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Smurfville :: Fun! (Non Smurf) :: General Talk :: Ben Roethlisberger is well versed in the drill - View Topic
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Ben Roethlisberger is well versed in the drill (4th Dec 18 at 1:30am UTC)
When things go well Pittsburgh Steelers Hoodie , the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is quick to deflect praise elsewhere.And when they don't, he's just as quick to shoulder the responsibility regardless of how many yards he passes for or touchdowns he throws."We take these losses on us as an offense, and me as a leader of the offense, I take it on myself that we haven't done enough to score enough points to win football games," Roethlisberger said Wednesday. "So, offensively we need to be better and we will be better."Thing is, on paper Pittsburgh's offense looks fine. The Steelers (1-2-1) are a respectable sixth in total yards and 10th in points heading into Sunday's visit from Atlanta (1-3).The problem is the success has come in fits and spurts. Consistency has been elusive. For every 21-point flurry — such as the one against Kansas City in Week 2 that helped them escape from an early hole — there have been large swathes of meh.And while coach Mike Tomlin is frustrated by his team's slow starts — the Steelers have been outscored 42-6 in the first quarter — the finishes haven't been great either. Pittsburgh has just one fourth-quarter touchdown through four games, a 3-yard dive by Roethlisberger in the waning moments against the Chiefs.The Steelers often look dynamic and vulnerable in the same half, a sporadic juggernaut that doesn't exactly have Atlanta Falcons defensive end Takk McKinley overly concerned. The brash second-year player is eager to get a look at Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and the rest of a team coming off its worst September in five years."Big Ben, you know, he's one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but he hasn't seen Takk McKinley Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , and that's just me being honest," said McKinley, who already has five sacks this season. "So, great quarterback and respect him, but he hasn't seen me."There's no specific area that's lacking for the Steelers, though the running game has gone silent for long stretches since James Conner piled up 135 yards and two touchdowns in the opener against Cleveland. Rock bottom — at least what the Steelers hope is rock bottom — came last week against Baltimore when Pittsburgh managed just 19 yards rushing on 11 carries."I know everybody wants to see the run game and trust me, as an offensive lineman, we want to see it to," Pouncey said. "It's early in the season, things will come along."The anticipated arrival of All-Pro Le'Veon Bell — who told ESPN earlier this week he plans to report later this month — should help.Of course, that's predicated on Bell not changing his mind in the interim. Until Bell's familiar No 26 goes from hanging idly in the locker room to the field, Conner will continue to do his part. The issue is a lack of chances.The Steelers ran the ball just three times in the second half against Baltimore even though the game was tied at the break. That's not exactly a firm commitment to taking some of the load off Roethlisberger's considerable shoulders and giving the NFL's 30th-ranked defense a true breather.Still, there's also a point where running it for the sake of running it reaches a point of diminishing returns."You don't want to run into a brick wall www.authenticspittsburghsteelers.com , that's idiotic as a team," Ramon Foster said. "We've got to be a team that understands the situation we are put in and maximize those."That includes creating a cleaner pocket for Roethlisberger to work in. The 36-year-old has been erratic at times. He was brilliant in the first half against Tampa Bay two weeks ago — when he threw three touchdowns to help stake the Steelers to a 20-point lead — and all over the place in the second half against the Ravens as they consistently disrupted his timing."There's a couple of times on film, if Ben didn't have a little bit of pressure, AB is going across the middle wide open," Foster said. "The thing that is going to help us more is just owning up to what we're doing and taking care of the small pieces."Having a defense that doesn't seem to find its footing until after it has given up multiple scores isn't helping. The Steelers have allowed opponents to score first in each of the past three games, developments that have rendered portions of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner's game plan moot.Not that Roethlisberger wants to talk about it. Yes the offense has been forced to play catch-up a lot. But it's not as if there's no time left on the clock when these outbursts happened. Pittsburgh tied Baltimore with 2:50 left in the first half and didn't score again. That can't happen, particularly in a season where more points are being scored than ever before.There's time to get it fixed, yes. Just not as much as there was."We're looking at this next week and trying to get a win because that's all that really matters," Roethlisberger said. "If this has to happen it's better to have it early in the season than middle or late in the season."NOTES: LB Vince Williams (hamstring) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle). ... S Morgan Burnett (groin) was limited. ... CB Mike Hilton (elbow) was a full participant, as was K Chris Boswell (left foot). ... Pouncey, Roethlisberger and CB Joe Haden were given the day off.Steelers fans old enough to remember the glory days know it will never be seen again It’s no secret the Pittsburgh Steelers love to build through the draft. They’ve enjoyedunparalleled success in team building through this tried-and-true method. It all started in 1969 when they drafted a little-known defensive lineman from the University of North Texas named Mean Joe Greene with their first-round selection. This laid the foundation for the Steel Curtain Dynasty and remains the single most important development in Steelers history. But the pick seemed uneventful at the time and, quite frankly, left a lot of people questioning “who?” Can you imagine the chaos after such a pick in today’s modern age of social media?Image
I feel certain there would be an angry mob of inconsolable fans descending on Steelers headquarters with torches and pitchforks. The next year Pittsburgh Steelers T-Shirt , when the Steelers had the first overall pick in the 1970 NFL draft, they selected a strong-armed quarterback from Louisiana Tech named Terry Bradshaw. This pick was met with far less criticism, but the fans had no idea what the next four years held in store. While Bradshaw had one of the strongest arms the league had ever seen at the time, he was far from a finished product coming into the league. To say Bradshaw struggled during his first four years is an understatement. I dare say there has never been another first-round QB who struggled so mightily over their initial three or four seasons yet still remained with the team that originally drafted them — much less the first overall pick. Today’s wall-to-wall coverage and social media impact would never allow for an environment conducive to such a player’s development. Either the player would be gone, or the head coach would be fired — probably both. Bradshaw endured multiple benchings and a whole lot of tough love from Coach Noll. But in the end, he was a four-time Super Bowl champion. Terry’s epic story of perseverance, though, could never happen in today’s NFL.The 1970 draft also netted the team a future Hall of Famer and revolutionary, game-changing player when they selected cornerback Mel Blount from Southern University in the third round. Blount appeared to have been sculpted from granite and possessed world-class athleticism. He also had a mean streak a mile wide. He would so demoralize most opponents that he broke their will to compete. The NFL tried to level the playing field by implementing the appropriately named “Mel Blount Rule” which prohibited contact with a receiver after five yards down the field. Blount adjusted his game accordingly and remained a great player, but the game was changed forever. I’m glad I got to witness him at the height of his powers. The Steelers continued to build through the draft and struck gold with the 13th selection of the 1972 draft when they selected Franco Harris, a running back from nearby Penn State. Franco was an immediate success and a fan favorite. He was the freight train that drove the Steelers’ power running attack that controlled the clock and wore down the opposition. This allowed Noll’s marauding defense to be well rested and ready for destruction. Harris was named Rookie of the Year at the end of the season, and he helped lead the team to the playoffs. In the playoffs, Franco Harris made the single biggest play in Steelers history and — in one fell swoop — changed the team’s culture of losing forever. Maybe you’ve heard of it — The Immaculate Reception. But that play probably would never happen in today’s NFL. With the countless camera angles and instant-replay availability we may have gotten a definitive answer to John Madden’s eternal plea of “Who touched the ball first?” or whether the ball ever touched the ground Pittsburgh Steelers Hats , as many Raider players contest. I, for one, am thankful that the play happened before modern technologies because we might have been robbed of one of the greatest moments in NFL history. I concede I’m not a Raiders fan when making that statement.The Steelers were now a playoff team and a young team on the rise. They were close to becoming true contenders and they went into the 1974 draft looking to add an explosive element to their offense and also to the middle of their burgeoning defense. That draft was a huge success on all accounts. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 1974 draft class is unquestionably the greatest in NFL history. Drafting four future Hall of Famers in one year is hard to fathom and the likes thereof will probably never be seen again. The draft netted the Steelers two explosive playmakers on offense — wide receiver Lynn Swann from USC in the first round and wide receiver John Stallworth from Alabama A&M in the fourth round. While neither player set the league on fire right out of the gate, their enormous potential was evident every time they took the field. Eventually, they formed the greatest receiver tandem in league history and lifted the Steelers’ offense to a lofty status worthy of their league-best defense. The 1974 draft also added the final missing piece that finished tempering the Steel Curtain defense. The team drafted linebacker Jack Lambert from Kent State in the second round and he enjoyed immediate success in the middle of the defense, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year that season. If Mean Joe Greene represented the foundation of the dynasty, then Lambert was the heart and soul of the defense. His fiery disposition permeated throughout the defense and had an infectious effect on his teammates.The team was now loaded and would go on to win four of the next six Super Bowls. Eventually the 70s Steelers would succumb to injuries and Father Time. Incredibly, most of those Steelers greats would go on to retire having played only for the Steelers during their careers. Obviously, this was before the age of free agency. Those of us old enough to have watched the Steel Curtain Dynasty of the 70s had no idea the magnitude of what we were witnessing. Who could have predicted free agency and the corresponding movement of players from team to team? Or the financial prosperity enjoyed by the league and the explosion in player salaries, resulting in today’s salary-cap issues? No team will ever again approach the talent levels of those Steelers teams from the 70s. Free agency and the salary cap would never allow it. It truly had to be seen to be believed.
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