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    Thumbs up Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show
    Mike DeCourcy
    Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 - 7:58 p.m. ET
    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/arti...erger-air-show


    PITTSBURGH — Usually when the football is in the air this much during a Steelers game, it's because the punters are getting a workout. In this city, passing is viewed with the kind of suspicion accorded such activities as imbibing alcohol or gambling at table games: A little is fine, but too much might kill you or break you. Perhaps both.

    You could hear it in the questions asked in the Steelers' locker room following their 27-14 victory over the Browns. For instance, defensive end James Harrison was asked for his take on what the offense was doing "with all the passing and stuff."

    Harrison offered a fairly direct response: "Whatever keeps the chains moving."

    Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger moved them enough to train the down-marker guys for a marathon. He passed for a not-quite career-best 417 yards, only the second time in his career he threw for four bills. Receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes both crossed the 100-yard mark.

    It was the kind of performance that would be celebrated in New Orleans or New England, but in New Alexandria and New Eagle and New Kensington they worry the Steelers were routinely stuffed by the NFL's worst run defense.

    Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers generally has been a pain to the Pittsburgh defense, even through a losing streak in the series that has reached 12 games. He was darned near unblockable again Sunday afternoon. Cleveland quite obviously concerned itself with not being overrun, particularly after Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall had performed so effectively in his first two starts replacing injured Willie Parker.

    "When people do that, we've got to be willing and capable of throwing the ball vertically down the field—which is what we're able to do," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said. "We don't care by what means we move the chains or light up the scoreboard, as long as the job gets done.

    "A lot of times what we do is dictated by what our opponents do, and we're OK with that."

    This appears to be a bit of a philosophical change since the Steelers lost back-to-back games to Chicago and Cincinnati, games in which the offensive game plan was exceedingly conservative and ultimately unsuccessful.

    In the Cincinnati game, the Steelers ran the ball nearly 60 percent of the time on first down—even though 12 of Parker's 15 first-down rushes went for 3 yards or less.

    Even protecting leads through most of the Cleveland game on Sunday, Pittsburgh allowed its elite quarterback a greater role. There was an even split between first-down runs and throws, and the first-down passes produced some of Roethlisberger's biggest gains: 52 yards to Ward for a second-quarter touchdown, 45 yards to Ward in the third quarter, 21 more to Ward early in the fourth.

    "I think we're doing what we have to do to win the game, and that's being balanced," Roethlisberger said. "We've got weapons at receiver, tight end and running back."

    Roethlisberger called a lot of those plays himself as Pittsburgh went to the no-huddle offense late in the first quarter and through much of the second. He says it gives him the opportunity to spread the ball among receivers and get the attack into a rhythm.

    It wasn't a stunning performance by the Steelers, by any stretch. Roethlisberger alternately called it "sub-par" and "OK." He fumbled once and threw an interception. Parker and Mendenhall each lost fumbles, as well.

    Roethlisberger was asked what the offense's ceiling might be, given the 543 yards produced Sunday even with all those turnovers. "I don't know what it is," he said, "but we've got to keep reaching for it."

    And if the Steelers need to raise the roof to accommodate all those passes, Pittsburghers will have to get used to it.

    Mike DeCourcy is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at decourcy@sportingnews.com.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    With Ben's help, Hines, smokey and Wallace might be the best 3-way WR corps in the NFL.

    Whoa, I said 3-way, Les to jump in in 3... 2....1....


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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show


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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    It's a great point though, our offense is ****ing off the charts - except for the running game, but I haven't lost faith in it yet.

    I know, Arians is a ****ing idiot - but hell, don't fix it if it ain't broken. If BA's presence keeps Ben happy, **** it. Extend his contract.

    Think about it.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    It's a great point though, our offense is ****ing off the charts - except for the running game, but I haven't lost faith in it yet.

    I know, Arians is a ****ing idiot - but hell, don't fix it if it ain't broken. If BA's presence keeps Ben happy, **** it. Extend his contract.

    Think about it.
    NO,NO,NO!!!!!!**** Arians.Just let Ben call his own plays.Get rid of the middle man.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    NO,NO,NO!!!!!!**** Arians.Just let Ben call his own plays.Get rid of the middle man.
    Ben didn't like Wiz. He likes Arians.

    Yeah, it's kinda highschoolish, but it's working.

    My philosophy is, whatever fixed it - don't **** with it now.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    NO,NO,NO!!!!!!**** Arians.Just let Ben call his own plays.Get rid of the middle man.
    Sounds like this is been pretty much the case.....Even the HC Tomlin has said they pretty much let Ben decide. See what happens when you get Arians out of the way? lol

    But can we get to clean up the ints a little. I don't mind them so much but the last few games he has like 4 of them. Nit-picking for sure but.....hell, it is too nit picky...we won and he had a big day. Too bad hines couldn't quite hold on for that one td in the Ezone.

    Ben is who I thought he was. A very capable passer....and more importantly, a winner.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    It is different having a QB who can light it up like Ben has. It is cool to see the receivers running all over the place racking up YAC. Hopefully Ben will get to call even more of his own plays as this offense evolves, because when he calls run plays in the no huddle, he seems to call them at the right times and they go for good yardage.
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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Eventually, we are gonna run into a defense or two that will shut this offense down... And we have no running game to fall back on.... Yea, I like what I see, but I also am getting ready to see some teams with an actual winning record... It may not be pretty.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    Eventually, we are gonna run into a defense or two that will shut this offense down... And we have no running game to fall back on.... Yea, I like what I see, but I also am getting ready to see some teams with an actual winning record... It may not be pretty.
    I disagree with you about the no running game statement.We seem to have a capable guy in MedINGhall(Wilcots,)but he isn't being used properly(see the Detroit game.)SWP,on the other hand,is really starting to annoy me.LVG couldn't be more right about this guy.I say we run a tandem of Mendy and Moore.Those two seem to be gamers.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans aflutter about Roethlisberger air show

    **** I learn something new everyday, I didn't know Harrison was moved to defensive end.

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