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Ben Roethlisberger had input in Steelers’ offensive changes

Ben Roethlisberger AP

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger feels more in-tune with the direction of the Steelers’ offense this year under offensive coordinator Todd Haley. The Steelers made some changes to the playbook and Roethlisberger has spoke well of the tweaks that were made.

According to Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network, Roethlisberger isn’t just happy because of the changes but because he had a say in what the changes would be. Kinkhabwala spoke with running back Jonathan Dwyer who said Roethlisberger met frequently with Haley to discuss the offensive philosophy of the team. He added Roethlisberger “has a lot more power” this year when it comes to the direction of the offense.

Roethlisberger said he feels more comfortable in the offense and that he can communicate the plans more effectively than a year ago.

“We’re growing and we’re learning and we’re communicating,” Roethlisberger said. “This year, more of us know what’s going on, so we can coach each other up instead of always having questions, going to coaches to get answers.”

Despite the issues with the Steelers offense last year Roethlisberger still had a productive season. Roethlisberger completed 63-percent of his passes for 3,265 yards with a 26-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio in just 13 games.

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46 Responses to “Ben Roethlisberger had input in Steelers’ offensive changes”
  1. bigbenownsthenfl says: May 30, 2013 6:36 AM

    Bobzilla can spew his hate of big Ben. But once Ben is gone the Steelers will be in a world of hurt! I saw what happened when Bradshaw was done. Kordell, Malone, barrister etc… It wasn’t pretty people!!! Were watching a future hall of gamer right now!

  2. bigbenownsthenfl says: May 30, 2013 6:38 AM

    *Brister not barrister!

  3. brownspower says: May 30, 2013 7:22 AM

    Ben is used to getting what he wants.
    He should be in on the planning of the offense, he’s the most offensive guy on the team.

  4. greglloydrules says: May 30, 2013 7:47 AM

    Well that’s great. I love how Ben, Haley and the receivers are excited for next season. This offense can very good. Awesome. But what about the o-line? I’m yet to hear about improvements and how excited THEY are. Give me something to be excited about. Is Adams improving? How’s DeCastro’s recovery going? Is Beachum going to be a starter that can be counted on all season? Those are thing I want to hear about.

    Go Steelers

  5. 6sbtitles2sweet says: May 30, 2013 8:25 AM

    Bias….say what you will….the truth is the truth…..Big Ben is under rated and never gets the credit he deserves. 3 Superbowl appearances and 2 rings, the size of a line backer and mobile like Randall Cunningham…..plz I’d take him over A LOT of quarterbacks today, especially in the clutch!

  6. Joemontanaflacco says: May 30, 2013 9:24 AM

    Oh goodie! The more input Roethlisbooger has, the better it will be for all the opposing teams because we know “Big Ben” has exercised such good judgment in the past!

  7. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 9:28 AM

    Guess there should be zero excuses for not performing like a $100 million, elite, franchise, top-5 quarterback.
    Seems odd that he never had a say in those pathetic, unproductive game plans designed by his buddy, Bruce Arians, who he and the media hold in such high regard…

  8. Steeley McBeam says: May 30, 2013 9:35 AM

    Even moreso before the injury. Ben will build off weeks 1-8 production from last season and will have the Steelers right back in the thick of things.

  9. bigbabies says: May 30, 2013 9:43 AM

    Whatever makes the big guy happy……do it, dool it!

  10. blackngold4life says: May 30, 2013 10:03 AM

    Yeah..those were Some bad times and we still managed to rack up a few AFC title games and a Superbowl game. I like Ben..but he has to get better in the Redzone. Coaches need to do there part to.

  11. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 10:50 AM

    If having Roethlisberger has been so vital, how come the Steelers have won just two Super Bowls in 9 seasons? What happened the other seven seasons?

  12. steeler999 says: May 30, 2013 10:53 AM

    Glad Ben is happy. Seems to me, everyone is usually pretty happy with their teammates, coaches & game plans during OTAs. Let’s see what happens when the season starts. The Steelers need to be more efficient in the red zone. Since Ben is happy and has more input, I would expect to see some improvement.

  13. steeler999 says: May 30, 2013 11:06 AM

    bobzilla1001 says:
    “how come the Steelers have won just two Super Bowls in 9 seasons?”

    That’s just about the most laughable opinion I’ve seen. What team wouldn’t sign up for 3 superbowl appearances & 2 wins in 3 years?

  14. steeler999 says: May 30, 2013 11:13 AM

    * 9 years

  15. black43gold says: May 30, 2013 11:34 AM

    Bobzilla:
    You seem to forget that Arians gave Ben plenty of control over the offense in his last few seasons as OC. Implementing Ben’s improvisation through the no-huddle and line checks proved to be very successful for the Steelers’ offense under Bruce. Last year Ben didn’t get a lot of those freedoms, and it showed as it took several games to feel comfortable in Haley’s system, then he gets hurt and the season is all but lost at that point. The more freedom Ben is given in the offense, the better. I can’t wait to see how much smoother it runs this season.

  16. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 11:36 AM

    Nothing laughable about it. If you think Roethlisberger is the be-all, end-all, I want to know why the Steelers haven’t won more Super Bowls with him as their quarterback. Two out of nine? What happened in the other seven seasons?
    TEAMS win, not quarterbacks.
    TEAMS lose, not quarterbacks.
    Roethlisberger was drafted by a team that was in the process of putting together one of the all-time great defenses: No. 1 five times in nine seasons.
    When Roethlisberger and his offense reach even No. 16, get back to me.

  17. steelcurtainn says: May 30, 2013 11:48 AM

    @bobzilla
    How many superbowls do you expect a qb to win in 9 seasons? He’s been to 3. Why dont you ask Brees, Rodgers, Flacco and Rivers and any others qb that has been around as long as Big Ben that question….

    Winning the superbowl or not. I see Big Ben having another productive season as long as the line holds up. Thats my main concern.

  18. steelerdynasty2010 says: May 30, 2013 12:20 PM

    @bobby:
    if he’s so terrible, how did they manage to win anything at all? and please have a more detailed analysis than “he got lucky”

  19. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 12:26 PM

    Listen, you Roethlisberger Apologists are the ones saying that he is the reason the Steelers started winning Super Bowls after going 25 years without winning one.
    So you tell me why the Steelers have only won 2 in 9 seasons.
    I’m well aware that if quarterbacking was the magic formula to Super Bowl success, Brad Johnson would not have one more ring than Dan Marino.
    Roethlisberger has been a key component to the Steelers’ success, just as Kordell Stewart and Neil O’Donnell were before him. The Steelers have been winning pretty consistently since 1992.

  20. steeler999 says: May 30, 2013 12:56 PM

    So, by your logic, Tom Brady is overrated because the patriots don’t win the SB every year? How bout Peyton Manning? His fans think he’s the best, so what’s their excuse for not winning the SB every year? Nobody said he’s the best ever, at least I know I didn’t. But like it or not, he IS a big reason they have been successful over the last decade.

  21. black43gold says: May 30, 2013 1:07 PM

    Easy answer Bobzilla, to your ridiculous question about why he can’t win more than 2 titles in 9 years:
    The offensive line is the key to Ben’s success, as it is to any quarterback (i.e. Phillip Rivers). When the line is stable, the QB has no excuse but to execute at his best. You saw that the two years we won, and the years we didn’t win (remember there are 31 other teams that try to win every year too) the biggest weakness has been the lack of consistency due to injuries sustained by the o-line. He had to scramble more because the line couldn’t buy him time to throw from the pocket, just like when he injured his ribs vs the Chiefs.
    Sure he averages 23 TD passes a year, or whatever you’ve been saying, but you show me any other quarterback who can compete in the AFC North – the toughest division in football – against the likes of the Ravens defense twice a year without getting injured TWICE as much as he has been. He sure isn’t the best QB in the league, or the most accurate, or the smartest by any means, but he sure is the toughest. And one of the most clutch QB’s, arguably the best with 2:00 left. That’s the perfect QB for this Pittsburgh team. If Peyton was our QB the last few years, he would’ve retired due to injury by now with how poorly our line has played. I’m telling you, given the rare occurrence that our line is healthy all year, Ben should have his best season yet.

  22. Joemontanaflacco says: May 30, 2013 1:09 PM

    Agreed. Roethlisbooger gets a lot of credit for a just a few plays in which he dodged tackles and then threw a wobbly checkdown to a receiver who finally got open. Of course, when Flacco hurls a 70 yard bomb to Jacoby Jones or flings a 20 yarder to Boldin with 3rd and inches — it’s just dumb luck. The reason Roethlisbooger has to do all this dramatic scrambling is because he couldn’t execute the original play in the first place and he’s desperate. He may make it onto the highlight reels but he’s also the most injured QB in the league. Maybe Steeler fans are ok with him sitting out half the season because of his incompetence and poor judgment. Who knows? It’s a sad way to the keep the fan base happy, but maybe they like seeing blood.

  23. steelerdynasty2010 says: May 30, 2013 1:35 PM

    bobby, i think you’re getting yourself confused. one minute you call him lucky and the next, he’s a key component. yesterday, we havent beaten anyone of consequence in 2 years and are doomed to years of mediocrity, rebuilding, and ineptitude, now we’ve been winning consistently since ’92? make a point and stick with it. dont try to flip flop every time you get called out.
    EVERY qb gets too much credit and too much blame. it’s the nature of the position and how it’s evaluated. get over it. it’s sorta like you blaming Tomlin for everything. your nonsensical rants on PFT arent going to change anything, they only serve to showcase your bias and propensity to flip flop. I called you out for making it seem like anyone besides you acts like he’s the GOAT, and you immediately offered up the Pgh media. These apologists of yours don’t exist. He was the QB of the TEAM that went to 3 SBs in 9 years, and won 2. it’s impressive and EVERY qb in the league would love to be able to say they’ve done the same, even if you dont like him. individually, he’s as big a part of that success as anyone else AND he put up some GREAT performances along the way. for the organization, i’d say the stability he brought to that position has been the main reason for the team’s success.

  24. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 2:35 PM

    No confusion on my part, dyna.
    I refuse to lower my standards in order to appease your ignorance.
    Roethlisberger has been an average QB of a 22nd-ranked scoring offense. The defense has been ranked No. 1 five times over the previous nine seasons.
    Some teams win mainly with offense (New England, Green Bay, New Orleans), and some teams don’t (the Steelers). Can’t make it much clearer than that.
    If my rants are nonsensical, here’s a solution: Don’t read ‘em.
    Not complicated.

  25. finallythevoiceofreason says: May 30, 2013 2:44 PM

    Umm…..joemontanaflacco? Are you serious? Flacco’s long TD to Jacoby Jones in the Super Bowl was about 20 yards underthrown and Jones actually had to slow up and fall down in order to catch the pass. Really? And the pass to Boldin on 3rd and inches was going to sail over Boldin’s head if he did not stop and leap in the air to catch it. Jones and Boldin were the Super Bowl MVPs and not Flacco.

  26. finallythevoiceofreason says: May 30, 2013 2:49 PM

    Correction to all……..Roethlisberger took the Steelers to 3 Super Bowls in 6 years (2005, 2008 and 2010) and sure the defense was good in 2004 but he was 13-0 as a rookie and took the Steelers to the AFC Championship Game as a rookie. There were off years in between but since Brady in the early 00′s, no other QB in the NFL has done the same…….period.

  27. finallythevoiceofreason says: May 30, 2013 2:54 PM

    bob…….Kordell Stewart is the true example of a QB riding a defense. He could not perform well enough in the playoffs in order to get to the next level. The offense has to score sometime in order to win. O’Donnell had the ability but he squandered a huge chance to get to the Super Bowl one year by throwing a 2 yard pass into the ground of the runningback in the end zone on the last play of the game and then handed the Super Bowl to the Cowboys the next year.

  28. finallythevoiceofreason says: May 30, 2013 3:03 PM

    bob……saying that Roethlisberger is just an average QB is ignorance in and of itself. An average QB would not be able to buy time behind a flopping o-line on a consistent basis like he does. An average QB would not be able to play through pain and injuries like he does (drama aside). When he is allowed to, he actually is good (not average) at reading defenses and checking down. He will make plays here and there that are unbelievable which can not be attributed to just an average QB. Now I agree that he makes critical mistakes sometimes, but so do the elite QBs. Until Roethlisberger was injured last year along with half the team, he was on pace for his best season statistically and the team was #1 on 3rd downs. Defense has not impact on that. An average QB stays average and never improves.

  29. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 5:03 PM

    Bobzilla thinks Byron Leftwich is better than Ben. That’s all that needs to be said.

    “So you tell me why the Steelers have only won 2 in 9 seasons”

    You mean being one of only TWO teams to win 2 in 9 seasons, correct?

    The other? Eli Manning’s team, who was drafted the same year Ben was.

    ANYONE who knows the history of the Steelers realizes that since the merger, the Steelers only go as far as the franchise QBs they have under center.

    Bradshaw was a HOFer, they won 4 rings.

    He left, and they won nothing for 20 years minus one AFC title.

    Ben shows up, and lo and behold, the Steelers start winning Super Bowls again.

    Not a coincidence people.

    No matter how bad Bobzilla wants it to be.

  30. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 5:05 PM

    Bobzilla doesn’t understand football. He reads box scores and team rankings.

    He brags about the #1 ranked” defense, but ignores the fact that the Steelers offense holding the ball, thus keeping the defense on the sidelines, inflates their ranking.

  31. Deb says: May 30, 2013 5:40 PM

    Although we often disagree, one thing I’ll say for bobzilla–he does not flipflop. His opinion on Roethlisberger has been consistent for the years I’ve been debating him on PFT. And he makes some valid points.

    Like most of you, I believe Roethlisberger was the missing link that allowed the Steelers to progress from championship games to Super Bowl winner. He’s a naturally gifted QB who’s been blessed by serendipity–and the best defense in football. But, I share bobzilla’s view that he’s never been the quarterback he could have been if he’d put in just a third the off-field effort we see from guys like Brady and Peyton Manning. He’s spoiled, egocentric, and undisciplined. For every accomplishment the Steelers have achieved, they could have done three times more with a quarterback who had even half as much work ethic as he’s had drama.

    I, too, dread Ben’s retirement because guys with his natural gifts are rare commodities … and because I keep hoping he’ll mature into a guy who has as much discipline as he’s had magic. Maybe Haley can get him there. Knowing they’re working together on the offense makes me optimistic.

  32. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 6:06 PM

    I’m sure PFT would not allot me the amount of space I’d need to answer everyone…
    siggyoo:
    The Steelers are 6-3 the past three seasons without Roethlisberger. Proving that with a dominant defense, quarterbacks are interchangeable.
    And that’s what bothers me about Steelers fans who are obsessed with Roethlisberger. It disturbs me that so many of you are so willing to dismiss one of the great defenses in Steelers history.
    The Steelers have not had a defense like the one they are in the process of replacing since maybe the 1970s.
    In the 1980s, the Steelers’ top defensive players were David Little, Bryan Hinkle and Keith Willis. Scary.
    In the 1990s, the Steelers had good to great defenses … but only in spurts. Kevin Greene played just three seasons in Pittsburgh. Rod Woodson played just three seasons under Cowher. Blitzburgh lasted just three seasons, from 1993 until 1995. Free agency eventually made all those guys disappear.
    In 2003, and for the first time since the 1970s, the Steelers were able to put together a DOMINANT defense, one that was able to run its course, uninterrupted. Roethlisberger benefitted from that.
    How else could such a weak offense survive? Remember that 2008 game against San Diego? Final score: Steelers 11, Chargers 10. Those have been the typical scores since 2008.
    Without that DOMINANT defense, Roethlisberger would be just another Kyle Orton, in terms of success. Last season proved that. Unless Roethlisberger gets it figured out, the immediate future looks bleak.

  33. steelcurtainn says: May 30, 2013 6:41 PM

    Typical steelers games have been 11-10 since 2008. Have we been watching the same games. Your assessment it way off, you may want to go back and look at the past schedules if you believe we have had games like that since 2008. Bobzilla, I like some of what you post you do bring up good points on some things that I won’t go into. But to compare Big Ben to Kyle Orton, in terms of success because of the steelers dominant defense. WOW, I Don’t even know what to say about that because its the furthest thing from the truth. I don’t know where Big Ben will lead the steelers from here on out but up to this point considering the offensive players he has had to work with(mainly a juggling line) I think he has done a good job and without him we don’t win the 2 superbowls. Sure, he didn’t have a good sb in 2005(we all heard it a million times) but he got the steelers there. That cant be disputed. Its a team game, the defense needed Big Ben and Big Ben needed the defense…..simple as that…… Sure, your entitled to your opinion and obviously that’s not gonna change with you but I have to tend to agree with most of the other pft posts today without Big Ben the steelers don’t have 6….Sorry man, its not just a dominant D, not buying it.

  34. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 7:07 PM

    “The Steelers are 6-3 the past three seasons without Roethlisberger”

    No no, the way this works is, you can’t use 9 years of Ben when it serves you peabrained logic, then cherry pick when it doesn’t.

    Since 2004 when Ben doesn’t start? 12-8

    BFD.

    “Proving that with a dominant defense, quarterbacks are interchangeable”

    1983-2003 of Steelers football proves that statement to be inaccurate.

    “In the 1980s, the Steelers’ top defensive players were David Little, Bryan Hinkle and Keith Willis. Scary.”

    I guess you never heard of Mike Merriweather?

    “In 2003, and for the first time since the 1970s, the Steelers were able to put together a DOMINANT defense, one that was able to run its course, uninterrupted”

    Um, the 2003 team without Ben lost 10 games.

    “How else could such a weak offense survive? Remember that 2008 game against San Diego? Final score: Steelers 11, Chargers 10″

    That was the game that Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes couldn’t stop committing penalties and dropping passes. Ben had over 300 yards that day despite the fact they had over 100 yards in penalties.

    ” Those have been the typical scores since 2008.”

    You are FOS. What’s typical since 2004 is the defense blowing 4th quarter leads.

    2nd most since 2007.

    Byron’s gone.

    Deal with it.

  35. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    steelcurtain:
    Go look up the finals scores since 2008. How many 35-30 scores have there been? Most of them have been low-scoring games. Are you that oblivious to reality?

    siggy:
    I’m well aware of your love affair with Big Bennie. The Steelers are 10-7 since 2004 without Roethlisberger. Better?
    I remember Merriweather really well. He held out and got traded to the Vikings. What’s your point? Don’t pretend he’s a Hall-of-Famer.
    Those blown fourth-quarter leads? You mean scores going from 13-10 to 16-10? Yep. Awful. Terrible.
    Bye, Crash.

  36. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 7:52 PM

    In 2003, the Steelers drafted the defense’s cornerstone: Troy Polamalu. Joe Greene’s first season on the job, the Steelers were 1-13. Again. What’s your point?

  37. steelcurtainn says: May 30, 2013 8:26 PM

    bobzilla:

    “How many 35-30 scores have there been”

    Not gonna look it up but probably not many because the steelers D don’t give up points like that and no most of them have not been typical 11-10 scores as you stated.

    You must be looking for 35 points every game. This isn’t college football its the NFL bobzilla.. I guess you standards must be way high…..You must be looking for the Bree’s and the Mannings of the NFL. Well, we don’t have them but I will take Big Ben with 2 superbowl wins and a dominant D….and no I am not oblivious to reality but It looks like you are….. I would like to know since you seem to be anti Big Ben. Who are you interested in having as a qb since Big Ben doesn’t seem it be the answer for you?……..I’m done, I’ll leave it at that.

  38. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 8:33 PM

    “Those blown fourth-quarter leads? You mean scores going from 13-10 to 16-10?”

    Wrong answer.

    2008

    20-13 lead against the Ravens. Gone.

    20-14 lead in Jacksonville. Gone.

    20-7 lead in SB XLIII. Gone.

    2009

    20-9 lead in Cincy. Gone.

    24-17 lead in KC. Gone.

    24-20 lead vs. Oakland. Gone.

    That’s six games right there, the Steelers scored at least 20 in all of those.

    All blown 4th quarter leads.

    You don’t know football Bobzilla. You read stats and pine for Leftwich.

    Yay.

  39. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 8:41 PM

    Bobzilla wanted Leftwich to start for YEARS over Ben. YEARS.

    Which should say everything about Bobzilla’s actual football smarts.

  40. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 8:42 PM

    Dick LeBeau’s first game back as DC.

    21-10 lead vs. the Raiders.

    Blown 4th quarter lead, again. Ben didn’t play, so he can’t be blamed for that one.

  41. siggy00 says: May 30, 2013 8:48 PM

    Stating the facts
    Since 2007, Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed 20 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, which is tied with Green Bay for the league’s second most.

    Twenty is too high for a defense that allows the league’s fewest points and yards, but none of that has mattered when it comes to crunch time.

    Since 2007, the Steelers’ defense has faced a total of 125 drives in the fourth quarter and overtime when tied or leading by 1-8 points. They have allowed 22 touchdowns and 25 field goals (231 points). It works out to 1.85 points per drive, which would have ranked 21st in the league in 2011, a below-average defense. Fifteen of the touchdown drives have been at least 70 yards in length, and nine were more than 80 yards.

    Pittsburgh has allowed 20 game-winning drives, 12 game-tying drives, and 10 go-ahead drives which came during games where the offense would regain the lead for a win. They also allowed five field goals when leading by 5-7 points. That means 78 “stops”, though some of those drives were in the final seconds when the opponent had no realistic opportunity.

    The scariest parts are the context for how some of these drives happened, and to think how big that number would be if the offense did not bail out the defense. Even Curtis Painter led an 80-yard game-tying touchdown drive last season in Indianapolis against LeBeau’s defense before a Roethlisberger game-winning drive.

    If the Redskins had better quarterback play, they would have been able to turn more of those 24 losses into wins. Since 2007, Washington quarterbacks have 12 game-winning drives. The Steelers have 17, with Ben Roethlisberger engineering 16 of them.

    But even Roethlisberger cannot answer if he does not have enough time left.

    The average game-winning drive (in regulation) allowed by the Steelers has come with 3:04 left in the fourth quarter, which is the fifth-smallest amount of time for any team. The less time, the harder it is to answer. The Patriots have the worst average time to answer (just 1:25 left). The Jets have had 7:01 left (the most time), so shame on their offense.

    This table looks at how much time was left in the game when the Steelers allowed the points on their late game-winning drives. In parenthesis is the league rank for that category, and the Steelers rank as the worst in everything except for overtime drives, where they are only one behind Green Bay and Miami.

    Not only is allowing 10 game-winning drives in the final two minutes the worst in the league, but the Steelers have somehow surrendered the game-losing points a league-worst nine times in the last 40 seconds of the game (no other team has more than six). Maybe the only thing worse than that are the seven times in which they have allowed the winning points in the final 0:15.

    You just leave your offense no real time to answer in that situation, and nearly half the losses have happened that way.

    The context behind some of the losses is both jarring and alarming, and things only seem to be getting worse.

    12/6/2009: Oakland’s Bruce Gradkowski became the first QB in NFL history to throw three go-ahead touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, upsetting Pittsburgh 27-24. The third completed an 88-yard drive with 0:09 left.
    2011 AFC Wild Card: In the first game under new overtime rules, Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play. It is the longest game-winning touchdown pass in NFL postseason history.
    The second largest blown fourth-quarter lead in a Super Bowl belongs to Dick LeBeau’s 2008 Steelers (13 points vs. Arizona). Kurt Warner passed for 224 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
    Since 2009, the Steelers have allowed four game-winning touchdowns in the last 0:32 of the fourth quarter. From 1990-2008, the Steelers had allowed only two game-winning touchdowns in the last 60 seconds of the fourth quarter (both vs. Cincinnati).
    Since October 2011, the Steelers have allowed four game-winning touchdown drives of 80 or more yards. That matches the total they allowed from 1990-2010 (21 seasons).
    9/23/2012: Oakland had lost 48 consecutive games when trailing by at least 10 points to start the fourth quarter. They overcame a 31-21 deficit for a 34-31 win in Week 3.
    In Roethlisberger’s 21 fourth-quarter comeback wins, the Steelers have led after three quarters just as often as they trailed (10 times each plus one tie).
    What has caused so many of these losses? Sure, there has been some bad luck. Keenan Lewis dropped an interception in Tennessee last week that may have turned the game. Joe Burnettt dropped a game-ending interception in that 2009 Oakland game. The league admitted to missing a holding call on Jacksonville’s big 4th-and-2 run by David Garrard in the 2007 AFC Wild Card game.

    But it works both ways, and for other teams too. In 2010, Buffalo’s Stevie Johnson dropped the game-winning touchdown in overtime. He was wide open, so LeBeau barely escaped that loss. He was not so lucky last season when Torrey Smith caught the game-winning touchdown with 0:08 left after dropping one, capping off Joe Flacco’s 92-yard drive to take control of the AFC North.

    Trends go back to LeBeau’s days in Cincinnati
    As Cincinnati’s defensive coordinator from 1984-1991, the Bengals allowed a league-worst 27 game-winning drives (tied with Cleveland and Minnesota). Included are a few famous ones against Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers.

    On September 20, 1987, the Bengals led 26-20, but just turned the ball over on downs at their own 25. With only two seconds left on the clock, Montana had one shot, and somehow Jerry Rice was left one-on-one for the game-winning touchdown against LeBeau’s defense.

    That is the shortest one-minute drill since 1981, and perhaps in NFL history. When else has a team taken over with two seconds left, needing a touchdown, and won the game?

    The next year the teams would meet in Super Bowl XXIII, and Montana led the first ever classic game-winning drive late in the big game. He completed 8-of-9 passes for 97 yards and the touchdown to John Taylor with 0:34 left. It was flawless, and LeBeau could only watch it happen to his defense.

    LeBeau’s defense not elite versus the elites
    Great quarterbacks have very few problems playing LeBeau’s defense. Here are the numbers Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks have had against him in Pittsburgh since 2004.

    Only Favre struggled, and while the record is close to .500, some of the wins have only been possible because LeBeau has a quarterback of this caliber on his side.

    Roethlisberger saved the 2008 Steelers from the all-time Super Bowl choke with his epic drive to beat Arizona on the Santonio Holmes’ touchdown. He did the same a year later to beat Rodgers and Green Bay on the final play of the game after LeBeau’s defense blew another double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

    All three of Roethlisberger’s wins over Eli Manning and Drew Brees saw him lead a game-winning drive (two were comebacks).

    The numbers would be even worse for LeBeau if you included how the quarterbacks fared against him when he coached as an assistant in Pittsburgh (1992-1996), Cincinnati (1997-2002) and Buffalo (2003).

    Including those games, these seven quarterbacks have the following lofty numbers combined: 21-11 (.656), 738 of 1,067 (69.2 percent) for 8,401 yards, 7.87 YPA, 59 TD, 17 INT, and a 104.3 passer rating.

    Peyton Manning is 7-1 against LeBeau, and the only loss was in the 2005 AFC Divisional playoff game. Even in that game Manning trailed 21-3 in the fourth quarter and almost won the game in the final minute with another record comeback. Jerome Bettis helped with a fumble, but Roethlisberger made the tackle and the only thing preventing overtime was a missed field goal by Mike Vanderjagt.

    As defensive coordinator in Cincinnati (1984-1991), it was more of the same when LeBeau went up against the game’s best quarterbacks. Joe Montana (4-0), Dan Marino (3-0) and John Elway (3-0) combined for a 10-0 record with 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 95.7 passer rating.

    This does not really jive with the New York Giants for example, who are like the opposite version of LeBeau’s Steelers.

    Winners of two recent Super Bowls, we now know they have allowed the fewest game-winning drives (9) in the league since 2007, and they also have been outstanding in the postseason against amazing competition on the road.

    In each of the 11 playoff games in the Tom Coughlin era, the Giants have never allowed more than 23 points. They have held three of the 10 highest scoring teams in NFL history to 20 or fewer points, including 14 points to the undefeated 2007 Patriots and 20 points to the No. 2 scoring team in history, the 2011 Green Bay Packers.

    Whereas LeBeau’s defense made Aaron Rodgers look unstoppable in Super Bowl XLV, the Giants went into Lambeau last year and dominated the Green Bay offense. Do not even get me started on how much more success the Giants have had against Tom Brady.

    Does New York ever have great defensive stats in the regular season? No, but they usually show up big late in games, in the playoffs, and against some of the best offenses ever. That formula is proven to win championships too.

    Fair or not, LeBeau’s championship runs will not be remembered for shutting down elite offenses, but instead will be remembered for Carson Palmer’s torn ACL after one pass, Roethlisberger’s tackle of Nick Harper after Jerome Bettis’ fumble, the officiating against Seattle in Super Bowl XL, Troy Polamalu’s pick six of a rookie Joe Flacco, and Roethlisberger to Holmes on the last drive.

    How do you want your defense to be remembered? Great stats or great moments?

    LeBeau’s legacy
    Dick LeBeau’s legacy is secured because of how hard it is to rewrite a narrative, especially for someone with over 50 years of experience in football.

    He seems like a great guy who obviously has found a fountain of youth somewhere, and his players love him like a father. There’s no denying anything about his character.

    But the evidence piles up to show that he is not the flawless defensive guru he gets glorified as. While his defense may produce a lot of good numbers — at least in Pittsburgh it has — it consistently fails in late-game situations and against the best in the game.

    Why is that? Perhaps it is because trailing teams and teams with great quarterbacks will throw the football, and LeBeau’s Pittsburgh defense was built to stop the run, which is less significant in today’s game.

    Without a ton of talent at cornerback, and a stubbornness to continue playing with such large cushions — or to play no real pass defense at all against Tim Tebow in the playoffs — a quarterback can easily get into a rhythm and pick this defense apart as long as the protection is picking up the blitzes, which are no longer very innovative in 2012.

    After writing this the Steelers will probably intercept Andy Dalton three times in the fourth quarter on Sunday, but that’s only going to be one game. These defensive lapses go back decades for LeBeau.

    So the next time you see the Steelers helplessly sending blitzes to no avail as a team marches down the field in the final minute to beat them, just remember that this happens frequently to LeBeau’s defenses.

    Legend or not, the defensive letdowns are just as much a part of his career as the successes.

    http://m.nbcsports.com/content/kacsmar-dont-believe-hype-steelers-d

  42. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2013 9:16 PM

    Curtain:
    Looking up things to make a point is kind of time consuming and strenuous. Don’t put yourself out.

    sig:
    I refuse to read your book.
    Let’s keep things simple: Defense always in the top 5. Offense always in the bottom 10.
    Enjoy the rest of Ben’s career. You’re going to be kept busy making excuses.

  43. Joemontanaflacco says: May 31, 2013 7:25 AM

    Great post!

  44. nickdipaola says: May 31, 2013 8:40 AM

    Bobzilla are you high?

  45. steelcurtainn says: May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

    bobzilla
    Your right!!!Looking up things FOR YOU to make a point is kind of time consuming and strenous. If your Anti Ben, your anti ben. Point Blank. Sounds like your just a big stats guy to me. Remember not to try and jump on Big Bens Bandwagon if he wins another superbowl. I’m sure you’ll say its the D. Good day!!!!

  46. siggy00 says: May 31, 2013 10:51 PM

    “Let’s keep things simple: Defense always in the top 5″

    And the offense in the top 5 in time of possession is a big reason why. You see old man when the offense holds the ball the defense isn’t on the field.

    “Offense always in the bottom 10″

    Not true at all. 23-32 are the bottom 10 numbers. The offense has never ranked in any of those spots in yards or scoring in the last 9 years.

    You may be able to lie on Steigerwald’s blog, you won’t lie on here.

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