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Roethlisberger’s Health Tied To the Issues On the O-Line

It was a sight that Steelers fans cringe at, but one that we’ve come to expect to see a few times a season – QB Ben Roethlisberger lying on the ground in pain.

Sunday against the Hawks, the franchise QB threw a scare into the Steelers when he went down after a low hit to his knee by Seattle’s Raheem Brock. He missed two plays but came back in and played the whole rest of the way as the Steelers went on for the 24-0 win.

Roethlisberger had a decent enough game, going for 22-for-30 for 298 yards with a short TD pass to Mike Wallace. He was high on a number of balls, and overthrew a couple of receivers and running backs.

The big question now is – can they keep him on the field without getting killed? The O-line is still very much a work in progress, and while they have tried different players and combinations, they have to figure out a way to keep Ben upright.

As we have seen with other teams that have big name and/or franchise QB’s, the entire team changes should that player go down. Just ask the Colts what it’s like without Peyton Manning, or how the Eagles felt last night without Mike Vick.

Those that disagree will point to the Steelers 3-1 start last season without Roethlisberger, but let’s be real, this team can’t win long term with Roethlisberger on the bench hurt.

It’s up to Mike Tomlin, O-line coach Sean Kugler, and even some input from Bruce Arians to find a way for this situation to get better.

A couple more hits on Roethlisberger like what happened on Sunday, and the Steelers hopes of making it back to the Super Bowl will go right out the window.

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. Craig Mullins

    September 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    The time to re-sign Flozell is now!

  2. Ed Nestor

    September 20, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I would if I was the coach of the Steeler even if I had to move someone from defense to offense. Whatever it takes to find men that want to protect the guy who can make there wallet fat and put them on a winning team. Ben has taken a beaten since being a Steeler. Most men would be out of football by now. Look at Peyton Manning and he hasn’t took half of licks Ben has took. Last year that Ravern lineman sticking his hand inside his helmet and trying gauge his eyes. Referee’s don’t make calls against Ben because of Ben’s trouble’s and the fact that he moves around. So they let everything happen that is possible. Imagine pretty boy of Patriots taking these shots. Please for sake of the team step offensive linemen as if your protecting your mother block hold when your beaten but let our franchise go to waste because your not man enough to step up.

  3. reese

    September 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I figure if big ben want to start doing quick release passes then the offensive coordinator needs to change up the offensive passing scheme,mimic the patriots offensive scheme we have the receivers to do that accept antonio brown but he haven’t learned how to run under balls that is thrown short his way,and he let corners out play for the ball,but that jets receiver will take his roster spot this year and show him how to do that,but everyone do five to ten yard routes,and we continue to make 4 yards a run we will have long possessions but we will come out victorious everytime.

  4. DrGeorge

    September 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Mr. Loede, your point is well taken, as usual. The O-line continues to be a work in progress, although Sean Kugler is doing a good job of developing young players. But Ben’s style of play and Arian’s offensive play calling magnify the flaws of our inexperienced O-line. The blame lies with them.

    If Cowher had this team, he would run the ball, thereby sparing Ben big hits, controlling the clock, and playing to the strength of the O-line. Instead, Ben and Arians prefer putting up gaudy numbers with big plays, and Ben holds the ball far too long trying to make them. If Ben goes down and Batch and\or Dixon must play QB, the offensive style will have to change drastically, because Arian’s offense is predicated on Ben’s extraordinary athleticism. Ben likes to scramble and freelance, and Arians plays to Ben’s sandlot preferences. But that’s bad for the team as a whole.

    Under Cowher, Wisenhutt kept Ben within the offense by running the ball and throwing quickly. Ben hated it, but he was more efficient, and the team was the better for it. The sooner Tomlin gets the offense back to that style of play, the less hits Ben will take and the better off the team will be. Right now, this offense is all about Ben and his ego, and that’s not good.

  5. Jay

    September 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Agreed….OR…Draft better *%$%&^ offensive Linemen!!!!!

  6. race

    February 9, 2013 at 2:57 am

    There’s definately a lot to know about this subject. I really like all the points you’ve made.

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