I mean Big Ben and Limas Sweed.
These two players should take inspiration from the story of Tony Romo and Miles Austin. For those of you who don't know, these two undrafted free agents led the Cowboys to an NFC East division title and a playoff win for the postseason drought-stricken franchise. This is after Austin clawed his way from the practice squad onto the starting roster late in the first half of the season. How did they do it?
Work ethic. These two players developed an excellent rapport during off-field practice sessions, even though Austin may have never seen the field without an injury to a starter. This was evident to people watching the first few games they played together, as Romo's ability to put the ball in the best place for YAC and Austin's unstoppable desire to taste the endzone took everyone by surprise.
After 2007, Roethlisberger asked for a tall receiver and his wish was supposedly granted when Limas Sweed was drafted. It was also a value pick, as Sweed was expected to be a late first rounder. He had an excellent combine including topping the charts in vertical jump. After zero starts and 7 receptions, he is largely written off by fans as a bust. He is hanging on by his fingernails and needs to bust his ass to get a chance to play in 2010, and then bust his ass again to show he deserves to be here in 2011. The Holmes trade opened a door but Sweed is still not looking at playing time- he needs to beat out Randle El for that spot.
Roethlisberger is desperate for redemption. He pledged to show leadership to the team after the 2008 season and again after his recent girl trouble. He developed a great off-field relationship with his offensive line which paid dividends on the field, when the offensive line stepped up and complemented Ben's play extending style in a great way. Now he needs to develop the same kind of relationship with Sweed.
If these two players put in hard work together on the practice field, it will translate into a big 2010 season for both players. Sweed will finally earn a roster spot and get respect for his supposed athleticism. Ben will be a hero once more, for going out of his way to give a struggling teammate a second chance. Win-Win, and hopefully a season full of wins for the Steelers and Steeler Nation.