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Why Did Ben Not Play Saturday Night?

There has been plenty of talk about why franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger sat out the game Saturday night against the Lions. I was somewhat surprised he didn’t play, but at the same time, there were some good reasons the team decided to sit him.

1. An Example – Call it what you want, but maybe Mike Tomlin was trying to send a message. The message being – we haven’t totally forgotten the chaos you put the team through in March. Maybe Mike was just saying “hey, you screw up, you pay the price.” He did it with Santonio Holmes back in the day, and maybe now he’s doing it with Ben.

2. Keep it Positive – While the game was at home and I would have felt Ben would have been cheered, I have heard that if Ben came in and got off to a slow start, he may have heard some boos. I don’t buy that, but hey, you buy a ticket, you have a right to boo who you want. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have been shocked to see a standing O for the QB and then if even if he would have struggled, so what – it’s preseason.

3. Tomlin knows what he’s got in Ben – What can Roethlisberger gain by playing in a meaningless preseason game? The team knows he’s gonna sit four games, so give Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon all the work that they need to get ready for the season. Ben has won two Super Bowls, and the team knows that once he’s back, he’ll be fine, so why risk a stupid injury.

Follow SGN’s Matt Loede on @mattnflgg.

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.



  1. adam

    August 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I think option 3 is without a doubt the reason Big Ben was kept out. Not that he wouldn’t benefit from some game time with the starters, cause that can only do him good, especially since he has some new guys he needs to connect with like Battle, Antwaan, and the rookies, Sanders and Brown. Needless to say, he’ll be rusty either way once the 5th week hits, and the other dudes need this time to develop in to the leaders so we can go get ourselves some wins in the beginning of the season.

  2. chris

    August 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    mabye by the time ben does play we will have an offenceive line

  3. larry

    August 16, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I was in attendance during the “typhoon” game and I heard, on numerous occasions while Leftwich was in there, “we want Ben, we want Ben”. I don’t think it’s a problem with the fans accepting him but more along the lines of what chris had to say. With the line play we have right now, I can’t picture the starting quarterback making it through a season let alone 4 games with so many holes in the line.

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