How the Steelers have navigated Ben Roethlisberger’s absence
Excerpts from the article at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
Bushy-bearded Ben Roethlisberger sat down on a Gatorade jug, headset on, Microsoft Surface tablet in hand, and waved over Devlin Hodges from a couple seats down the bench.
It was early in the second quarter Sunday against Cleveland. Hodges had just rolled out to his right and thrown the ball away on third-and-8, wasting a near-perfect blitz pick-up by his offensive line and running back Jaylen Samuels. After a Jordan Berry punt, the old Pittsburgh gunslinger and the new one chatted for about a minute, then went their separate ways.
“Just talking ball,” Hodges recalled a few days later. “It’s always good to get some insight, especially from a guy like Ben who’s been in this system and knows this system better than anybody. Usually when he says something, it’s pretty accurate.”
A couple drives later, Roethlisberger sat with Diontae Johnson, explaining some route concepts and coverage schemes to the team’s rookie wide receiver, the one who has only had a game and a half of action with the winningest quarterback in franchise history.
“Ben knew exactly what had to happen for us to be good. And I think, to a degree, he was the only person in the building who knew what had to happen, so he had a lot more say and authority on certain issues. For us on the O-line, it was perfect, because we just had to follow him.” — Al Villanueva.
After an offseason in which Roethlisberger’s leadership was called on the carpet — or, in the case of Antonio Brown’s sit-down interview with ESPN, a lavish marble floor — and his role in the franchise questioned by outsiders, he hasn’t had opportunities to quell those doubts. But depending on whom you ask, the jury’s not out. Not when it comes to what really matters most when you assess what the Steelers lost this season in Roethlisberger.
“I would say it’s more in here. It’s more off the field,” said McDonald, whose locker is next to Roethlisberger’s. “On the field, obviously, we miss him. But it’s easier, I think, to cope with that. … You end up missing him and his personality and his presence in the locker room. Just in between meetings, or […]
Today, Ben announced a grant award from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Glendale Police Department, in honor of the Steelers’ upcoming game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we are able to help these K-9 units. The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible. We’re just thrilled to do our small part.” — Ben.
During the 2019 NFL season, Ben’s foundation is distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. The Foundation will also distribute several grants to the Pittsburgh area. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.
This marks the 13th season that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units. Ben’s mission is 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.
His 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. They have distributed in excess of $2.1 million since 2007, $1.7 million of which has specifically benefited K-9 programs domestically.
“The Glendale Police Department is both honored and grateful for the grant award from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. With the premature retirement of a K-9 last year due to a line-of-duty injury, and the regular retirement of two K-9s this year, this much needed funding will help us to offset the costs to our K-9 Unit and will help the Police Department to continue to ensure the safety of our community. We would also like to recognize and thank the Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni of Glendale for their partnership and without whose help this endeavor would not be possible.” — Glendale Police Chief Chris Briggs.
Sarris Candies has teamed up with Ben once again and will donate 25 percent of […]
They worked together like an assembly line, packing up soup for people in need. Then, they packed up the boxes to take to the food bank. The organization will distribute the food.
This is Lisa Miller’s third year taking part in the event.
“It’s so uplifting. It’s so wonderful. Great experience. For family, it’s very touching and there’s so many encouraging people,” said Miller.
She came with her family from Michigan, just to help the needy. For others, it was their first time volunteering, like 11-year-old Gia Liberatore.
“To help out for the poor. We are big believers of God. We are very blessed that we can do this and the poor can have this,” said Liberatore.
Four thousand volunteers of all ages took part in Friday’s event, packing one million meals that will go to people in need in the greater Pittsburgh area.
Some of those volunteers included Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He brought his kids along to teach them that giving back is what it’s all about.
“We want to bring the kids to let them know that there’s a bigger picture of what we’re doing. Obviously, there’s people from our church here. That’s kind of how we got involved with it. So we wanted to bring them out here to let them know there’s more that we can do, especially on the day after Thanksgiving,” said Roethlisberger.
“It’s become an annual tradition for me to create a Steelers tree every holiday season. Each year, I include player ornaments that I create from my own photography. This year’s tree features Big Ben, Cam Heyward, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Coach Tomlin, Tyler Matakevich, Mason Rudolph and more.” — Scott Juba.
Steelers 2019 Schedule