A few weeks ago, after the Steelers lost to the Broncos, there was a bunch of mindless chatter originating from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room, crap like, “there were certain qualifications that determined who was eligible to criticize the team,” etc.
After the loss to the Broncos, the chief critic, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, seemed to have concluded that there was no need for maybe nothing more than a little criticism disguised as “tough love” to plug the hole in the rapidly sinking ship of the Steelers’ playoff season.
Roethlisberger said, “Being around for a long time and dealing with a lot of different players, you have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways. I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. Sometimes you just grab them off to the side and sometimes you have to be honest with them. I think I’ve earned the right to be able to do that with as long as I’ve been here. I’ll be just as critical on myself in front of you guys, as well.”
In my most arrogant opinion, my friends, that statement uttered by “Big” Ben is B.S. in its purest form.
Roethlisberger has almost never totally criticized himself or taken full responsibility for his actions. He has almost always attempted to deflect the blame and responsibility to those that he considers as subordinates which usually include his coaches and teammates. Please take heed that this is not some liberal left-wing theory, this is a fact. This past Sunday night, Dec. 2, the Steelers lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, 33-30. The Steelers scored 23 points in the first two quarters and 7 points in the remaining two quarters coupled with the fact that they received the ball first in the second half. Folks have spent the last few days saying that the Steelers took their foot off the gas pedal and that allowed the Chargers to storm back from the precipice of defeat to a hard-fought victory. My friends, this is an incorrect and very deeply flawed analysis. The Steelers not only removed the pedal from the metal, they parked the car, went in and had lunch and returned to an empty parking spot because their car had been stolen.
Oh, there was more than one culprit besides the action on the field that helped navigate Chargers QB Phillip Rivers and his team to victory. There were a few occasions that the officiating crew that was assigned to call the game appeared to have had too many cocktails before the game or may have accidentally consumed some “magic mushrooms” during the pregame meal.
Now back to Roethlisberger. How can he pucker up his lips to even criticize the neighborhood Pop Warner team when, in spite of all of the weapons that surround him, he can only muster up 7 points in the second half of a season-altering game? During his postgame news conference, Roethlisberger was asked a few questions such as; Did they change what they were throwing you in the second half in terms of coverages? He responded, “I don’t think so. Maybe they switched up some coverages here and there. I just didn’t play enough.”
Is this the kind of game where you felt all the calls were going against your side? He continued on, saying, “We aren’t going to put it into the refs’ hands. We must play better football.”
And finally, did the interception slip? He simply said: “Yeah.”
There is no room for “slips of the tongue” as well as “accidental” interceptions. The Steelers are now facing crunch time—they are climbing a slippery slope trying to get to the postseason. Will they make it? As long as they don’t “slip” up they have a credible chance.
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