Ben Roethlisberger is a big man, after all, there is a reason why they call him “Big Ben”. Standing 6-feet 4-inches tall, and weighing over 240-pounds, you would think Roethlisberger would be a prime candidate to take care of the team’ short-yardage woes which the offense has been experiencing.
If you thought such a thing, you might want to think again.
Todd Haley was adamant he doesn’t want to watch his starting quarterback get “ear-holed” repeatedly, and hence why they don’t run the play. On the flip side, Roethlisberger said he doesn’t mind the play, and would be okay running it.
Nonetheless, the Steelers still have short-yardage issues, but don’t expect “Big Ben” to solve those with quarterback sneaks.
Time to check in on the news surrounding the black-and-gold outside the walls of BTSC...
A day after Ben Roethlisberger campaigned to run more quarterback sneaks at the goal line or on third- or fourth-and-1, his offensive coordinator played coy about calling the play.
“Maybe we'll have to get it in,” Todd Haley said with a smile.
Why haven't the Steelers to this point?
“Those are kind of general staff decisions,” Haley said. “Some staffs choose not to let people earhole their quarterback in the side of the head. Other staffs take that risk at times. There is risk-reward with everything you do.”
Roethlisberger has 13 carries for minus-9 yards this season, all of which have been either end-of-half kneel downs or scrambles.
It was after midnight early Wednesday when Steelers rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster got the word he was waiting for.
"(Steelers team security manager Jack Kearney) called me 1 a.m. saying, 'We found your bike,'" Smith-Schuster said after practice Wednesday. "And I was like, 'Are you serious?'"
Word made it to the public a few hours later.
And so, the Steelers' Bike-Gate 2017 ended.
"I didn't think it was gonna be that serious," Smith-Schuster said of the media coverage of his stolen bike. "People tell me it was on the news, and people were out trying to find the bike. That's when I knew, 'Dang, this is serious.'"
The youngest player in the NFL, the 20-year-old Smith-Schuster coincidentally got his learner's permit for a driver's license Tuesday – the same day that a bicycle he said he spent $800 at REI for wasn't where he left it.
"First thing I thought was, 'I'm gonna be late for this rookie meeting. I'm gonna get fined!'" Smith-Schuster said. "And I texted my teammates, and (rookie cornerback) Brian Allen was able to pick me up."
Smith-Schuster said the bike was locked ("I'm not gonna put my $800 bike not locked up on the South Side"), and that – now that the bike has been found – he no longer is intending to file a police report.
"I was like, 'How they gonna disrespect my bike like that?'" Smith-Schuster said, smiling. "Eight-hundred-dollar bike, and it sold for $200."
What exactly did Martavis Bryant do wrong to prompt the discipline from coach Mike Tomlin that will bench the wide receiver for Sunday’s game in Detroit?
He asked for a trade? He said he is better than a rookie receiver?
Golly, throw away the key, right? No athlete has ever said those things before.
The NFL has rules on discipline, although not exactly spelled out what that discipline can involve. As part of a personal conduct policy adopted by the league three years ago, it states:
“Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL.”
It goes on to list various things such as arrests, etc. Nowhere does it say a player can be disciplined for asking to be traded or for boasting that he is better than a rookie teammate.
Now, were Bryant’s actions on Instagram, his interview with ESPN and his camp’s requests to be traded a distraction for the Steelers? No doubt. Tomlin admitted as much. Ramon Foster, for one, told the Post-Gazette on Monday he was tired of answering questions for Bryant, who called in sick that day. Tomlin said Bryant’s absence Monday was a legitimate excuse, even though it was the fourth day Bryant missed because of an unknown illness over the past several weeks.
Bryant will be paid for this week’s work, even though he won’t play. All game-day inactive players receive their regular paycheck. The lack of production from Bryant this season could warrant him not to be active for their game against the Lions. Tomlin did the same thing with Eli Rogers for two games. But Bryant said his coach told him he will not play because of his use of social media.
The NFL Players Association would seem to have an interest in this kind of discipline, but a Post-Gazette request for comment from the union went unanswered. Tomlin did not fine him.
The question to Bryant might be: What did he expected to happen with his request to be traded? He and his agent should have known the Steelers never would have acquiesced to those wishes. If not, Bryant said, he will play out his contract, which runs through 2018. So he can become a free agent in 2019, but in order to hit his big payday he’ll have to be productive between now and then. The trade request has backfired in a big way.
The Steelers and even Bryant can only hope things work out the way they did the last time Tomlin disciplined a wide receiver for something that occurred away from football.