While reading numerous articles as to why our beloved Steelers
fell to an abysmal 8 - 8 record last year I can't help but get irritated at the fact that Ben Rothlisberger is not catching any of the blame. Let's re-cap his actions that contributed mightily to our disappointing season:
1) Training Camp: He responded poorly to the firing of Bruce Arians by exhibiting an unprofessional attitude toward the offensive philosophy mandated by the Rooney's. His responses during interviews spewed negativity which fed the media exactly what they were looking for - controversy!! As we all know the media will throw gasoline on a fourth of July sparkler to get a story and by Big Ben not responding to their questions with a status quo demenanor, he created a distraction throughout training camp. As a professional and "wanna be" elite quarterback in the NFL he should know how to steer clear of the pointed direction by the media to help keep his team focused on the season. Combined with the Mike Wallace
hold-out Ben's actions became a distraction that contributed to our 2-3 start.
2) The Season: Mid-way through the season the Steelers jelled as a team and defeated a very good Giant team in New York after having to adjust their travel schedule because of hurricane Sandy. Finally the offense was clicking as it appeared our Quarterback had grasped the system and learned how to maximize it's strengths. Great victory in New York and we're now 5-3 at the halfway mark with the lowly Chiefs
coming to Pittsburgh for a Monday night tune-up toward the hated Ravens
. However, instead of executing the offense like it was designed, Ben reverts back to his sand-lot style of play and ends up getting smashed between two Chief defenders. It's the LOWLY Kansas City Chefs!!!! Why is Ben subjecting himself to abuse and punishment by ignoring the quick release system that's earning him league MVP consideration? Immaturity and stubborness are the reasons, the same characteristics that landed him on a windsheild of a car and got him two sex charges. Yes we won the game and was 6-3 with Baltimore coming to town but with his injury we stood no chance of going 7-3 and taking control of the division.
3) Gripping to a Playoff Spot: After throwing the game deciding interception against Dallas and while obviously upset, Ben speaks again throwing Todd Haley under the bus. As we have a chance to redeem ourselves heading into Cleveland the following week, we're again blinded by the insurmountable player-coach controversy that plagued us in the early season. Yes he apologized but at that time there was no re-dacting the his comments. The damage was done and the entire week was burdened with questions and answers about the Haley-Rothlisberger fued. The outcome? Eight fumbles and a defeat against the Brownies.
The issue is simple here, let's see Big Ben for what he is, a very immature quarterback who refuses to grow up and lead his team the right way. Do we hear Tom Brady
complaining about losing his offensive coordinators? Does Peyton Manning
hold on to the ball too long every time he drops back to pass? Did Drew Brees
' bring more distraction to his team because his coach was suspended? Eli Manning
is a leader of men. Heck, did Bruce Arians sulk and pout because he missed Ben? When will we as Nation of Loyal Steeler fans begin to hold Ben accountable for his actions? The sooner we stand up and demand better, the sooner we will get to #7, literally and figuratively.