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Blog Entry

Big Ben doesn't practice, optimistic on playing

Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:57 am
Edited on: December 21, 2011 4:12 pm
 
By Will Brinson

Ben Roethlisberger looked like a statue (or, if you prefer, "the best 49er") during Pittsburgh's 20-3 loss to San Francisco on Monday night but is optimistic that he'll play on Saturday against St. Louis.

The Steelers quarterback said on Wednesday that he wasn't negatively affected by remaining in the game and throwing 45 times, and that his ankle is no worse because of it. Roethlisberger did not practice on Wednesday, however.

As Clark Judge pointed out Monday, it was a bad decision to leave Ben in against San Francisco. But it doesn't look like the same mistake will be made against St. Louis this week, as the Steelers would reportedly be "shocked" if Roethlisberger played against the Rams.

"Steelers officials would be shocked if Ben plays this week," Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network tweeted Wednesday. "Fully expect him to rest at least one week. Mike Tomlin yet to reveal decision."

Tomlin's decision should be pretty obvious: sit Ben against the Rams.

The entire point of putting Roethlisberger on the field against the 49ers was to gamble on a shot for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. If Pittsburgh beat San Francisco, they would've jumped into the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, with a very good shot at homefield advantage and a bye in the first week of the playoffs.

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Instead, the Steelers now need to both win out and have the Ravens slip up against either Cleveland or Cincinnati. As we noted this morning, anything's possible with the Ravens on the road.

But the likely scenario for Tomlin's crew involves traveling for the first round of the playoffs (perhaps to Denver) and preparing for any other reality by playing Roethlisberger against the Rams just wouldn't be prudent, particularly given the way he looked on Monday night.

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Comments

Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Ben and the rest of the banged up starters should rest against the Rams. They should bring them back the following week against the Browns and only play them a half. We need are stars to be healthy come playoff time to make a better push for a superbowl. Granted I would love for us to win out and have the Ravens lose one. But realisticly I dont see it happening. Maybe against the Bengals but we will see. But for now start Batch or give Dixon a start i like the kid hes shown alot of promise in the pre season the past 2 seasons now.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Big Ben should have been pulled during the 4th.  Also if he reinjured the ankle, I'm sure there was some swelling on that long flight back to Penn.


TDAISON
Since: Mar 9, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:30 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 2, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Sounds like his ankle injury was aggravated during the 49er game and worsened afterwards. The Steelers should sit him down for their next game. They are in the playoffs and Big Ben's talents will be needed then than now. Rest him for one week and then see how things work out. This is a dangerous playoff team and they need everyone healthy to succeed. Roethlisberger at 90-100% makes them tougher to beat.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

I can believe they started Big Ben in San Fran, however, I thought it was a no brainer to pull him at the half.  He was playing at maybe 60% and it was easy to see that he was struggling.  He needs to sit against the Rams and heal a bit.  Hell, he should probably sit against the Browns also.  The Steelers can make the SB with him at 80%-90% but not 60%.

Why is it so hard to believe Ben started and finished that game?  Tomlin has the title of "coach" but the bottom line is Big Ben rules in Pittsburgh.  If Ben says he's ok to play, then he's ok to play.  If Ben doesn't want to come out of the game, then Ben won't come out of the game.  Ben will sit against the Rams if Ben wants to sit against the Rams.  Tomlin has absolutely ZERO say and he knows it. 

That's the problem with situations like this where superstars run teams, the player makes the decisions and not the head coach. Another problem is die hard fans want to give credit to the player for playing with an injury instead of being pissed off their team would have had a better chance moving the ball with Batch at QB that day then Ben.

I honestly don't doubt Ben's passion for the game, obviously he wants to play and is willing to play in pain. But the bottom line is he's not supposed to be the coach.  He's not supposed to make these decisions.  Sure, let him start the game but if he looks like crap a coach should be able to pull him and that should be the end of that story.

But Ben said he refused to sit, and Tomlin did exactly as he was told to do... he was told to shut up and listen to the real coach of the team, even though it was their biggest game of the season.  Sucks... but true. 



Since: Feb 22, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Clearly Ben was not in top shape against the Niners, but I can't really fault Tomlin for letting him go in that game.  It's Monday Night football and you are playing a 10-3 team for critically important playoff positioning.  Does anyone here think Batch can beat the Niners in SF in a big game?  It was a calculated risk and they lost.  Not pulling Ben sooner, now that is an altogether different mistake.



Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Every time we hit midfiled, Arians ran the ball on first and second down and left us in a third down situation that we couldn't convert on most occassions.  Arians didn't pass enough in this game.



Since: Jun 22, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:02 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

2 Mins left in the game.....down 20 - 3.....Ben still in the game.....Tomlin is an IDIOT. 



Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

Problem here is the hit that got him hurt. You have to run the ball 40 times on the pushover Browns. Arians is an egotist in that game and does it again not giving Mendenhall and Moore the rock 30-40 times. Sure no 100yd rushers blah blah but 14 for 68 and 1 for 20 by said backs is enough to commit to running. When is Tomlin going to step in and demand Steeler football ? Run the ball dude... too late now though, everyone knows its coming with Batch basically finishing you whimpering season upo until Ben's rusty first round exit to whomever they play... maybe next year stillers.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 12:43 pm
 

Report: Steelers 'shocked' if Ben plays Week 16

I can believe they started Big Ben in San Fran, however, I thought it was a no brainer to pull him at the half.  He was playing at maybe 60% and it was easy to see that he was struggling.  He needs to sit against the Rams and heal a bit.  Hell, he should probably sit against the Browns also.  The Steelers can make the SB with him at 80%-90% but not 60%.


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