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Thread: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

      
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    Default Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben




    It's a lovefest in Pittsburgh again.

    Alex Marvez is a Senior NFL Writer for FOXSports.com. He's covered the NFL for the past 16 seasons as a beat writer and is the former president of the Pro Football Writers of America.



    How quickly NFL fans forgive and forget when it comes to wins and losses.

    It took all of eight offensive snaps — eight!!! — in Pittsburgh’s preseason debut before a “We Want Ben!” chant flared at Heinz Field.

    Yes, that Ben. The most hated man in Pittsburgh five months ago. The disgraced quarterback reviled and ridiculed for his alleged sexual assault of a drunken underage college student in a nightclub bathroom stall. The one whose deviant off-field behavior drew a suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and triggered debate about his long-term future with the Steelers.

    None of that matters now, just like when dog-killing Michael Vick received a warm welcome fresh out of prison last year in Philadelphia. After all, the outcome of games — even meaningless exhibition ones — is at stake. If a player can help the cause, no matter how much personal baggage he carries, the moral compass is usually tucked away.

    Once replacement Byron Leftwich was pounded during a third straight pass attempt, a sizable contingent began clamoring for Roethlisberger to enter Saturday night’s 23-7 win against Detroit. No dice. Because he is banned for what will likely be the regular season’s first four games, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin gave Leftwich all the snaps with the first-team offense. Roethlisberger never played and left his helmet in the locker room.

    But other than the unusual scene of a healthy Roethlisberger standing on the sideline with his Steelers cap on backward, nothing has really changed except maybe Big Ben himself.

    Roethlisberger will assuredly be back in the starting lineup once his suspension ends. Like when he was leading the Steelers to two Super Bowl titles, Roethlisberger received only cheers while taking the field for pregame warm-ups. There were still plenty of No. 7 jerseys in the stands worn by adults and children even if the volume wasn’t at last year’s level. And the kicker: Because of his team standing in 2009, Roethlisberger was actually one of Pittsburgh’s five pregame captains despite the embarrassment he caused a franchise that champions family values.

    So much for leading by example, huh? This same type of fawning and coddling is what helped create the ego-filled “Big Ben” persona Roethlisberger now says he is determined to shed.

    To his credit, Roethlisberger has made strides in that regard. Goodell offered praise for Roethlisberger’s lifestyle changes after a recent meeting at Steelers training camp. Roethlisberger is more accommodating to reporters and fans (the Steelers highlighted the latter by showing footage of him signing autographs during their in-stadium pregame video packages). He is continuing charity work with family organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House that Roethlisberger was quietly doing before the assault allegation in Milledgeville, Ga. Like others who have made major mistakes, Roethlisberger deserves the chance for redemption and will hopefully take advantage of it.

    Signs of immaturity do resurface from time to time. Roethlisberger dashed out of the locker room Saturday night to avoid the media, stiffing the public from getting his take on not playing against Detroit in the process. Roethlisberger also recently changed his billed hometown of Findlay, Ohio, to Cory-Rawson — the name of his former elementary school. Roethlisberger told the Findlay Courier he was upset by the “blatant lies” spun about him locally during the offseason. Even so, the reaction was not wise for a 28-year-old trying to reinvent himself as a good guy.

    The thickness of Roethlisberger’s skin will be tested again as he faces taunts on the road and lingering resentment from some Pittsburghers who don’t believe his repentance and continuing claims of innocence are sincere. How he responds will be part of his NFL legacy.

    But regardless of how Steelers supporters feel about him personally, Roethlisberger will be missed by everyone soon enough if Saturday’s game was a harbinger of what’s to come. Leftwich might be in traction before Goodell clears Roethlisberger’s return. Leftwich was sacked once and knocked down repeatedly in roughly 1 1/2 quarters of action. It’s not like the Lions were blitzing, either. The porous blocking by Pittsburgh’s starting offensive line was inexcusable.

    Roethlisberger has enough pocket mobility and size to repel hits that he can thrive under those difficult circumstances. They’re two of the physical traits that helped Roethlisberger enjoy a charmed NFL career until this offseason.

    “He’s an awesome player,” said 23-year-old Steelers fan Tara Bennett, who wore a homemade “I love you Big Ben #7” T-shirt to Saturday night’s game. “If he wins the Super Bowl this year, everybody is going to forget about what happened.”

    Barring another epic Roethlisberger screw-up, most Steelers faithful — for better or worse — already have.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/P...t-Lions-081410

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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    ... Football season has begun... There are bigger things to consume thoughts now.

    ... I personally just want to see him produce on the field once he returns. Nothing more.
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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... Football season has begun... There are bigger things to consume thoughts now.

    ... I personally just want to see him produce on the field once he returns. Nothing more.


    after the way Leftwich played last night i think a lot of Steelers fans will be clamoring for Ben's return.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    after the way Leftwich played last night i think a lot of Steelers fans will be clamoring for Ben's return.
    ... Including me...

    But the dark fact of the matter is that we need the best person in there during his absence, and in my opinion (which doesn't matter at all), it is Leftwich... I just don't see Dixon as being "that" guy.
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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    This is a good development. Most sane people have had enough drama and Ben is paying his dues like a man it seems.

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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    ... Including me...

    But the dark fact of the matter is that we need the best person in there during his absence, and in my opinion (which doesn't matter at all), it is Leftwich... I just don't see Dixon as being "that" guy.

    Leftwich is a statue. Behind this porous OL, a QB with some mobility makes more sense or our QB will get his head knocked off.


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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    Leftwich is a statue. Behind this porous OL, a QB with some mobility makes more sense or our QB will get his head knocked off.
    Yea... Apparently he looked like a statue last night... I missed the game, so I can't definitively comment on it.... But I have seen Dixon, and know that he does "mediocre" with a "dummed-down" gameplan... That won't work for multiple games.

    ... Again, I don't have faith in Dixon, and apparently, neither do the coaches... If he gets the support, then I'll follow like any lost sheep looking for the best alternative for the 4-6 weeks... I am just not sold on "Korky '10"....
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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    If the coaching staff doesn't figure out a way to protect Lefty we may be seeing a lot of Dixon during the first four games of the season.
    "The brotherhood that the Steelers have, their way of doing business, their way of playing football, spans decades. Their way of building teams that do not blink and players that do not shrink, well, there is nothing come-lately about it."

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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler Shades View Post
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    If the coaching staff doesn't figure out a way to protect Lefty we may be seeing a lot of Dixon during the first four games of the season.
    ... If they don't figure out how to protect the qb, we'll have multiple qbs during the entire season.
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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Hopefully all it is, is the transition period to Kugler's way of doing things.
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    Default Re: Steelers fans look to have forgiven Big Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    Leftwich is a statue. Behind this porous OL, a QB with some mobility makes more sense or our QB will get his head knocked off.

    Unfortunately after Ben we don't have a QB with mobility just a 3rd stringer that likes to tuck and run as soon as it looks like he has to make a quick decision throwing the ball.

    Leftwich came in against Washington a couple of years ago before a far worse Offensive Line or fours and played well. him and the line will be fine by Game 1...

    But, it was great to see the fans cheering for Ben and at least giving him the props he's deserved to get as a football player. He deserves to be cheered as a football player. He deserves to receive accolades as a football. As a football players he's far exceeded expectations and has worked his way into being one of the best QB's in the league and franchise history. If I saw him walking down the street I'd boo
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