, and then in the end – are doomed by poor play on offense, more so by turnovers by their franchise quarterback.

Sunday at Hinez Field the Steelers had a chance to close out the Indianapolis Colts, not only gaining a big win to put them clearly in the #2 position in the AFC, but also to put the Colts out of their misery at 4-5 and just about ending any hopes of making the playoffs, even as a wild card. Instead, the Black and Gold gave them new life, and most of it was due to a QB with an ailing shoulder who has been done more in the last three weeks to lose games than win them.

Roethlisberger is a gamer. He’s a QB that plays with emotion, which was shown in the locker room yesterday when it appeared he was crying before talking to the media. His shoulder injury is not his fault, it’s the fault of the team for putting five players in front of him that have not blocked well enough over the course of the past two seasons and let him get pounded week after week.


So now, for the sake of the team, Mike Tomlin must step in and do the right thing – sit Ben. Remember in 1994 when Neil O’Donnell was struggling and banged up, Bill Cowher sat him for two games and Mike Tomczak came in, won two games, and O’Donnell came back and played much better.

As much as it may hurt Ben, he is hurting the team right now, and it’s time for Tomlin to make a tough but right decision – sit Ben and allow him to get healthy enough to make a serious run at another Super Bowl. He and the team won’t make it with many more games like the last two home games.

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.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. mark

    November 10, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    MAtt, it is hard to argue this point. Ben has been killing the Steelers. In fairness, he is banged up and you hit it on the head with the fact that they have not improved the line with neither players or coaches. I see Ben turning into Bert Jones. Talented but pummeled to the point of regressing.I have sincere doubts that this team, the way they are playing offensively, will beat the Chargers. If they were to lose this Sunday again at home, I would hope that Tomlin would have the stones to make a statement! By that I mean fire Arians or the line coach. The play calling is horrid, and Tomlin looks like a deer in headlights.

  2. Chuck

    November 10, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Mark, agree totally with how horribly Arian’s been calling the games.
    C’mon, 3 and 2 with 1:30 in the clock in the first half and you call a 15 yd pass play?? run and if you make the first down good, if you don’t then the colts waste a time out, steelers punt and give the ball inside colts 35 or so… withe the result being that you don’t accept a td with 6 seconds left in the clock.
    Just horrible play call. I don’t even want to mention how we couldn’t score inside the 2 against one of the worst run defenses in the league, o how you can’t snap the ball before the 2 minute warning.

  3. Chad

    November 10, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Matt,

    Agreed, Ben should be resting! I respect the competitor in him and wanting to help the team, but man these AFC matchups especially are critical! I’m a huge fan of Ben, but this O-line looks pathetic and I’m not so sure that Arians is calling plays that develop quickly. Where are the swing passes to Moore? These guys (RBs and Ben) are all hurt, common denominator? The O-line!! After this season, I think Arians is going as is Zeirlein ( O line coach) and Special Teams coach as well!!

  4. Tim

    November 10, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I think what is sickening is NO ONE in Pittsburgh wants to admit, at least publicly, that “Little Ben” isn’t the QB he used to be.

    Here is the title of today’s Bob Smizik column in the Posat-Gazette:

    “Tomlin Must Stick with Big Ben”

    Will someone, ANYONE in the Steeler organization PLEASE slap some sense into Ben!? And while they’re at it, slap some sense into Tomlin as well!

    This season is…HAS turned into a 3-alarm disaster! The hell with Roethlisberger! Bench him for a couple games, Smizik is wrong – if Ben is so fragile that you can’t bench him without worrying if it’ll permanently damage him then he shouldn’t be a starting QB in the National Football League.

    What is unforgiveable is that we are now virtually TIED with the Baltimore Ravens, of all teams!!!!! Thank god we are 3-0 in the division and hold the tiebreaker since we have already beaten them once. But to be tied with a team that starts a rookie QB and has a bunch of thugs (see Ray Lewis, et al) at linebacker is just too much to stomach!

    Mike Tomlin…time to f**kin’ take control of this team and shake some sense into those clowns!

  5. David

    November 10, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    As hard as it is to say, Ben has to sit out at least a game or two to get right, both physically and mentally. His pride is getting in the way of a possible championship run. The Steeler’s defense alone could win them at least eight games. It’s time for Tomlin to act like a head coach and not like an overexcited kid on the sideline and make some big decisions. First, sit Ben for awhile, then fire Bruce Arians (his play calling is atrocious), and lastly, hire Lane Kiffin (Monte’s son) as the new offensive coordinator.

  6. StuDog

    November 10, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    Bench Ben. Locker room tears do not win games. Healthy QBs do.

  7. Jay Sabo

    November 10, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I totally agree with Tim. ANd I’ll go a step further and say something that no one will agree with but as a true Steeler fan first and Ben Roethlisberger fan second and even tertiary here is what I propose—lunacy, perhaps but not ill-conceived:
    Trade them when their stock is high according to the Cowherd man. Ben to a team (like KC or somebody) who are willing to part with a top ten first and top ten second round draft pick(s). In other words two picks (1st and 2nd round—high picks in both)-take Oher or some monster LT with the top ten pick and that guard Duke Robinson with our existing first round pick. Now we suddenly have a bona fide (and young) left side of an offensive line for many years (and who the hell is to say that both couldn’t come in and play right away with all these young, high draft pick offensive lineman playing and succeeding in the NFL right now?), extend Leftwich for two or three years until we either develop Dixon or figure something else out at the QB position in the interim (we’ve won many times before like this and we’ve never truly had an Ogden or Pace or Walter Jones shut down left tackle—even if we don’t win right away, I’ll be able to sleep well with the fact that over $100 million is no longer tied up in an interception machine; irregardless of it being his fault or not), move Colon into RG and have him compete with Stapleton (who btw literally looked lost on one of those sacks yesterday, as if he were in a crowded room and looking for the buffet but couldn’t seem to remember where he put it)-BUT keep Stapleton so that when Hartwig’s contract expires, we have insurance. DO NOT bring back Starks, Simmons, Kemoyayue…whatever the fuck his name is or McFadden (only because Rosenhaus is his agent and I’d sooner do a deal with Satan than sign one of his players)…SIGN, PLEASE SIGN a free agent left or right tackle to add experience to this proposed young line; such as Jordan Gross, Mark Tauscher, Marc Colombo or Khalif Barnes (we should be able to afford it now that we’re not tied up in BIG INT’s I mean Ben’s money. So the line would look like this: Oher (or some other top ten stud), Duke Robinson, Hartwig, Stapleton/Colon and Free agent. I THINK LEFTWICH WOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME BEHIND THAT LINE!!! Use the high second round pick on the best cornerback out there and our second round pick on a DT/DE or vice versa. The rest of this (2009) draft and all of subsequent drafts can be used on finding Mendenhall’s compliment (i.e., do not resign fast Willie when the time arrives), another QB and D-linemen/safety. Oh, I would definitely extend Nate Washington to ensure a deep and talented receiving corps and Fire Arians before he even gets out of bed tomorrow! Sorry to sound so irate but the COLTS SUCK—forward this to Colts fans, what are they gonna do, they’d be terrified of my neighborhood! Ben is banged up but not an excuse. If he cried, at least he’s finally showing some emotion but it may mean he’s soft…Only going to get worse…his stock won’t be higher than right now. I am off the Roethlisberger bandwagon if for no other reason, suckass offensive line aside, I, as a lower middle class working citizen who bends over everyday and takes it up the ass like the rest of y’all, cannot fathom a 100 million dollar a year quarterback throwing interception after interception, after interception with…..Did I like what he did last year…Damn right…but that was last year!

  8. Chris

    November 10, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    David,
    HERE, HERE! Guys I am all for sitting Ben a week to heal a little, but the play calling is pathetic at best! The quick slants, the three step drops work. Also when is the last time we called a screen? And as far as I am concerned start More for the rest of the season. Parker is just getting hurt to much. Think back to the AFC championship game against Denver and even against the Colts is 06 it was not the deep pass, but the underneath and quick slants soften up the defense and then through the 15-20yrder. This also keeps Ben upright.
    Chris

  9. Sara

    November 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Oh, I so totally agree. I have never been a fan of Big Ben and this is the reason why. I appreciate the talent he has, but it’s the game altering plays like this that irk me. Sit out and recoup.

  10. Woodrow

    November 11, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Arains? -Not good. The line? -Could be better. Is he hurt? -probably. Are they the problems? -Not by a long shot. There is a reason why Wiz didn’t stick around for the second interview and jumped on the Cardinals. Big Ben is not and never will be a leader worthy of a franchise quarterback label.

  11. mark

    November 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    I guess I am in the minority. I dont think trading Ben is anything to even think about! How quickly everyone is forgetting the great rookie year, the SUPER 2nd year, A record breaking 2007. C’mon people, the kid is a winner. He is one of the top 10 QB in football, and he is playing hurt. I commend his guts, and am now certainly wondering where the problem lies in this offense. I cant stand Arians, I think the line is mediocre at best and I think Tomlin is in over his head. Ben has a lot to do with the poor play, but lets be honest, We all agree that Arians is bad and the line has never improved. How could it be all Ben’s fault? Steelers can win a another Super bowl with him, not with Leftwich or Dixon.

  12. Woodrow

    November 11, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    He is now the franchise. He should be leading this team on winning drives and not making ugly mistakes that lose games. His intensity is for dung. He looks lost and confused. His confidence is shot. We’re 8-8 at best with him in there the rest of the season.

  13. Tim

    November 11, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    The best thing that could happen for the Steelers right now is for Tomlin to bench Ben for one game, two tops. Ben is banged up and he has no confidence in himself. Worse yet, the Head Coach doesn’t have the balls to bench “Little Ben.” This season is rapidly turning into a nightmare. The team should have drafted and thrown large sums of money at the O-line, but instead we got rid of Alan Faneca and gave the keys to the franchise to “Little Ben.”

    With all due respect to Mark, the Steelers CANNOT win another Super Bowl with Ben as QB, at least not anytime soon – or until whatever is mentally wrong with him gets fixed.

    The truly disturbing fact is that no matter what damage Mike Tomlin does to the team (and it’s already starting to happen) Dan Rooney will NEVER, EVER fire Tomlin. Face it, we are stuck with him!

    (Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are doing a helluva job with the Cardinals, aren’t they? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?)

  14. mark

    November 13, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Tim believe me I understand the frustration, but why cant this team win ANOTHER Super Bowl with Ben? The only thing I can think of is some of the players around him are mediocre at best. His line has certainly made him indecisive as well as sore.The play calling is atrocious, the running game is non-existent and their is no confidence in the offense. They need another player on offense to make a big-time play! I also agree with you on another point, I as well as others, wanted Whisenhunt

  15. Tim

    November 13, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Mark, thanks for your comments. What I meant to say is this team can’t win a Super Bowl with Ben with the current coaching staff. If we actually had a head coach with some balls, an innovative offensive coordinator (see Whisenhunt, Martz, et al) and a decent O-line and O line coach then the sky is the limit for Ben! I am sure Ben will straighten things out, I have less confidence in the ability of Tomlin to throw his coaches under the bus, so to speak!

    I also wanted Whisenhunt to be the Steelers head coach. It would be poetic justice if the Cards made the Super Bowl this year – show the Rooney’s what a mistake they made, not that the Rooney’s EVER admit to making mistakes. At least not as far as hiring Mike Tomlin is concerned.

  16. mark

    November 13, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Ha ha!! I agree Tim! This current staff is not Super Bowl caliber. I do think that the defense is chamionship caliber but the Offense is nowhere close. On a side note, it would kill me if this Steeler team loses to ALL the NFL teams that I loathe!! they already lost to the Giants and Colts. I also hate the Chargers and Patriots and I guess you can throw in the Cowboys too. Im praying thye beat the Chargers!!!

  17. Jay Sabo

    November 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    I agree with Mark and Tim’s banter. I, however, opine that, like Colin Cowherd (don’t usually agree with him) believe that you trade when the stock is highest…Getting rid of Ben now for a DOMINANT offensive line could be (although it would never happen) the way to go. How else, I ask you (Mark and Tim) can we get a Michael Oher type-caliber young LT on one side, Mark Tauscher or Jordan Gross type-caliber guy(s) on the other side (oh, that’s right, we can sign one of them—they’re free agents) and a Duke Robinson LG type of player all in one offseason??? While at the same time retaining McFadden (stomach bile creeps up my throat when I say that only because of who his agent is) and Nate Washington!?! And addressing the aging D-line??? You need extra AND high round picks for that and I truly believe that Leftwich can hold us over for a year or two—three tops (but believe me, I’d be remiss and delusional to think that Lefty can get us much past that time frame) until we either develop Dixon or figure out something (someone actually) else at QB. I think Tomlin’s lack of identity is hurting us and Arians has to go. Also, what would’ve happened if we would’ve signed Michael Turner in the offseason in lieu of Atlanta so we could have that one-two punch with Parker and Turner? Then we could’ve gone after an O-Lineman instead of Mendenhall and maybe next year looked into a second or third round pick to spend on a compliment to Turner and not resign Parker when his contract is up? As it stands now, we’re (probably) going to have to look into that RB compliment to Mendenhall, not resign Parker anyway and be out a first round offensive lineman all Because we already spent OUR big money on Ben and Troy—not that we shouldn’t’ve but I’m more concerned with the fact that every $&^@#ing penny seems to be watched by the Rooney’s—No one’s asking them to go on a shopping spree but c’mon already! Bargain basement shopping is nice and prudent but with a big back like Turner out there…I’m just hoping that we do something BIG this offseason.

  18. mark

    November 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Hi Jay. Jay, I cant imagine the Steelers making a BIG splash in the off season. Trading Ben will NEVER happen and I am one who thinks that it is a ridiculous notion. I do agree the STeelers need some changes. Arians has to go, O-line needs to be fixed and the coaching staff needs an overhaul. I agree that there is a very high chance that Parker is not back. The Steelers should bring back Mcfadden and Washington. They should draft a powerback at somepoint in the draft but both sides of the line need upgrades.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Facebook

Get Your Steelers Tickets

Pittsburgh Steelers Tickets

Show Your Team Spirit

Shop the newest Pittsburgh Steelers fan gear at Fanatics!

Steelers Gab Newsletter


Sign up to receive our Steelers Gab newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Pittsburgh Steelers news.


Archives

Categories

Recent Comments

Meta





More in Opinions