The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided not to play Ben Roethlisberger for the season finale against the Browns on Sunday. https://www.pennlive.com/steelers/2020/12/steelers-to-sit-ben-roethlisberger-for-finale-against-the-cleveland-browns.html
This coming off the first sign of life for this offense in the last four games. The timing of this “resting” could not be any worse. After three and a half games of putrid performances from Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers quarterback finally snapped out of it in the second half of the Colts game on Sunday. Not playing at all against the Browns will set this unit back to where it was in the previous three games. Mike Tomlin can’t possibly think sitting Ben Roethlisberger is a good idea, but we have long since learned that Ben gets what he wants around here.
The power struggle:
The last person in this organization to challenge Ben Roethlisberger in any significant way was Todd Haley. We all know where that got him. Full disclosure, every offensive coordinator will lose out in a battle with a franchise quarterback. That is just the way the NFL works. Where the Steelers went wrong is hiring Ben’s hand picked guy to replace Haley. Not only was Randy Fichtner not qualified for the job, it set a bad precedent for this organization. The Steelers also gave Roethlisberger a two year extension in 2019 to the tune of $63 million, something we were very much against. Why the Steelers should not sign Ben Roethlisberger to an extension From that moment forward, Ben Roethlisberger knew he was untouchable.
Since the Haley firing we have witnessed a litany of Ben Roethlisberger dos and donts.
Ben wants his own hand picked coordinator ✅
Ben wants Wednesdays off from practice ✅
Ben does not do quarterback sneaks ✅
Ben does not want play action ✅
Ben wants sit out the last game of the season ✅
We can argue if any of this is necessarily bad for the overall play of the offense. Most teams cater to their franchise quarterback in one way or another. The latest decision on sitting Ben Roethlisberger for Sunday’s game is an example where this may be hurting the team however.
Keeping the momentum from the first good half of football in five weeks should be this team’s top priority heading into the playoffs. Not to mention there is still a very real possibility the Steelers could catch the Bills for the second seed in the AFC. That would mean a home game against Buffalo if the team’s were ever to meet in the post season. More importantly, it would mean avoiding the Chiefs until at least the AFC Championship game. Those two reasons alone are worth at least a half of football from Ben Roethlisberger.
You will never convince us that not playing your struggling starting quarterback for at least a half is Mike Tomlin’s idea alone. The simple fact remains Ben Roethlisberger has too much power in this organization. It’s clear he has lobbied for rest in the final week, and the team has granted that wish. Will the rest out way the rust when the playoffs begin in two weeks? Or will this offense struggle once again and cause an early exit? We are guessing the latter, hopefully we are proven wrong.