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A Truly "Offensive" Line

By Leisure Suit Lou
October 03, 2011
 
Earlier in the season Bears’ QB Jay Cutler said it.
 
Just last week, Eagles QB and media ‘darling’ Michael Vick pretty much said it as well.
 
In public press conferences after tough losses, they both complained basically about the same thing. They were getting hit too often, too late, and not getting any flags for roughing the passer. Cutler’s main complaint was that his line was not up to par, and he “won’t survive the season” taking hits like he has. Vick is mainly complaining that on every pass attempt, he is getting hit. Some are his line’s fault, some are late hits that should draw a flag.
 
What does our guy say after taking a beating for the fourth week in a row?
 
“I want to step up and make plays, and I didn’t do that today.” Basically shouldering the blame for the Steelers’ loss to the Texans on Sunday, 17-10.
 
That’s right, he absorbed a beating worthy of a heavyweight MMA fight, and then took the blame for the loss saying he should have made more plays.
 
Those other QBs do have a point. They are getting hit a lot. And yes, maybe some of them are late hits.
 
But truth is nobody is getting hit harder and more often than Big Ben. In Houston, Ben was running for his life just about every time he dropped back to pass. Even in the shotgun formation, defenders were getting to him at about the same time the ball did.
 
Once again, Ben is playing behind a patchwork offensive line, that was adequate at best to start with, and is now well below average thanks to injuries. I know, every season it seems like the fans are complaining about the lack of skill on the offensive line, it’s like beating a dead horse. (but I bet a dead horse would at least slow down a blitzing LB…)
 
But at what point do you say enough is enough?
 
I wouldn’t blame Ben one bit if he went to Coach Tomlin and the Front Office and said they need to do something about the offensive line. Go sign a free agent, make a trade, do ANYTHING that’ll help Ben survive the season.
 
Of course, Ben won’t do that. He’s a team player, and he’ll continue to stand behind the guys who are supposed to protect him. He’ll stand behind his head coach and front office in their beliefs that the guys they have on the roster will be good enough to do the job.
 
Well, if Ben won’t say it, then somebody has too.
 
Coach Tomlin, Mr. Rooney…PLEASE get some offensive line help so our QB will still be around in January!
 
Ben was sacked 5 more times by the Texans, and hit on what seemed like every play. On a couple plays the Texans rushed three and dropped eight into coverage. All three rushes got to Ben at the same time. They got to him so fast that there’s no way to call it a coverage sack. Afterwards, he left the stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. He is on pace to get sacked something like 50 times and knocked down about 2000 times this season. In fact I think Mario Williams just hit him again on his way to the trainer’s table…
 
Coach Tomlin, I know the ‘standard is the standard’, but how does it feel to see your franchise QB leaving a beat down like that? I know that is NOT the Steeler standard you talk about. It’s awesome how you have faith in the players on your roster, and how you believe that they are capable of great things, but at what point do you go outside the facility to find help? Personally, I know a couple SCM Famiglia members that are about one spaghetti dinner shy of being big enough to start for you guys…
 
If you know me, then you know that Leisure Suit Lou tries to call it like he sees it, but also never tries to call out players for bad performances. I know everybody has a bad day every once in awhile. They’re my team. I love them through wins and losses. But…
 
This is more than just one bad performance. It’s more than one guy missing a block every once in awhile. It’s simply that the line they cannot block anybody. When they collectively have four bad games in a row, then that puts the Franchise QB in danger. As such, Ben is now questionable for next week’s game against the Titans, and odds are good he wouldn’t finish the game even if he did start.
 
Do your QB a favor and try and find some help. The guys we have could be decent backups for a play or two, but put them together for an entire game and Ben’s in trouble.
 
Ben’s a stand up teammate for not throwing his O-line under the bus.
 
Now please go get him some protection so that he can hopefully stand up during a game.
 

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