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Friday, November 15, 2013

Talking Steelers-Roethlisberger

The NFL Network is trying to generate ratings on the backs of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Twice in the past five days the network's "insiders" have released stories revolving around Ben Roethlisberger and have even added a dash of Mike Tomlin in there as well.

I don't doubt for a second that Ian Rapoport and Michael Silver have some sources. But I don't think either of them have strong sources within the Steelers organization.

There are certain national reporters who, when they say something about the Steelers, I pay close attention. Nothing against either man, but Rapoport and Silver are not among  them.

I don't doubt that both of them heard something - though I'm not sure it's "news" that Tomlin's coming back next year. No kidding. Has anybody in Pittsburgh not been saying that all season long?

Any reporter you see on TV has an agent. And many of those agents also represent both players and coaches. And that's how a lot of this kind of stuff gets started, through agents hoping to make themselves and a client more money.

After wandering through the wasteland of the '80s and '90s without a star quarterback, does anyone think that the Steelers, who finally found one in Roethlisberger, are in any hurry to get rid of him?

Last Sunday, when Rapoport's initial report that Roethlisberger was unhappy and would seek a trade and the Steelers would be open to exploring that option - and had, in fact, done so the previous summer - was denied by Roethlisberger's agent, then the Steelers and finally Roethlisberger  himself. In fact, Roethlisberger denied it several times.

For their part, the Steelers are standing by team president Art Rooney II's simple and succinct statement:

"Contrary to erroneous reports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not explored trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and have no plans to do so."

Rapoport immediately grasped at Rooney's use of the word "plans," as proof that something might happen.


This is not to say that Roethlisberger won't ever play for another team. Heck, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana finished their careers elsewhere.

But neither were traded by their respective teams without a solid plan already in place. In Manning's case, the Colts knew they were getting Andrew Luck. In the case of Montana, the 49ers had Steve Young waiting in the wings.

The Steelers have Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones. Nothing against either guy, but neither should be the heir apparent to a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

The Steelers aren't about to head into the wasteland of not having a franchise quarterback. They've been there and struggled through that.

And please save me the idea that they can tank the rest of this season and get one of the top quarterback prospects in this draft. Even when the Steelers found themselves fortunate enough to take Roethlisberger in the draft, they didn't plan on playing him as a rookie.

It's just not the way they work. They never want to be forced to play a rookie.

Roethlisberger is also sincere in his desire to finish his career with the Steelers. His wife and her family is from here. He's made Pittsburgh his home.

Is there perhaps some jockeying being done right now behind the scenes for offseason contract negotiations? Absolutely that could be the case.

But there's also this. The Steelers are losing this season and remain one of the NFL's most popular franchise.

The people at NFL Network know that  they can drive some ratings by talking about a popular franchise that is struggling.


Eric said...

UMMM Michael Silver broke the Mike Tomlin to be HC of Steelers while GENIUS Mike Prisuta said Russ Grimm

phil said...

you're refuting the source rather than the information. it's not insane to think a team like the cardinals called the steelers to ask and then it got blown completely out of proportion by the media. i definitely agree about the ratings and the need to fill a 24 hour news cycle with speculation passed off as news, but its a stretch to say someone just totally made it up.

you also keep saying the plan was to sit roethlisberger for the first year because they don't want to start a rookie qb or wade into having not having a franchise quarterback. funny...landry jones is sitting his first year......

Anonymous said...

You're a shill. Admit it.

Anonymous said...

Dale. I am truly sorry you have to put up with such nonsense. Keep to the good work

John Kang said...

I assumed the NFL Network was wrong after Ben and the organization denied it; then I saw Gary Dulc's cha transcript, and apparently, he knows the sources which Rapaport spoke of.

Dale Lolley said...

Anybody can call about a player. Doesn't mean you're actively shopping him. The Steelers could call the Patriots tomorrow about Brady. Doesn't mean the Pats are considering trading him.

Gerry heard, like others, that the Cardinals called. Again, it doesn't mean the Steelers were shopping Roethlisberger or even considered the Arizona offer. Period.

As for being a shill, OK. I admit it you got me anonymous internet tough guy.

adamg said...

BR is going to 33 or 34 yrs old at the end of his current contract. He's got a lot of hard miles on him and is showing noticeable signs of decline. The Rooneys are, at heart, calculating businessmen. They are not going to pay a qb on the downside of his career 10-15% of the salary cap. Therefore, the possible scenarios are BR is traded, released, allowed to become a free agent or re-signed at the Steelers' price.

Which is most likely? Any NFL OC can design an offense around the skills of a particular qb on any given Sunday, so you don't need a "franchise" qb to win. Remember the Steelers got beat by Pryor, Tebow, Gradkowski and nearly by Palko. Conversely they went 3-1 during BR's suspension and beat Balt at Balt last year with 38 yr old Charlie Batch. The notion that they can't win without BR is absurd.

Anonymous said...

You can win games with Pryor, Tebow and Gradkowski but can you win Championships with them? You can win Championships with BR. Have done.

BTW I don't know what a "shill" is. Does it have anything to do with Michael Shillver?

John Kang said...

Wow, the Cardinals really ARE Pittsburgh West.

Anonymous said...

Whoever the source is (if there is one at all) would have to know all sides of this. Whether the Steelers fielded a trade offer, and might consider it next year. And also close enough to Roethlisberger for him to confide in.

So working from the 'single gunman' theory, what we know and what has been reported:

*Steelers fielded trade offer(s) last year, and would be receptive this offseason.

*Roethlisberger unhappy/frustrated with coaches/offense, and likely to ask for trade this offseason.

*Dulac getting behind story.

*Dulac's one an only source and BFF was summarily 'retired' by Rooney and is now HC for Arizona.

*Arians is known blowhard with loose lips.

Conclusion: Arians is the one and only source of all this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

What doesn't quite fit in the above theory however is that Rapoport cited a 'team source' and 'Steeler source'. 'Team source' is generic enough to mean anything. But not really so for 'Steeler source'. I'm curious, maybe Dale can answer this, do reporters stretch a reference like that in order to protect their source's identity?

phil said...

its landry jones. hes breeding discontent in anticipation of the landry jones era

Dale Lolley said...

Sure, they do. That's why we don't use unnamed sources in newspaper stories. Too easy to make stuff up or have your source be the janitor.

They can work Roethlisberger's cap number to their favor with some creative work their.

The bottom line is this, they don't have a viable option to replace him, so they're not going to trade him.

Answering a telephone is not fielding offers.

Dale Lolley said...

Oh, and Dulac's "confirmation" or getting behind the story or whatever you want to call it was very wishy-washy.

Here is Gerry's "confirmation" or whatever you want to call it:

"I know portions of what he said to be the same as several things I was told. He just chose to treat them/react to them differently."

Doesn't say what or which parts. That's not any kind of confirmation. And it's some of the same things many people around the team heard. Yes, the Cardinals called. Big deal. Anybody can call about a player. Doesn't mean the team has put a "For Sale" sign up.

adamg said...

Anon7:22 Balt won a SB with Trent Dilfer. SF just won one with Kapernack.

BR was less than pedestrian 9 of 21 in SB XL, tossed a pick 6 and ARE threw the game-clinching TD. He was awful in 2010, too,
but, of course, sandwiched in between was the once in a lifetime game-winning drive vs AZ.

Frank Beans said...

Rapaport is a hack

Kage Rush said...

I never have been a fan of Ben, but I do respect his accomplishments. He has been a consistent quarterback for the Steelers and carried them at times. is my blog if you want to leave a comment.