Saturday, September 30, 2006

Steelers fans wrong to boo offense, Roethlisberger

In today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Scott Brown floats the idea that QB Ben Roethlisberger may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Regardless, it was inconsiderate for Steelers fans to boo the offense's performance in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Yes, the offense is struggling and Roethlisberger has been making decidedly uncharacteristic mistakes, but under the circumstances it seems unfair to expect him to be the same quarterback he was nine or ten months ago. Big Ben looked like his old self in the pre-season, but it appears the apendectomy and subsequent illness broke the camel's back, so to speak. Steelers fans may need to be patient with Roethlisberger, and even if things continue to go poorly in the short-term (i.e., this season), the team's extended-term future is bright.

In addition to Roethlisberger's difficulties the Steelers have three significant issues at the present time:
1. Lack of RB depth beyond Willie Parker.
2. Lack of a capable punt returner.
3. Minimal contributions from this year's draft class: At least three Steelers' rookies (WR Santonio Holmes, FS Anthony Smith, RT Willie Colon) have promising futures, but all three are projects and none seems likely to make a major contribution this season. That doesn't bode well for the Steelers' playoff prospects; last year TE Heath Miller and CB Bryant McFadden played pivotal roles in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl run.


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