It is time to get real, folks. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger competes in the NFL of today, with an above-average cast of supporting players around him, yet he has the nerve to place the blame on the doorstep of anyone else’s house but his own when the Steelers experience defeat.
This Sunday, Feb. 4, the Steelers will be watching Super Bowl LII from the sidelines, the stands or from the comfort of their living rooms. Why? Well, as far as I am concerned, there are a few reasons. But the most glaring reason is Roethlisberger himself.
When the Steelers lost their playoff match against the Jacksonville Jaguars, 45-42, everyone put the yoke of defeat around the neck of the Steelers defense. Roethlisberger committed a fumble that was returned for a touchdown (near the end of the first half, no less) and threw an interception less than 20 yards from his own end zone early in the first quarter, resulting in 14 “additional” points for the visitors.
Oh, by the way, Pittsburgh lost the game by three points. Most of the talking heads hailed the failed comeback of the Steelers as another example of the pseudo-heroism of Roethlisberger. After that fiasco, Roethlisberger stated publicly that he was “massively frustrated” by a few of the play-calling decisions of the coaching staff, echoing the sentiments of Steeler Nation. That disloyal, self-serving, vain and irresponsible temper tantrum called on the “fire wagons” to deliver an undeserved pink slip to Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Haley was never really welcomed by Roethlisberger after former Steelers offensive coordinator and now former Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians departed the “Burgh” for the sands and sounds of Tempe.
When wide receiver Plaxico Burress was “drummed” out of Pittsburgh, a big-bodied prototype wide receiver, Limas Sweed, was supposedly drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft just to appease Roethlisberger.
Jeff Sneeden posted this on stillcurtain.com: “It was a perfect storm that brought Limas Sweed into the lives of Steeler Nation. The lack of a large target for QB Ben Roethlisberger had been a subject discussed in every Pittsburgh media outlet since the departure of Plaxico Burress.”
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and coach Mike Tomlin have been personnel “alchemists,” keeping the foundation of the Pittsburgh Steelers solid, both from an economic and competitive perspective. From the beginning of Roethlisberger’s career, all the Steelers have tried to do is keep him content and keep their tradition intact, but when the chips are down it seems that the majority of the time aside from issuing the patronizing statement of, “We win as a team and we lose as a team,” Roethlisberger almost always has the “blame someone else finger,” poised to strike as soon as those words come out of his mouth.
In Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger was 10-of-22, for 158 yards, with two interceptions. The Steelers won the game, 21-10, mostly on the back of running back Willie Parker and a long pass from Antwaan Randle-El to Hines Ward for a TD to seal the deal. Roethlisberger’s QB rating was 22.6.
In Super Bowl XLIII it took a miraculous, swaggin’, leaping toe-draggin’ catch by Santonio Holmes that brought home the bacon for the Steelers, but Big Ben still had a pick in that game.
In Super Bowl XLV his quarterback rating was 77.4 as he again threw two interceptions and the Packers beat the Steelers, 31-25. Minus those two picks, The Steelers would have easily won that game. No one publicly expressed “bigly frustration” with Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers and all of us attending the game boarded our flights and returned home.
Ben Roethlisberger had best cease threatening to retire. It seems as if he now has Mike Tomlin in his crosshairs.
Either Roethlisberger should quit or be “fired.” Pittsburgh has far too much talent to be “held hostage” by Ben Roethlisberger or any other player. It is time to “p__p or get off the pot.” Maybe the Steelers should surprise him at training camp in July with a private dinner and some small talk with “the Turk.”
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