Archive for March, 2010

Big Ben – Guilty as charged

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Jorge

Of being inept and careless that is….

Regardless of the outcome through the court system, he will be guilty of poor judgement and lack of common sense.  Much has been said about Roethlisberger’s “active lifestyle” in recent weeks, and how he’s a target because he’s a celebrity…. yet, very few have made any reference to his accountability in all of this.  Before I get called any names here, let me begin by saying, I am a big fan of Big Ben – The football player.  As a matter of fact, in my first blog I compared him to the great Joe Montana (But I bet you Joe never got in this kind of trouble)  Yet, Big Ben as an individual and how he carries himself in his private life leaves much to be desired.

In less than a year, he’s being accused, twice, of sexual assault.  One of them is a Hotel worker out of Nevada that claims Roethlisberger forced himself on her, and that case is still pending.  Less than 8 months later, he’s being accused of sexual assault from a 20-year-old female  from GA.  Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a grown man and he should be allowed to go out and have a good time.  Like him, I am 28 yrs and I too enjoy drinking and hanging out with friends…. maybe get a little crazy, do a little dancing, you know…. difference is, I am not the face of a 75 year old prestigious Franchise that recently invested  over 100 million in me to be their “guy”.

What Big Ben fails to realize at times, is that Steelers are not just a team… they are the heart and soul of the City.  Pittsburghers see the team as a representative of their community.  To most fans, The Steelers are not just a team, it’s an extension of who they are.  The Rooney family are royalty in Pittsburgh.  And the Rooney’s trusted Big Ben to be the Face of the Franchise.  Big Ben needs to realize his actions don’t only affect him or the team, but a whole community that loves him and embraces him.

Again, I understand the argument about he’s a celebrity, he’s a target, people are just trying to take advantage….. but what about him?  Where’s his accountability?  Why put yourself in these type of situations.  Why go out at 2am in a college town?  I am not saying he shouldn’t go out or do whatever he wants in his free time… but at 28, what is he doing hanging out with a bunch of college kids?  If he wants to hang out at 2 am, there are plenty of places he could’ve gone that are  more upscale,  more discreet and private than a college hang out.  Which raises the following question… is he that needy for fame?  Does he need to be the center of attention all the time?  He does it during the season guys, he’s always exaggerating  injuries, adding comments for the pregame show… is he that insecure?

Let’s be honest, he’s a great clutch player.  He delivered one of the most memorable drives in Super Bowl history in 2008, finishing with an even more amazing throw and catch for a TD to win the game.  He’s got more come-from-behind victories than any other QB in the league since 2004.  We can count on Big Ben, with him under center, we always have a chance. All that attention, all that pressure… I mean, it could be addicting.   But as good as he is under pressure, could it be possible that he covets the attention so much, he tries to get it through other means during the offseason?

Look, I want Big Ben.  I am a huge fan of his.  But I love the Steelers more.  He’s great and I want him leading our team for years to come but at what expense?  He’s 28 years old, he needs to understand he can no longer put himself in these type of situations.  If allegations were to be true, there could be serious legal consequences, let alone his professional football career coming to an early end.  Big Ben needs to revisit his priorities and change his habits, otherwise, he will continue to make the same mistakes.

I believe the Rooneys will give him an opportunity to amend things, they did it with James Harrison after a domestic dispute in 2008, so I can see them doing it for their Franchise QB.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben doesn’t change his “active” lifestyle and continues to put the Organization in a bad light, that he will be there much longer.  No one is bigger than the game, and certainly, no one is bigger than the Steelers.

Playmakers wanted… apply within.

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Jorge

Traditionally the AFC North has been known for its hard-nosed brand of football, good defense with a strong running game and a complimentary passing attack.  However, much has changed in recent years in the NFL, from rules changes to coaching philosophies, to accommodate QB’s and the passing game. The AFC North is adapting to these changes and 2010 promises to have more explosive plays.

Most notably, the Ravens and Bengals have been active in upgrading their passing game by signing and/or trading for veteran playmakers.  Both teams showed a lot of promise last season, featuring a good defense and a reliable running game.  Unfortunately, they didn’t fare well in the playoffs due to the lack of “splash plays” to help their strong running games and taking some of the pressure off their runners.

Baltimore traded for Anquan Boldin, re-signed Derrick Mason and added a vertical threat, by signing Donte Stallworth as soon as he was reinstated to the league.  Joe Flacco, the Ravens young and talented QB, will now have the weapons to stretch the field and help the running game.  They have a violent and versatile runner in Ray Rice that continues to make his mark in the NFL, 2010 will be his third season in the league.

The Cincinnati Bengals have also made headlines of their own, by signing Antonio Bryant.  And I say headlines since they picked Bryant over T.O.  Now, if you ask me, T.O can be a lot of things, but at least he keeps his nose clean… the same can’t be said about Bryant.  He’s known to have issues with coaches and he spent the 2007 season suspended by the league.  This one should be interesting to watch during Off-Season workouts, but if Bryant shows flashes of his 2008 campaign, Carson Palmer (Cincy’s QB) will have a dangerous play-maker to throw to.

I am not even going to bother with the Browns, they dumped both their starting QB’s who started for them the past two seasons.  Then traded for a career Backup in Seneca Wallace and signed Jake Delohmme to a big contract despite his TD-INT ratio of the past two seasons.  They’ve traded away most of their 1st round picks from recent years and have gotten little to nothing in return. Hence why I can always count on two wins for our Steelers every year.

And I leave the best for last… The Steelers.  Our Passing game was the highlight of 2009, the problem was we relied too much on Big Ben’s arm and wits and neglected our running game.  We have solid receivers in Ward, Holmes and Mike Wallace (who was a pleasant surprise last season in his rookie campaign).  However, going into 2010, we have to commit to the run and a well-balanced attack.  Mendenhall, our running back, is a tough, physical back but he was often pulled out of the game in favor of Mewelde Moore and his sure-hands, to help in the pass. Mendenhall couldn’t get into a rhythm. It’s been well documented; Art Rooney (owner and president) wants our running game to be consistent….. Got that memo Bruce?  Our Free Agent signings this off-season will likely be more noticeable in the Defense rather than the Offense.

All in All, every team in the AFC North (outside of the Browns, but again, they don’t count) have improved their teams quite a bit. From Speedy players that can stretch the field to solid veterans that can move the chains, the upcoming season promises a good dose of 40-yard bombs as well as a potential highlight reel of receivers getting blown up as soon as the ball is caught.  I am looking forward to watching Anquan catching the ball in the middle and Clark delivering a “welcome to the AFC North” hit…. kind of like the one he delivered on Welker last season… difference is, Anquan might just like it and ask for seconds…..