The ever-patient Bob Labriola at Steelers.com answers fan questions in his weekly “Asked & Answered” column. Thought I’d share the most recent Q&A’s regarding #7. Enjoy!
From December 22nd:
JACKSON LATTA FROM PRESTONSBURG, KY: I love your column, but I can’t get past how many people write to you speculating about the futures of Devlin Hodges, Mason Rudolph, or some other quarterback du jour. Are you surprised that more people aren’t putting this season into perspective and fully appreciating just how fortunate the Steelers have been to have Ben Roethlisberger for these last 17 seasons, and counting?
BOB LABRIOLA:When it comes to sports fans, and what interests them, or angers them, or what they choose to appreciate vs. expect vs. complain about, little surprises me anymore.
JACOB MCBETH FROM CHEYENNE, WY: The offense seems highly disorganized at times – multiple receivers in the same spot, not “clocking” the ball when ordered from the sideline, etc. What will it take to lessen this sloppy play?
BOB LABRIOLA: Nothing more than an experienced, veteran, proven quarterback running the show. Young players need time to develop. Here’s a little fun fact about that: On the days when Ben Roethlisberger is given the day off at training camp, practices routinely run up to 15 minutes late because of the extra time spent getting in and out of the huddle, getting the play called correctly, lining up properly, etc. This is the Ben Roethlisberger effect. Appreciate him while he’s here.
From December 19th:
KWAME FREEMAN FROM PITTSBURGH, PA: This 2019 season has seen a return to classic defensive/running the football season for the Steelers. When Ben Roethlisberger returns, do you expect them to get away from this style of football? Also, if Ben does his usual light reps during training camp, and sits out all of the preseason games, how would you expect him to start 2020?
BOB LABRIOLA: Coach Mike Tomlin is, and has been, a believer in managing the wear and tear on Ben Roethlisberger’s right arm, and you can expect that to continue during the post-surgery process. The goal during the offseason will be to get Roethlisberger back from the surgery and then to prepare him for the 17 weeks of the regular season. It’s going to be a process, and these kinds of processes often don’t progress smoothly. Be patient. He doesn’t have a […]
Blake was born wrapped in a terrible towel. He has loved the Steelers and Big Ben since a young age. This is a throwback picture of 2005 and him now. We normally ask for a Steeler Super Bowl win for Christmas but this year we want a healthy Big Ben ready for 2020 Steeler football!! — Merry Christmas, Jon, Davah, Blake and Fourteen.
@_BigBen7 Happy Holidays Ben!!!
My Steelers tree! — Mysti Dinger.
3 Goats at the top of my tree…@_BigBen7 @tpolamalu @francoharrishof
@_BigBen7 come back more strong and win the super bowl #HereWeGo @steelers @acereros
Here is a photo of my 2019 Steeler Christmas Tree. — Althea Kristufek.
@_BigBen7 Christmas tree decorating complete! #BigBen7
“Every year around this time, this image skyrockets to one of the most popular images on my portfolio site. I gotta admit, it’s definitely one of my favorite snowy images of Pittsburgh, with just the incline visible during a complete whiteout.”
“Even with the rain, I ventured into Pittsburgh this morning to capture the holiday decorations, hoping for some reflections on the wet streets. In this view, star shaped lights illuminate the path to the tree at PPG Place, with the dreary weather creating a moody atmosphere.”
“I swear, the holiday show at Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh gets more and more colorful every year, and this year was no exception. It look absolutely spectacular tonight, lit up with a rainbow of lights, making for this picturesque view as people rushed in and out.”
“What a sight in Pittsburgh this morning: the Christmas tree at the Point stands out against PPG Place and a clear blue sky, with the star atop the tree acting like another spire atop the distinctive building. Definitely one of my new favorite holiday images.”
“Most of the selective color images that I do of Pittsburgh revolve around the black and gold theme. However this aerial from last week was just too perfect to not highlight the Christmas tree at the Point. It almost looks like it’s coming right off the screen.”
I know, I know, he looks more like #99 than #7, but there’s a good reason for Big Ben’s Big Beard:
During Sunday’s game, Michelle Tafoya reported from the sideline that Ben informed her that the beard stays (and will continue to grow) until he is able to start throwing a football again – after undergoing season-ending surgery in September.
Bottom line: Clean-shaven Ben is a very good sign for Steelers Nation!
*Thank you to Ed Thompson for that great action photo!!
“So how long will Big Ben be out? I sure do miss him!” “Me too! I’m hearing until at least OTAs!” “Oh boy! We’re gonna need new cheerleading outfits, we’ll have outgrown these by then!”
“My boys stay gold ponyboy –
Black & Gold!” — Kori Michael.
Dress as your career day for Cole at school. This 3rd grader chose to be a football player for his favorite team. Go Steelers! #puthimincoach @steelers @_BigBen7
And lastly, we have a cleat thief caught red hand…uh footed!
Steelers 2019 Schedule