Doubt cast on Roethlisberger’s belief the 49ers targeted him


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled through last year’s loss to the 49ers on an injured ankle, and looking back on that game he thinks the 49ers gave him a little something extra because of his injury. But Roethlisberger’s belief may not hold up to close scrutiny.

Roethlisberger was asked on the Dan Patrick Show when was the last time he thought an opposing team was targeting him, and he answered that he thought the 49ers seemed like they were going after him when he played there last year.

“I think when we played San Fran, I felt like there were some things going on, some extra,” Roethlisberger said. “I did have the ankle and I was playing, so maybe there was kind of a bullseye on there anyway.”

However, Mike Sando of went back and watched every Steelers offensive play from that game, and he saw no evidence of the 49ers targeting Roethlisberger’s lower body, rolling onto his ankle, stepping on his foot or doing any of the other things that a defense might do when targeting a quarterback.

Roethlisberger struggled in that game, throwing three interceptions in a 20-3 loss. But there’s little reason to believe the 49ers did anything out of the ordinary to get to him.

38 responses to “Doubt cast on Roethlisberger’s belief the 49ers targeted him

  1. The 49ers targeted his ankle the same way he played games while his thumb was broken. The guy loves to exaggerates.

  2. However, Mike Sando of went back and watched every Steelers offensive play from that game, and he saw no evidence of the 49ers targeting Roethlisberger’s lower body

    The same can be said for when the saints played the vikings in the 2009 NFC Championship game and every other saints game for the last 3 years

  3. I am a Big Ben fan, but he needs to stay away from reporters and talk show hosts. Just play your brand of football Ben!

  4. stop complaining and lookin for excuses. If it was that bad you shouldn’t of played.

  5. This is getting stupid. The last time he was “targeted” was in the last game he played. Of course defenders are going to “target” players – their job is to make it so the offensive players can’t do their job. Coaches can’t be paying players to intentionally injure players, but players are allowed to play as hard as they want within the rules of the game.

  6. i dont understand what the big deal is about his comments. he was asked a question and he answered it. he also did not say anything about it being dirty. basically just said, hey they knew my ankle was hurt so they went after it a little bit. who cares?!? it happens in every game. why wouldnt you go after his ankle in the normal action of a play?

  7. The 49ers are the only team that plays still plays with an old school mentality. Their goal is to make you think they are going to kill you. It’s clearly working.

  8. Well said Carl.

    This is a case of Ben being asked a question, him answering the question he was asked, and then the media blowing it out of proportion. Ben isn’t complaining, he isn’t whining, he answered the question he was asked. That’s it.

  9. One thing is for sure, the Ravens have targeted him each and every game he plays against them. Funny how all the talk a few years ago about bounties on players from both sides of that rivalry have not really been brought up or revisited during this whole “bountygate” bull crap.

  10. Blame your coach for leaving you in that game. He clearly didn’t care about the well being of your body, just like your opponents dont care about your head.

  11. He also said in that interview that he would pull himself from the game if he felt he was hurting his team. So he comments that he was the 49ers best player and that they were trying to target him on top of that, yet he still stayed in. His HC said about one of the games that he started (maybe Cle?) after his ankle got rolled that he wanted to start so they were fine with it, but he did not play well. So if Rb was on the up & up about pulling himself out if he felt he was hurting the team, this is telling me that he and the team must have felt their backup QBs were incompetent (I don’t agree, I think Batch could have filled in ok). THEN…they re-sign their backup QBs. I’m officially confused.

  12. @fordwuzanazi. Really? Show evidence of targeting.

    There is a difference between wanting to hit hard and intending harm. For the most part I don’t believe either team intends to maim, just hard enough to make the other player think twice. That’s why that rivalry is so much fun.

  13. If I remember right wasn’t that Aldon Smith’s coming out party ?

    The Steelers LT (Max Starks if I remember right ?) couldn’t handle Smith at all so they kept going at him. They weren’t even overloading on the blitz packages so this is a nonsense/non story.

    I can understand why Big Ben might have thought they were going after him cause Smith was immense that night but I think this was much more of a case of the Niners seeing a weakness and exploiting it – the weakness being the LT not being able to stop Smith NOT an injured QB.

    Can’t remember a single dirty hit or a target of his legs so shame he had to bring this up. If anything question why the heck he was in the game when clearly he wasn’t able to move freely and why he kept wanting to play hero and was constantly holding back his team.

  14. He was asked a question and he answered it. Didn’t sound like he was complaining. Every player in the NFL hits hard, I doubt anyone who writes on these boards would last one play in the NFL so be careful attacking his toughness. Then again everyone is tough behind an I Phone.

  15. The Niner defense are a prime example of tough, physical play with an extraordinary amount of discipline. They consistently injured the opposition–just look at all the running backs they left battered down: Pierre Thomas*, Felix Jones, Javid Best*, LeGarrette Blount (no easy task), Steven Jackson, LeSean McCoy

    Hmm… while that sounds positive in the sense that they are a good defense, its negative that their impact has done more than what the Saints tried to do. If sound play, like the Niners do, leaves the opponent injured more often than does illegal action, what are we left with?

    A game that consistently deteriorates players bodies and brains, regardless of mal intention.

  16. I love how everyone has a negative opinion on big Ben. Noone seems to hold a grudge against Vick is that because Ben doesn’t play for your team? Is it because he has won more superbowls than your team? Noone likes Ben even though he has turned his life around. Is it because you envy the Steelers, is that why you hate the Steelers? Well you keep hating and the Steelers will keep winning championships.

  17. Every player with an injury is going to get targeted. You’re a vet now Ben. Would it be so hard to just say, ” The 49ers were just better than us that night. We didn’t have an answer for what they were throwing at us. I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.” Stop creating drama where there is none.

  18. If a QB has a known injury, by all means defensive players do what you can to enhance that injury. Why would you try to baby the QB? The offensive line should be the protection. If the QB can’t get it from them then they shouldn’t play if they are injured.

    And yes, I could careless if defenders targeted my injured QB. It is called football.

  19. I’m crazy about Mike Tomlin, but I’d still like to target him in the seat of the pants with my foot for starting Ben in that game. “He wanted to play and I wanted to support him.” Good grief. Who cares what he wants? Do what’s best for the team.

    Sure the 49ers targeted the injured quarterback. Duh. I’d have targeted them for the nearest lunatics asylum if they hadn’t. That’s their job. But the only thing outside the lines I saw that day was our coaches leaving a crippled bull in the game to be slaughtered.

    As for Ben … I wish the Rooneys would target his mouth with a roll of duct tape until he retires.

  20. Is this guy for real? What a joke! Wonder what Georgia parents might say about you and your “targets”

  21. Pittsburgh, surely by now you have come to realize this guy is not up to your standards.

  22. ravenator, TRUST ME, Georgia parents now know all about him and his ways in Reynolds Plantation and nearby.

  23. Deb says:May 10, 2012 12:56 PM

    As for Ben … I wish the Rooneys would target his mouth with a roll of duct tape until he retires.


    They should waste the team’s money on a temporary solution like that… especially when you know he won’t leave the tape on like he should.

    They should quit stalling & just perform a lobotomy on him & get it over with already. It’s what he needs.

  24. Ben shouldn’t have played that game, period. He was a sitting duck and it’s on his head the Steelers got their asses kicked.

  25. tiggerblood says:
    May 10, 2012 9:54 AM
    Hmm, one name for you Ben, Carson Palmer, and tell me he wasn’t targeted in that playoff game in 2005. What goes around comes around.

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa WHOA!

    Go back a few weeks before that playoff game, when your own Odell Thurman flew right into Ben’s knee, delivering the cheap shot of the year. Funny how Bengals fans selectively remember things. That’s right — YOUR boys handed out the first submarine leg shot. Cheap as it gets.

    So maybe you’re right about that “goes around comes around” thing — more than you realize.

  26. @ ampatsisahypocrite:

    Though Steeler fans deny it, it is well known fact that
    defenses lead by Dick LeBeau are known to play dirty.

    These claims are not just mine, they are also spoken by
    many former players. If you do not believe so, try
    listening to national sports talk radio interviews sometime.

    Just because the local sports talk stations in Pittsburgh
    say nothing negative on the subject just means
    they are in the Steeler organization’s hip pocket…

  27. @tiggerblood …

    Anyone is free to go back and watch the Palmer injury from 2005. Kimo–the former Bengal–was knocked off his feet and rolled into him. It wasn’t even a tackle. Palmer himself said he watched the tape and didn’t believe it was intentional. You guys have latched onto that as the source of your disappointments, but that doesn’t make it real.

    @quitsburghstoolers …

    I’m not in Pittsburgh and have listened to a lot of national commentary on Dick LeBeau going back to his days as a HC for the Bengals. Have never heard him described as a dirty coach. You hate the Steelers, and that colors your perceptions of all things Pittsburgh. The last time I hated a team that much was the 90s Cowboys, but I still think that was one of the finest football teams ever to take the field. Just as I don’t let my love for the Steelers blind me to Ben’s egomaniacal jackassery, I don’t let my hates blind me to the talents of our rivals. But as we’ve discussed before, I don’t get the whole thing about keeping your own team a secret while wrapping your identity around the team you loathe.

  28. Not a roll a crawl into his knee, and why did they give Kimo the game
    ball? Another delusional steelers fan the team that can do no wrong and never lose!

  29. Deb, all those months of therapy are starting to pay off. You have finally gotten to “Ben’s egomaniacal jackassery”. Keep on going, girl, the true nature of this guy is eventually going to be crystal clear to you.

  30. @antibenapalooza …

    If you’d been around a couple of years ago, you’d know I’ve been calling him an egomaniacal jackass all along. Once I started researching the cases–and I’m very skilled at that–his true nature was obvious. But my personal opinion of him has nothing to do with the evidence that no rapes occurred. It is what it is. BTW, through work I’ve met a lot of athletes, celebs, CEOs, and politicians. Jackassery is kind of a common trait.

  31. Drama queen…

    Oh and sportsmeccabi, how about the Ravens and Steelers?

    Both have been playing real football way longer than your team has been, even going back to the days of Marchetti and Donnavan with the Baltimore Colts. While your team was busy trying to be cute with your dink and dunk west coast offense, Baltimore and Pittsburgh were playing football the way it was meant to be played.

    Here’s a tip, have more than one decent season before in a decade before you go bragging about the 9ers. You’d think it was 1989 again the way your 9ers homers talk about your team.

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