Steelers vs. Ravens: Quarterbacks don't want to share the ball

"This Wildcat thing sucks, Ben." "I hear ya, Joe." - Justin K. Aller

Both Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco have brought up tenuous, at best, support for their respective teams' dip into packages with other players taking snaps. If nothing else, it forces both teams to spend some time preparing for those plays in a short week.

Quarterbacks are selfish.

All that money for Ravens QB and defending Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, no desire to share the ball.

Flacco made his thoughts on his team's experimentation with back-up QB Tyrod Taylor clear; it makes them look like "a high school offense."

Lots of low-hanging jokes can be made, and it's the kind of comment made without concern for the response. It's understandable too, though. Why would any starting quarterback want his back-up on the field?

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made less edgy comments in regards to Pittsburgh's dip into the quarterback-turned-receiver gimmick, saying something to the effect of being concerned of fumbles, not wanting a defensive back to get a free shot at him and thinking it still could be a good addition to their offense.

Perhaps he would agree with Flacco's stance. We'll likely never know now. But with both the Ravens and the Steelers being among the worst rushing teams in the NFL (Baltimore is 27th and Pittsburgh is 30th, four yards a game separate them), it doesn't seem like rushing attempts being taken in unorthodox ways is the cause of any comparisons to high school offenses.

The Steelers used Le'Veon Bell in direct snap situations against the Ravens when Pittsburgh scored a 19-16 win over Baltimore in Week 7. It worked fine; not exactly revolutionizing offense as we know it, and it wasn't a flat-out embarrassment. Taylor's attempts for the Ravens didn't yield anything earth-shattering either, but the run-pass option a player like him creates has a residual effect.

Both Baltimore and Pittsburgh will have to prepare for Taylor and Bell taking snaps.

In a way, Baltimore played Pittsburgh at the same time they played the Jets last week. Those plays may not result in much of anything for the specific moment, but longer term, the Steelers have to spend time in film and on the field - in a short week, no less - preparing for what Baltimore could do in those situations. The Ravens saw Bell lined up, and saw what Roethlisberger did when split out wide. But there are things they can do out of that, much to the dismay of the franchise quarterback.

While both passers would likely say "whatever helps the team win" 'n all that, there's something to be said about not taking the ball out of their quarterbacks' hands. Remember in Week 13 last year, Antonio Brown threw an interception against the Ravens. Granted, Roethlisberger wasn't under center, but imagine the backlash if Taylor were to enter the game and throw a pick Thursday.

Harbaugh would take even more grief than the botched onside kick he tried in Week 7. Maybe we should be rooting for this.

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