Tag:Ben Roethlisberger
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Expect a lot of Steelers fans in Denver Sunday

Pittsburgh's Terrible-towel-waving faithful will be well represented this weekend in Denver. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

When it comes to fans infiltrating an opposing team's stadium, no one packs them in like Steelers' faithful. Depending on your allegiances, the Terrible-Towel waving black and gold spectacle is either a testament to just how important football is to the region or reminiscent of the pervasive nature of the cockroach.

(It's not completely accurate to say Steelers fans travel well. That's partly true, but they're also everywhere. Many of them have roots in western Pennsylvania but their families left the area in the '70s and '80s after the steel mills closed and unemployment rose. Either way, if there's a football game, they're showing up.)

So come Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET, expect Sports Authority Field to be littered with Steelers fans and Terrible Towels. Never mind that this is the Broncos' first postseason appearance since 2005 (the Steelers knocked them out of the AFC Championship game that year), or that Tebowmania is still alive. As of Thursday morning, there were 3,900 seats available on StubHub and 5,700 ready for purchase on Ticketexchange. Even if those tickets remain unsold, history suggests that it's fair to expect Steelers fans to number in the tens of thousands.


Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers will go up against Tim Tebow and the Broncos on Sunday in this AFC wild-card matchup. Join NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz as they preview this upcoming game. Watch the game on CBS at 4:30 PM ET.

"I'm amazed at how many season ticket holders got tickets and don't want to go," ticket broker Candy Lewis told Tammy Vigil of Colorado's KWGN 2.

In fact, according to Lewis, a lot of season ticket-holders are selling their seats. Which means they could end up in the hands of eager Steelers fans. That's exactly what happened during that AFC Championship game following the 2005 season.

"It was terrible in a way because we lost. But mainly because more than half the stadium were Steelers fans," Lewis said.

In a speech Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis annually delievered to Bengals fans, Denver head coach John Fox is imploring season ticket holders to show up Sunday.

"I would encourage all fans to keep their seats, so to speak, and not sell to Pittsburgh fan, so our stadium remains as active and loud as its been and more blue and orange, rather than yellow and gold," Fox said Monday.

For hobbled Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the sight never gets old.

“I think it kind of blows most people away,” he said. “When you’re on the road and you have guys on other teams that aren’t used to seeing that, and all of a sudden they see the Steeler fans come in and their like, ‘Holy cow, what’s going on?’ It’s a pretty neat feeling.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin added: “I’m continually surprised and awed by that, particularly when we’re out west. We’ve got world championship-caliber fans, and that’s why we work so hard to produce results on the field for them.”

Part of the problem? Maybe Tebowmania isn't quite so much alive as on life support. After winning six in a row and getting the Broncos to 8-5, Denver backed into the playoffs after three uninspiring losses. The last, a 7-3 effort against the Chiefs that saw the Broncos punt three times for each point they scored, was the last straw for some fans.

“That game was one step above watching paint dry,” said longtime season holder Todd Tenenbaum (via the Associated Press). “To watch the running back and quarterback bump into each other to see who can get up the middle first is just boring. I’d rather stay home and watch ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ with my kids.”

And that, folks, is how you end up with a stadium filled with Steelers fans. (In related news: we're guessing this won't help.)

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 4:04 pm
 

Ben Roethlisberger 'tweaked' ankle against Browns

Roethlisberger "tweaked" his ankle on Sunday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Steelers took a gamble on Sunday against the Browns when they ran Ben Roethlisberger out to play on a high-ankle sprain, hoping the Ravens would lose and Pittsburgh would win the AFC North.

The Ravens did not lose. And in worse news, according to our Steelers Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder, Roethlisberger "tweaked" his ankle in the win over Cleveland and suffered a "setback" in advance of Pittsburgh's wild-card game in Denver on Sunday.

"I felt pretty good going in and moved around pretty good," Roethlisberger said. "[But] we got set back about a week. I don't know if I hit the ground wrong or got hit. We'll be all right."

Now, this is Ben Roethlisberger, so injuries don't mean as much as they would with any other player. I'm sorry, but the dude just plays hurt (and sometimes better when he's injured).

But this gets back to the point of risking him on the field: the Steelers, over the final three weeks, didn't play things conservatively enough at all. Putting him on the field against San Francisco was worth the risk, but not leaving him out there. Sitting him against the Rams was smart. And leaving him on the bench against the Browns would've been the wise move too, even if the Bengals had a shot at unseating the Ravens. Charlie Batch couldn't have gone 23 for 40 for 221 yards? He probably could have.

Whatever, his ankle's worse off now for playing. That means, without their top running back, the Steelers have to figure out how to protect Roethlisberger against a ferocious Broncos pass rush.

Denver recorded 41 sacks in 2011 (10th in the league; just nine behind the Vikings and Eagles) and the best example of what could happen against a good defense who can rush the passer is the loss to the 49ers.

In that game, Roethlisberger wasn't mobile, was constantly under attack and the Steelers struggled to move the ball. Granted, the 49ers are just a flat-out sick defense, but the Broncos are pretty good too.

For Pittsburgh to avoid a shocking upset at Mile High on Sunday, they'll need to make sure their gameplan doesn't involve Von Miller putting Ben on his back. Or worse, on his ankle.

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Posted on: December 23, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2011 3:09 pm
 

Charlie Batch starting for Steelers versus Rams

Chuck Batch will try and lead Pittsburgh to a victory on Saturday against St. Louis. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The should-he-or-shouldn't-he-start saga with Ben Roethlisberger appears to be over, and Charlie Batch will start for the Steelers in their game Saturday against St. Louis.

The Steelers named Batch the starter over Roethlisberger on Friday, putting to rest the speculation (from Roethlisberger himself) that Ben would play on a bum ankle again. Roethlisberger, as you can imagine, wasn't thrilled.

"Well, I think if you rest you obviously can hopefully improve and give yourself higher percentages," Roethlisberger said, per our Steelers Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder. "But I like to be out there. I want to get the reps. Work on the little things that hopefully will get us ready for January."

Roethlisberger, by the way, hasn't been ruled out yet -- he's still technically "questionable" and will probably take the role of emergency quarterback with Dennis Dixon locked in as the backup.

That means if things get out of hand, the Steelers could theoretically turn to Ben, but it really shouldn't get that far, considering the Rams have scored more than 13 points exactly once over their last seven games, only one of which was a win (a 13-12 win over Cleveland).

Center Maurkice Pouncey, running back Mewelde Moore, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and defensive back Curtis Brown are all ruled out for game, and along with Roethlisberger, linebacker LaMarr Woodley is questionable.


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Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Roethlisberger denies rumors he's planning to sit

Big Ben limps down the steps to the locker room after Pittsburgh beat Cleveland last Thursday. (AP)
By Will Brinson

The logical conclusion for the remainder of the Steelers season is that they will rest quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Rams and Browns. In fact, on Wednesday we noted rumors that Ben would likely be out Saturday against Cleveland, despite the quarterback saying he was optimistic he'd play.

Roethlisberger was asked about those rumors specifically on Thursday, and, per Mike Bires of the Beaver County Times, staunchly denied that he's currently planning on sitting out against St. Louis.

"They always like to say things," Roethlisberger said when asked about reports that he wouldn't play. "Unless Coach said something, I will wait to hear it from him."

Roethlisberger, simply put, didn't look healthy against the 49ers. He looked like a guy with a bum ankle who needed rest in order to gain his mobility back, not to mention his ability to step into throws.

The Steelers obviously want to win the next two weeks, but they don't need to win. They hold the tiebreaker over the only three 8-6 teams -- the Bengals (head-to-head), the Broncos (conference record) and the Jets (conference record) -- that could potentially catch them for the fifth seed.

Pittsburgh could still win the AFC North, but it would require the Ravens losing to either the Browns at home or the Bengals on the road. Though the latter is certainly possible, it's still not likely, and if Charlie Batch is able to hand the ball off well enough to score 21 points each of the next two weeks, the Steelers could get away with resting Roethlisberger for the postseason.

Which is precisely why they should, even if Ben doesn't want to rest and is maintaining that the isn't planning on it yet.


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

Big Ben doesn't practice, optimistic on playing

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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Posted on: December 20, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Big Ben: 'I was probably the best 49er tonight'

Roethlisberger was limited by a bum ankle but it may not have mattered against San Fran's stifling defense. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Growing up, Ben Roethlisberger was a huge Joe Montana fan. Late Monday night, after Pittsburgh was throttled by San Francisco thanks in part to Big Ben's four turnovers, he called himself "probably the best 49ers player tonight."

Realistically, that honor falls to either Aldon or Justin Smith, but we take your point, Ben.

As CBSSports.com's Clark Judge wrote early Tuesday morning, Roethlisberger was playing on a bad wheel. He suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Browns in Week 14 and he spent much of the week hobbling around in a walking boot. Still, Roethlisberger, who ended the evening 25 of 44 for 330 yards with three interceptions and a lost fumble, took responsibility for his performance.

“I’m not going to make excuses," he said, according to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Michael Erler. I played a bad football game, turned it over, and that’s on me. Everyone goes out and plays with injuries and I’m no different from anyone else. I was going to play even if I was five percent; I don’t care. …

"It’s very frustrating. You feel like you let down your team, your fans and your coaches. It’s tough. They’re a good football team, they flat out beat us and I need to be a lot better.”


The 49ers rode their top-ranked run defense once again to beat ailing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-3 on Monday night.

Big Ben also said that he didn't take a pain-killing injection before the game even though high-ankle sprains can take several weeks to heal.

“We heard that [ESPN analyst] Steve Young and those guys said pregame, ‘Oh, he’ll go shoot it up,’ ” Roethlisberger said via FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez. “No, we don’t do that. [Steelers trainers] would never put me out there and endanger me or anybody on this team to do that. I just think it’s silly that they assume that’s what you’ve got to do. Obviously, we could have done that and it would have helped a lot. But that’s kind of crazy to do and take that chance because you can further injure yourself.”

Roethlisberger risked further injury when refused to come out of the game late in the fourth quarter with the outcome decided. Judge rightly wondered why the Steelers would potentially jeopardize the rest of their season.

"When coach tried to get me out, I said, 'No, I'm not putting you in that situation," Roethlisberger said. "And I'm not quitting on our guys. I started this thing. I'm going to finish it.' "

“My hat goes off to Roethlisberger,” 49ers defensive end Justin Smith said on ESPN after the game. “Him playing, hobbled up back there, he wouldn’t come out.”

So we again have confirmation: Roethlisberger is tough. Now he needs to get healthy because it looks like the Steelers are headed for the wild card and a first-round meeting with the Denver Broncos.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 10:13 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 11:08 pm
 

What happens if Steelers-49ers game is suspended?



By Will Brinson


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As you may have noticed, there's some issue with the power at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during the Steelers-49ers game. (The Niners currently lead 6-0.)

Twice thus far, there's been a delay because of a power outage and there are some obvious concerns about whether or not the game will actually be finished. (Not to mention what that means for your fantasy football team, ammright?) So what would happen if the game were suspended?

According to Mike Tirico on Monday Night Football, the teams and league will attempt to stay at Candlestick as long as possible to finish the game, provided it doesn't become "a public safety hazard."

In that event, the game could be suspended and finished on Tuesday afternoon. After all, unlike baseball, the game can't be "complete" until it's actually complete, meaning the whole game must be played.

"If the game were to get suspended it would resume at some point at the exact point it was suspended," Mike Pereira, former NFL VP of Officiating and now a Fox Sports analyst, tweeted Monday. "Stats and scores would remain."

Pereira also noted that the referee involved can "only temporarily suspend" as it's the NFL's decision as to whether they should suspend until a later date.

The logistics behind suspending the game -- and presumably resuming it on Tuesday -- are a disaster, considering that everyone's already scheduled to play again on Saturday. Not to mention Ben Roethlisberger's already dealing with an injured ankle, and playing in game action two days in a row doesn't really seem plausible the way he's looked on Monday.

From a fantasy perspective, you'd just sit on your points until the game was finished. I have no clue, at this point, how Vegas would handle the game. My best guess is there would be an option to get no action from certain casinos.

That's a tremendous disadvantage for the Steelers, who have to travel back home before playing on Christmas Eve against the Rams.

The 49ers wouldn't exactly be helped, as they've got to play a white-hot Seahawks team in Seattle on Saturday as well.

But if for some reason the game can't continue tonight, it could conceivably be played Tuesday, and given the problems with the power in Candlestick on Monday night, playing it during the day wouldn't exactly be a terrible idea either.

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Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:10 pm
 

Ben Roethlisberger active Monday night

Ben Roethlisberger is offically active for Monday night. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We mentioned first thing Monday morning that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would start on Monday night in San Francisco. There was some concern that Ben would be a game-time decision throughout the day, but he's officially active for Pittsburgh now.

It was widely assumed that Roethlisberger would start once Baltimore lost to San Diego on Monday; a win on Monday against the 49ers would give the Steelers a serious leg up on chasing the No. 1 seed in the AFC and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

But it remains to be seen if Ben can be effective on the field. Expect the Steelers to play ball control and try to move the rock on the ground in order for Roethlisberger to minimize any hits.


The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Candlestick Park to take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night. Join James Brown, Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharpe and Boomer Esiason as they break down this upcoming matchup.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com