Bob Labriola on the interview with Mr. Rooney:
There are two topics that never fail to energize Steelers fans: running the football, and their favorite team’s quarterback situation.
Of course, we’ll focus on the quarterback situation portion of the interview –
The instability at quarterback was created when Ben Roethlisberger’s right elbow allowed him to play only the first six quarters of the regular season. From there, it was Mason Rudolph as the starter until he was concussed in the fourth game of the season, a loss to the Ravens at Heinz Field. Then it was Devlin Hodges, the survivor of rookie minicamp, then back to Rudolph, then back to Hodges, then back to Rudolph until he was driven into the ground during the Jets game and sustained a rather serious injury to his left shoulder, and then back to Hodges to finish up the season.
If there would be a single statistic to illustrate how strange the Steelers season was with respect to their quarterback situation, there’s this: of the three quarterbacks who started games for the Steelers in 2019: Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph, and Devlin Hodges, the only one who didn’t lead the team to a victory was Roethlisberger.
Moving forward, it’s fair to link the Steelers’ prospects in 2020 to the health of Roethlisberger’s right arm, and Rooney wasn’t pessimistic at all when asked about his starting quarterback’s prognosis at this stage of the rehabilitation.
“Everything we hear so far is positive, in particular Ben’s attitude about things,” said Rooney. “He seems to feel good about it. He really is still in the early stages of his rehab. He hasn’t been able to do a whole lot yet, but that is going to start to ramp up here over the next couple of months, obviously. We are anxious to see his progress.”
One estimate of when Roethlisberger might be throwing the football again is by OTAs, which typically begin at the end of May, but in the meantime, the NFL will open and progress through the first couple of phases of unrestricted free agency. And it would be during that time when the Steelers presumably would be looking at experienced quarterbacks to add to the depth chart behind Roethlisberger, but Rooney wasn’t certain that was a necessary way to proceed.
“We are still kind […]
Ben has announced a grant award this afternoon from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.
His Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Sacramento Police Department honoring the Steelers’ matchup against the San Francisco 49ers earlier this season.
The Sacramento Police Department requested the grant to add a canine to their team and provide much needed funding to the Sacramento Police K-9 unit.
2019 marked the 13th season that Ben’s foundation distributed grants to K-9 units.
His mission continues: to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States, with a particular emphasis on support for working dogs in Pittsburgh, PA.
Ben’s foundation distributed more than $145,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2018 NFL season, including $70,000 in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
The foundation has distributed in excess of $2.1 million since 2007, $1.7 million of which has specifically benefited K-9 programs domestically.
“The Sacramento Police Canine Unit is honored to be selected to receive a grant by the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. With this generous grant, the unit was able to purchase an additional K-9 for the department. The use of K-9’s in our department is a vital component of effectively keeping the community safe. Moreover, it allows the department to better serve the needs of the community as a whole. Specifically, K-9s are a vital tool in the department’s ability to de-escalate violent situations, while allowing our officers to safely take suspects into custody. This grant has allowed the department to add a K-9 officer and a K-9 to the team, in turn, increasing the department’s ability to utilize this unique role to keep Sacramento safe.” — Sacramento K-9 Officer Alexander Wagstaff.
Sarris Candies teamed up with Ben again this past NFL season donating 25 percent of the purchase price of their candy to the his foundation. Such a sweet deal!
You can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on their website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com)! Just use a special purchase code of 77-7777 when ordering.
Thank you to Sarris Candies!
For more information about Ben’s foundation or The Giving Back Fund, please contact Jessica Duffaut at www.givingback.org.
When I’m at work in Virginia as a Fairfax County Police K9, I’m all business! As a matter of fact, I’m kind of a big deal around the office water bowl – I have my own K9 collector card….
But when I’m off duty, I can always be found wearing my Steelers collar! Even when my team isn’t playing, I’m supporting them, and Big Ben? Yeah, he’s my TOP DOG! He and his foundation are positively PAWSOME, I mean AWESOME! Can’t wait to see you back on the field, number 7!
Oh, my photos were submitted by my partner, Officer Mike Pzizzle (he’s better at using an iPhone).
From Steelers.com – Bob Labriola on the loss to the Ravens:
By 7:30 p.m., the last of the smoke had cleared and the final mirror was broken. The Steelers had run out of ways to try to camouflage, to work around, to hide the cracks with spackle and paint. Everything in the National Football League is on video, the eye in the sky does not lie, and as a result smoke and mirrors only can take you so far.
The end of the road for them came here, at M&T Bank Stadium in a 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Alas, there would be no miracle, and the 2019 NFL season ended for the Pittsburgh Steelers. That it ended in late December instead of mid-September is a testament to their grit and willingness to run toward the fight, but there seemed to be little doubt that it would end prematurely, and that this would be the reason for its end.
When it became a medical certainty that Ben Roethlisberger would need surgery to repair his right elbow, and when the timetable for the procedure and then the rehabilitation was going to subtract him from the equation for the rest of their season, the Steelers prospects for 2019 started circling the drain. When an 0-3 start became 8-5 following a six-point victory in Arizona three weeks before Christmas, visions of sugar plums danced in the heads of Steelers fans all over the nation, but with each improbable victory more video became available on what they were doing and the noose continued to tighten.
At the collegiate level, you might be able to win with schemes, but in the NFL you have to win with players. And the most important player on every team is the quarterback.
The Steelers’ 2019 season was a perfect storm of injuries to key offensive personnel and blanket inexperience in too many other areas….
You can read more here.
Steelers 2019 Schedule