January 17, 2008

Kneel Before Ben...

"After reflecting on the Steelers season, it's evident that Ben Roethlisberger is a mediocre quarterback at best."
- "Steelers fan" in letter to Tribune-Review
Ok, so far this offseason I've heard (loudly and clearly) - fire Bruce Arians, fire Mike Tomlin, and where's my Primanti's sandwich (err...maybe that was just me). But until Tuesday, I had yet to hear anything quite like the quote above (from a "fan" that is)...which I mostly attribute to the fact that only 7-8% of the state of Pennsylvania is addicted to crack, and it's mostly Philadelphia anyhow (read: Eagles fans).

Honestly, Big Ben - a MEDIOCRE quarterback? 32 TDs (11 INTs), 3154 yards, a 65% completion percentage, an average of 8 yards per attempt, and a Pro Bowl spot. Yeah, that Ben Roethlisberger is one awful QB. Let me tell you this - if you think Big Ben is mediocre, try being a Vikings fan, or a Bears fan, or a Falcons fan. The numbers speak for themselves. Sure, he holds the ball too long on occasion. But on some of those occasions, he holds the ball in order to make a play (conjure memory of infamous shovel pass to Willie Parker)! And yes, we're all a bit (just an itty bit...) disappointed by his performance in the 1st half of the Wild Card game vs. Jacksonville. But if not for his arm, that game would've been well out of reach by the half way mark.

As for that other "fire everyone" shite:

Anyone who wants Tomlin ran out of town after a year like this - get your head out of your ass. You don't fire a coach who as a rookie leads his team to a 10-6 record, topping the division, in a year that plagued some of his best players with very serious injuries. I'm thinking I'm not the only one who subscribes to that kind of philosophy...

Arians? Well, look, all I'm gonna say is this - anyone who wants to talk about what he did in Cleveland and say that historic perspective has any bearing on the future, let me point out that while in Cleveland his guy was Tim Couch. Tim Couch! Who was surrounded by essentially no running back and flanked by Dennis Northcut and Quincy Morgan...not what I'd call an All Star cast. And by the way, the criticism of this guy was so bad after our loss that even his Wikipedia page has a section on the subject. I'm not saying he's perfect. I'm not even saying he is a long term solution. I am just saying that he and Ken Anderson had an obvious positive influence on Big Ben. So let's give him a little more time to see if he can't avoid making the same mistakes next season.

Me? I guess I decided to re-enter the Steelers fan blogosphere preaching the same thing as when I went on brief hiatus -- one year does not a career make. Mike Tomlin, Bruce Arians, and most of all BEN ROETHLISBERGER will all be back next season. The best we can hope for is to build on the teams successes, eliminate some of the team's mistakes, and god dammit - draft a lineman in the 1st round! Then a couple more of those, a tall/fast receiver, a kick returner who can field AND run the ball back, a solid free safety, a pass rushing Defensive end, a blocking fullback, a thunder to Willie Parker's lightning, and we should be good. I mean, should be cake, right?

So ummm, my question is - Does anyone actually think Big Ben is no more than a mediocre QB??? Do you think he's better when simply playing not to lose the game for us??? Would you prefer Tommy Maddox??? [PS - If so, be sure to ship your medication directly to me...I wouldn't mind that kind of lunacy once in a while...]

Get a Grip, Nation [Post-Gazette]
Big Ben on Faneca, Contract, 2008 Wishlist [Post-Gazette]
Big Ben Says 1st Year Under Tomlin Proof NFL Trends Are Not Passing Steelers By [Post-Gazette]
Roethlisberger Wants to Stick With Steelers [Tribune-Review]
Steelers Need to Shake Up Coaching Staff [Tribune-Review]
Something To Believe In [One For The Other Thumb]

Ballhype: hype it up!


quiet strength said...


[wiping drool from mouth]

Of the Gen Next qbs, Ben is tops with Romo at this point. I mean, who else are you going to put after the Manning/Brady level? Palmer?

Every fan base has their problems (see: Simmons, Bill) and for the Steelers I think it tends to be overly critical. I appreciate seeing you keep your feet on the ground Cotter.

NC Steeler Fan said...

Good write-up, only thing you forgot to mention was his 100+ passer rating (I think it was only second to some hack named Brady up in New England).

Ben is in his mid-twenties and has already doing so much. Wait until he makes it to the Peyton / Brady experience level and see what he does (assuming he can still walk at that point given our O-Line situation).

I'm also relatively cool with the coaching situation and we Steelers fans (I've now been one for 39 years) are just a tad bit spoiled at times. I like everyone live year to year with a Super Bowl or bust mentality, but realistically that can't happen. Tomlin going 10-6 as a first time coach is pretty darn good. Just ask Miami fans.....

Cotter said...

qs ~ It's all I can do man. Makes me sad to hear people talking negatively about some of our best assets.

NCsteelerfan ~ I actually didn't mention passer rating purposely. I've never been a big fan of that stat as a definitive indicator. I'm more impressed by total yards, TD/INT ratio, and yards per attempt. Nonetheless, any category that puts Ben right behind Tom Brady, I suppose I should mention. Thanks for the comment! Hope to see you often.

Anonymous said...

Insanity. You know Bill Cowher lost his firstplayoff game too. I can't remember, were people calling for him to be fired after the 1992 season? I don't think so. As far as the "fan's" letter is concerned.... I don't really pay much attention to people who post outside this site. I know here I'm getting the opinions of fans, as opposed to pretenders who read about the game in the paper monday morning or saw highlights on sportscenter. Whatever, keep the info going. I'm a steelers fan 365 days out of the year.

Carl said...

As a Steelers fan in MN, I've got to affirm Cotter's sentiment that anyone who thinks Roethlisberger is a mediocre (or worse) quaterback is a spoiled dilettante who should consider whether they are qualified to comment on the NFL. Furthermore, I was eyeballing Tomlin when he worked with the Vikings, and was disappointed to see him go, just because the Vikings need all the help they can get.

The Steelers problems have far more to do with their O line and special teams than with the QB and head coach. Even when I'm drunk as a shitskunk in hell I can tell you that.

I'm with Tomlin and Roethlisberger,
Old Dirty Berglund

Steelerfan6473 said...

I think I would like to try whatever that FAN was smoking. I bleed black and gold and the only problem that I have with this past season other than the O-line and special teams is some of the in-sane play calling. If that can be attributted to BA and it happens again next season he should go, otherwise with the exception of DL it was every coaches first season and they should get the benifit of the doudt. As for the FAN shut your Fucking face you are by no strech of the means a Steelers fan and therefore have no right to speak in anything Steelers

MDultrarunner said...

Amen, Cotter. This "fan" is being effing ridiculous. Ben had a fine season given the swath of injuries across the team and state o-line. Calling for his neck, Arians' neck, or Tomlin's neck is hasty at best, stupid at worst. This person calling Ben a mediocre QB ought to become a Redskins fan. I have to listen to their bitching every week about how they need a new QB, a new head coach, this or that...