The simplicity of this game amazes Ben Roethlisberger. All you have to do is run and throw a football. I mean really, how could that be complicated? Just feel the rush, and if it gets too close - run. Oh, I forgot the last part. While you are feeling the rush or running, look for open receivers so you can throw them the ball. Duh.
I'm with Ben, this stuff is easy. Especially when you're blessed with a 6'5" 241 frame, a strong arm, good wheels, and your biggest assets are actually your instincts and intangibles. Ben Roethlisberger plays a smart game utilizing his poise and confidence. To make plays, he lets his instincts and athletic ability take over. Pass rush? No problem, just run and throw. Throw a pick? That's funny stuff. Just laugh it off until you can get back on the field to make plays. What's all the fuss?
Bill Parcells is definitely a smart coach. He knows talent when he sees it, and he also knows how to motivate his team while simultaneously getting inside the head of his opponent. Said Parcells about the rookie QB: "He's the best prospect I've seen in 10 or 15 years. I haven't seen anybody come into the league like that. The only guy in my coaching [career] that I can say came in the first year and started playing like he is playing is Dan Marino."
Don't be confused by Parcells' comments. They are not in jest. They are both honest and accurate. Who among us can name a rookie QB who has come into the league showing the poise and play-making ability demonstrated by Ben in his first three starts? I've been watching this game a long time, and Dan Marino is the only name that comes to my mind too. Who among us has seen a rookie QB make the plays that Ben made to win the Cleveland game? Those were elite NFL QB type plays, not rookie QB type plays. Like Parcells, I was partially baffled watching the rookie play against the Browns.
So how is a rookie QB from a small school not only holding his own as a starter, not only excelling at the position, but actually making it all look easy? Because it is easy, and don't let anybody tell you different. All you have to do is run and throw. From now on in Pittsburgh, playing QB is the Big Easy.
Now that playing QB is easy again in Pittsburgh, let's turn our attention to more important matters, such as winning championships. "The ultimate goal for me is to win a Super Bowl, and I'm not going to be satisfied until that happens," said Ben. "Just because you won a couple of football games doesn't mean anything to me."
When you really boil it down, winning Super Bowls is easy too. All you have to do is consistently score more than your opponents. With a solid running game, a solid defense, and a play-making QB throwing to great WR's, the Steelers are very capable of consistently scoring more than their opponents. Thus, the Steelers are very capable of winning the Super Bowl – this season. Don't let anybody tell you different.
The Formula Man™
The En Fuego Formula, Part 2: Burress Break Out Game + Colclough Fumble = the Formula Man is on Fire. Last week the Formula Man said not to be fooled by Plaxico Burress' stat sheet and to expect Burress to have his breakout game. On cue, Burress promptly went out and hung a 5 catch, 120 yard, and one touchdown first half on the Browns. Burress had more yards and touchdowns in the first half against the Browns than he managed in his first three games combined. We'll count that as a breakout game. The Formula Man has also been all over Ricardo Colclough due to his propensity to fumble. The Formula Man predicted a Ricardo Colclough fumble and the next time Colclough touched the ball on a return (against the Bengals), he promptly fumbled. The Formula Man kept beating the fumble drum last week because Colclough's technique still has not changed. What did Colclough do the first time he touched the ball against the Browns? He fumbled.
The We'll Stop Beating the Horse When it Dies Formula: Bad technique + Bad Coaching = Lots of Fumbles. Amazingly, despite two fumbles in as many games, Colclough continued to carry the ball like a loaf of bread toward the end of the Browns game. We can all expect the rookie to keep fumbling until Kevin Spencer either coaches him up or benches him. The Formula Man also knows that the Steelers cannot afford stupid turnovers against quality upcoming opponents like the Patriots and Eagles.
The Barry Foster Formula: Commitment to the Run + Good Running Back + 7 Men in the Box = Lots of 100 Yard Games. With Steelers fans beginning to set their watches to Duce Staley 100 yard games, Barry Foster may want to begin taking notice. Staley's 100 yard game streak stands at three. Because defenses cannot afford to crowd the line of scrimmage with 8 men in the box, no end appears in sight. If Staley can manage 100 yard games in ten of the final 11 games, he would set a new Steelers record for 100 yard games in a season with 13.
The Vinny Testaverde Formula: 40 Year Old QB + More Experienced Secondary + Dick LeBeau = Lots of blitz'. With Hope and Polamalu now at a combined 10 games of experience as starters in the NFL, expect Dick LeBeau to begin incorporating more blitz packages into defensive game plans. The old book on Vinny when he was with the Browns was fairly straightforward. Hit him early and often and he'll lose the game. Considering the Cowboys' plethora of talent at WR, the more this game is played behind the Cowboys' line of scrimmage, the better off the Steelers will be. Watch for a pressured Vinny Testaverde to cough up at least one fumble.
The Big Easy is a Pittsburgh QB
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