Hines Ward says Steelers won’t go very far without Roethlisberger

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The good news for the Steelers?  As Peter King pointed out on Twitter, they’ve lost their four games against the Ravens when Ben Roethlisberger was injured or suspended by only three points three times and only six points the other time.

The bad news for the Steelers?  One of the key players on the teams that faced the Ravens four times without Roethlisberger thinks the Steelers will be sunk without their star quarterback if he’s not available for the two games that are coming up against the Ravens in the next three weeks.

Asked by Pro Football Talk co-host Erik Kuselias how things will go against the Ravens in Roethlisberger’s absence, former Steelers receiver and NBC analyst Hines Ward said, “Not very well for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Going out there, they’ve got to have Ben on the field.  One thing about him, to be able to extend plays; get outside the pocket, that’s when he’s at his best.  When you lose that element of the game and put Byron in there, a guy who is less mobile, now everybody can just pin back their ears and go with the pass rush and the blitz and they change their dynamics of play calling.  So other guys have to go out and still make plays for Byron.”

The bigger picture doesn’t look good, either.  Asked how far the Steelers can go without Roethlisberger, Ward said, “Not very far, not very far at all.  He is their whole team.  He is the leader of their team, he makes the offense go and all the guys around him, he makes them better.  If Ben’s not on the field its very hard for the Pittsburgh Steelers to go to where they want to go.”

That’s not very good news for the Steelers, who while only one game behind the Ravens are only a couple of losses removed from the scrum that will emerge for the No. 6 seed in the AFC.

43 responses to “Hines Ward says Steelers won’t go very far without Roethlisberger

  1. I think he’s right. Todd Haley adjusted this offense to Roethlisberger’s strengths and it just started clicking for real in Week 6 or 7. Now he has to make adjustments for Leftwich. I think he can do it, but it won’t be pretty by any means.

    Good luck to the Steelers and Ravens on Sunday Night.

  2. Well duh. If Ben’s gone for the season, the season’s gone. He’s one of a handful of true franchise QBs, and shame is, was on his way to an MVP season.

    I do think they can get by 3-4 games with Leftwich. Maybe even split with Baltimore.

  3. Unfortunately, Hines speaks the truth. While I certainly don’t believe Ben is “the whole team”, like most NFL teams there’s a huge drop off when you lose the star quarterback. I believe they have a shot with Byron in there if need be Sunday, I certainly have no delusions of much chance of winning in baltimore in two weeks.

    It’s next man up; however, the starting quarterback is obviously the most difficult position to replace.

    Lousy timing for an injury. Lets hold out hope he can suit up


  4. During Roethlisberger’s suspension, the steelers went 3 and 1. No matter how good he is or isn’t, there’s still some other damn good players on that team. As much as I hate to admit it.

  5. the injury happened when Hines Ward gave him a “from behind CHEAP SHOT” into the wall durring pregame meeting with media, and then shoved him down a set of stairs…is that the real story squealer fans dont know?…….

  6. Time to pick up the Ravens defense for your fantasy team.
    It’s gonna be sick out there for the overrated bunch from s hittsburgh

  7. What St1llez1 said …. Hit it on the head.

    Would be nice to see Ravens a 3rd time this year, and this team could still go far.

    Nfl network had a orthopedic surgeon that said 3 weeks is reasonable.

    That would be in time for Ravens game #2, and still a good chance at 5 or 6 seed.

  8. Waiiiiittt a minute…

    You mean to tell me..that without Ben Roethlisberger (2x superbowl champion/current starting top10 QB) the Steelers won’t go very far?

    This is exactly why I visit PFT. Great insight, just a few thoughts…

    1) What does Mike Mayock think of this?
    2) Are you sure Byron Leftwich doesn’t have what it takes to lead them to a superbowl?

    Man, I’m glad this was cleared up. I was really beginning to wonder how the Steelers would fare without him.

    Thanks again!

  9. Unfortunate for Big Ben and couldn’t be worse timing for the Steelers. A whole slew of QB’s were concussed this past weekend. Bad blocking, awkward falls, landings and big hits. Rolling with Brady but Ben was the best backup fantasy qb you could ask for.

  10. Although it will be tough I don’t rule out the possibility of the Steelers upsetting the Ravens in one of the next two meetings! This team has been resilient in an injury plagued season! Baltimore isn’t playing as well as they were early on but their confidence will be up with Ben out! Steelers D should keep both games close! Hopefully Ben’s injury isn’t as serious as everyone wants to speculate!

  11. Ward went on to say that water is indeed wet and filming Dark Knight rises was off the hizzle.

  12. I’d have to somewhat agree with Hines…..Up to this point the Steelers without Ben equals playoffs. With Ben equals superbowl contender. The steelers on any given day can beat any team in the league with Ben at qb. He’s got two superbowl wins that he is largely responsible for. As most steeler fans will agree, Big Ben needs to rest his shoulder and not come back to early so he can get back to the steelers asap.

  13. As a Ravens fan, I’m sorry to see Ben hurt. The best rivalry in the NFL demands all hands on deck, and I’m sure that if the Ravens win on Sunday night, the talking heads will say “Well, if Ben was there…..” When the Ravens beat the Steelers a couple of years ago when Dennis Dixon was the QB, it just didn’t feel right. Then again, if Ben makes a miraculi
    ous recovery and plays Sunday night, I won’t be shocked. He/they’ve pulled this drama queen stuff before. But still, you want to face the A Team.

  14. The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!! Does anyone really believe this guy is going to miss more than a game or two? He survived going head first into a Chrysler, a low grade shoulder sprain he’ll miss two games max.

    Wrap him up with an ace bandage and he’ll be good to go…watch!

    BTW, the clowns that say Roethlisberger is a drama queen…wonder how they’d fair having 500+ lbs of defenders dropping on them.

  15. I am Ravens Fan, and I’d like to see Ben play.

    Ravens – Steelers rivalry is best when everyone is playing. This rivalry is best in NFL right now IMO.

    Hope he can make recovery in time, because as i watched Leftwich drive Pits offense into the ground this past monday against lowly chiefs.. u NEED Ben.

  16. The ravens have stunk against the run , Dwyer has been a beast! Give him 30 carries and run block and mix in some screens with Wallace & brown, they have a shot til Big Ben returns , coming from a Vikings Fan with Dwyer on my #1 fantasy team!

  17. Where is “7thlombardiisinthebag” now, with his “we don’t need no stinkin’ Roethlisberger to win # 7!!!!” post?

  18. Even with Troy, Mendy and Antonio dinged up, and no Gilbert or DeCastro – I still loved our chances at getting a playoff bye this year. That was my take when we had Ben taking snaps behind center.

    Without Ben, we’ll be lucky to limp into the playoffs as a wild card. And if we don’t have Ben by the time the tournament starts, it’s going to be one verrrry tall order to expect anything special.

    No bust on Byron — he is a class act all the way. But Ben does so much on so many levels, and is functionally irreplaceable in any meaningful context.

  19. Limited play book..run the damn ball Ben only missing 2 games ..we can get a split..none. of these up comming teams are Defensive power houses

  20. Besides the very worst teams, and maybe the Texans… what team WOULD go very far without their starting QB?

    There’s not that many good ones, which is why quite of few of these horrible guys still have jobs in the NFL.

  21. Wait… So, Hines is asked a question about the Steelers’ chances without Roethlisberger, he gives his answer and you idiots pile on him for stating the obvious? Wow. Jump on that dolt Kuselias (who apparently wound up here when he disappeared from ESPN and is off the radio, thank God) for asking the question, not Ward for answering.

  22. Steelers are done, they have no chance of winning anything. Pack it up fans. Your season is over! Oh how sweet this is.

  23. All season Ben has stayed with Haley’s new strategy, on this play he went back to his old ways and cut back to the middle without even looking and WHAM ! Haley’s thing was working for the most part and all Ben had to do was run to the right sideline and live to play another down. This is on Ben. We needed revenge on BAL for last season now that’s down the toilet. Harbagger is going to run up the score and his defense will be in relentless pursuit of our QB. Charlie Batch is much better suited for Haley’s short drop quick release than Leftwich is. Tomlin and Haley need to be extremely creative and unpredictable with the game plan and play calling. Tomlin and LeBeau need to get that defense highly motivated and excecute on every single play and get loads of pressure on Flacco. It wouldn’t hurt if Timmons can ring Ray Rice’s bell early on and slow him down. Last but not least, let’s see that special teams unit make some big plays.

  24. If the Steelers are a really good team they will continue to play well with Leftwich at QB. They won’t win the Div. but could still make playoffs. The Patriots lost Brady in game one three years ago and still managed to go 11-5 with Rookie QB, Matt Cassell because they were a complete team.

  25. I think its funny how FAST the Ravens picked up Dennis Dixon yesterday !!!!

    The Steelers did go 3-1 without Ben. Bryon got the rust off Monday night.

    Coaches especially Halley got to really look at the playbook AND Dwyer needs to have a great game. And defense better show.

    KC gave Ravens a tough game.

    Its why they play the game

  26. I’m gonna go against the grain on this one. I believe that the STEELERS can beat the ravens this Sunday even if Charlie was the starter. The game is at home and the ravens are not all that on the road this season. We’ll need Ben back for the trip to B-more but this weeks game not so much….

    Hines I luv ya but just saying…..

  27. What’s going on with the @SteelerNation!?!?! First I see all the empty seats on Monday night (weather has never been an issue before) and now ya’ll are ready to throw the terrible towel in over Ben going down!??! I grew up a closet Steelers fan (my older brother is a DIEHARD, I’m a Vikings guy, long story) and in my 25+ years of following NFL and the Steelers I’ve never ONCE seen a defeatist attitude like this. Not even with Mark Malone or Neil O’Donnell or Kordell.

    Come’on Pitt! Ben is a VERY big Cog in your wheel and a key to success, but dang, it’s not the end of the world! That KC game was a FLUKE, the weather is a great equalizer, don’t hang your hat on that game. You are BETTER than the Ravens and Leftwich can beat these guys.

    Jeez, I never thought it would take a Vikings fan to talk a Steelers fan off the ledge. . . .

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