Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Time for Big Ben to sit

Even if it turns out that Ben Roethlisberger is capable of starting on Sunday versus the Indianapolis Colts, it’s time for him to take a seat on the bench for a game … or two or three. The Steelers have a disturbing history of allowing Ben to return from injury prematurely — at Jacksonville (appendectomy), and at Oakland (concussion), both in 2006 — even when a more-than-capable backup was available. Recall that those two games were two of the worst performances of Roethlisberger’s career, similar to those of the past two weeks against the Redskins and Giants.

In the long run, the Steelers would be best served by letting Big Ben’s shoulder and hands (and knee?) heal, instead of rushing him back out on the field. For one, Byron Leftwich is a proven starting-caliber QB, one who could hold down the fort — and likely excel — in Roethlisberger’s absence. Second, in recent weeks, Ben’s play has been subpar, no doubt due to his injuries, a trend that is likely to continue, especially if the condition of his shoulder has deteriorated further. But the biggest reason to sit Ben is to try to get him healthy — or at least healthier — for the stretch drive and the post-season. Otherwise, by the time the post-season rolls around he may barely be able to run or throw, exactly when the Steelers will need him most.

One further thought: I'm adamant that the Steelers should not have Roethlisberger running the quarterback sneak, except in the rarest of circumstances. Nor should they be running reverses where Ben might be called upon to block defenders. With $100 million-plus invested in him, it pays to be smart about minimizing the contact he's exposed to, especially in light of the ongoing struggles of the team's offensive line. Recall that in the space of one season former Tenneessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair went from star QB to being completely washed up (not long after he turned 30), thanks to all the contact he absorbed over the course of his career. The amount of punishment Roethlisberger is absorbing is reminiscent of McNair, and no Steeler fan wants to see Ben washed up before he reaches the end of his current contract.

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Blogger worldwarwalter said...

i agree
rest Ben this week and leave
Bryon "GHOST DOG" Leftwich in to put the handle to the Colts!

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let ben rest. let ben rest, let ben rest,,,,,,,,,,

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope now Coach Mike sees that Ben needs to sit down!

4:22 PM  

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