To say that Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t play with emotion would not be fair. While he isn’t as demonstrative as a Tom Brady or a Philip Rivers, he certainly is passionate about the success of the Steelers and the offense. In yesterday’s 21-18 win over Cleveland, I couldn’t help but notice that Big Ben had a little extra fire. Maybe ‘fire’ isn’t the right word though. Perhaps ‘edginess’ is.
Early in the game, Roethlisberger received a snap in the shotgun but the play was blown dead. He immediately darted towards the back judge who had obviously thrown the flag for delay of game. I’ve seen him get miffed at this before but there was something more to it this time. Roethlisberger delivered his choice words after crossing over the line of scrimmage and even gave the official a wave of the hand as he walked back to his huddle.
But this wasn’t the only sign of an edgier Big Ben…
It was clear as the first half wore on that he was frustrated and quite frankly disgusted by what was going on with the offense. To be fair, he had some throws that were less than ideal and he doesn’t need me to tell him that but there was more to it. On several occasions you could see him assertively going at both Mike Tomlin and Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley and based on what I saw he had every right to do so.
The offensive line was struggling and his receivers, with the exception of Antonio Brown, weren’t on the same page. Big Ben’s frustration however came out in the strangest of ways following a ball that was intercepted.
Very unique fighting style here from Ben Roethlisberger pic.twitter.com/EK4NOoLg1U
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 10, 2017
If Emmanuel Ogbah was “blocking” Roethlisberger then fine but that looked more like one of those shoves one pro wrestler gives to the other to start a match. MMQB’s Peter King said in his column today that Roethlisberger’s resulting ankle tackle should have been flagged. OK, go ahead and flag him. I’ll give up the 15 yards for the knowledge of knowing my quarterback is pissed off and isn’t gonna take it anymore!
I don’t know what the exact motivation for Big Ben’s edginess yesterday was but I really don’t need an explanation. You saw what I saw and you can draw your own conclusions. For me, I like him playing this way and I have a feeling when the offense meets today his attitude won’t have changed much. There’s a lot of things to work on and if it takes for him to have an edge then so be it.
Photo courtesy: WPXI