To say that Ben Roethlisberger and the Todd Haley offense have mixed as well as oil and water would be an understatement. Since a promising opening half of last year the 10-year vet has struggled at times in an offense that was supposed to keep him healthy.
We also know about the injury that claimed his best efforts and the much-maligned offensive line that few quarterbacks would survive behind but Roethlisberger can help himself.
I talked about this last night on the Pittsburgh Sports Depot show with Daniel Dudley on Trib Live Radio. Is Ben sometimes his own, worst enemy?
I don’t think there’s any question that at times he can be but this is who he is. He’s a guy that improvises and looks to extend plays hoping to burn the defense for a big gain down-field. Too often this year, Roethlisberger has attempted to do just that and in some cases was successful and in some not so.
I really think he needs to take what the defense gives more than he does. What that means is that he has to swallow his pride and hit the dump-off man even though he doesn’t want to. Easy to say I know, when he is scrambling around but he has to know where his back or backs are.
The loss to the Vikings was a good example. I counted at least four times in the first half where a running back was open in the flats and would have had at minimum a five-yard pick up. In each of those situations, Roethlisberger choose to skip that and look for a bigger gain.
I’m not knocking Roethlisberger here because I understand the game he plays and I accept that there will be risk-reward with his style but I believe he can help both himself and the team by taking what is there more often.
In doing so, he lowers the amount of hits on him and hopefully creates some confidence for the offensive line that won’t be seeing their QB going down so often.
I understand what Todd Haley’s offense is designed to do and many of you do also. Whether I like it or not doesn’t matter. Roethlisberger has to realize what the fans have come to realize now that the bye week is over. Haley isn’t going anywhere this season and the only way this team has a chance in hell of making the playoffs is going to be with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.
He has to recognize what can keep him upright longer because it sure isn’t the offensive line. Get the ball to your skill guys Ben. Let them take the hits and make the yards so you don’t have to.
After watching the Jets beat the Falcons last night, Roethlisberger would be wise to use the dump-offs on Sunday. The front four of the Jets thoroughly dominated the Falcons offensive line last night and we have no reason to believe they can’t dominate ours.
Roethlisberger may not like the offense but at some point, he needs to do what is best for self-preservation. In turn, this could also be good for the team.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers.