Earlier today, I wrote about some unkind words Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had for rookie running back Le’Veon Bell. It looks like the team’s captain isn’t done voicing his opinion. On Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin spoke of a meeting he had with guard Ramon Foster where Foster supposedly agreed to step up his leadership role with the young lineman. According to a story on ESPN, it appears Ben wants in on that action, as well.
Truth be told, the offensive line didn’t play all that horribly on Sunday. Their play is still below what you’d expect from a middle first and two second round picks but it isn’t appreciably worse than some of the lines they’ve had in the past. And only the most rabid Roethlisberger apologist would blame them for Ben’s four turnover performance against the Bears. He was careless with the football, end of story.
Anyway, what pearls of wisdom did Big Ben have for his young line?
“Be tough. Be nasty. If you have to get a penalty because you’re going to be nasty, a holding penalty or you’re going to choke someone out on a run play … I don’t always think that’s a bad thing if you get a penalty every once in a while because you’re playing tough and nasty compared to not getting any penalties and just playing passive.”
WHAT THE HELL?!?
I can appreciate the tough part. I can even understand the nasty part. But get penalties because they show you’re trying really hard? Choke someone out if you have to?
Is it me or is he basically telling the guys to be more like Willie Colon?
We got rid of Colon because he was an out of control psychopath who did more harm than good. He was certainly a talented run blocker, there’s no question about that. However, whatever he brought to the run game couldn’t be off-set by his innumerable false starts and personal fouls. That’s the entire reason the Steelers got rid of him!
Look, I realize Ben is frustrated. I also realize he’s always been very protective of his O-line because their job is to be protective of him. But shouldn’t the coaches be telling these guys how they’re expected play?
“I know the O-line coach [Jack Bicknell Jr.] probably didn’t want to hear me say that, but I just want them to have the confidence to go out and play the way that I know they can.”
Here’s a thought: Instead of worrying about whether your line plays with a nasty enough demeanor of if your young running back is a lazy goldbricker, how’s about concentrating on your own level of play? After all, the backs can run and the line can block and none of that will matter if you TURN THE FRICKIN’ BALL OVER FOUR TIMES. So how about that, $100 Million Dollar Man?