The Steelers got out with a win. The first half pretty much went as expected. Some excitement from Bell’s return, Antonio Brown catching balls left and right, Ben throwing dominating the pass game, and the defense continuing its steady improvement.
Then the big guy went down. It looked bad and the look on Ben’s face was kind of giving off the vibe that ACL was on the table. It only takes three letters to spell end of the season. Even with all today’s medical improvements in the area an ACL tear is still at least the end of the season. Luckily, it was “just” a strained MCL and a bone bruise.
The Steelers were still able to pull out a win though. Vick did not look very good but he had a couple moments. The Steelers were able to get enough 1st downs and with some really good defensively play topped off by a timely interception they pulled out a win.
Afterword, naturally, much of the conversation revolved around Ben and defense’s continued improvement.
So let’s hear it. Sound off.
Ben Roethlisberger’s Knee
We all saw it, we all heard about it. Big Ben went down with a hit, probably illegal, accidental though it may have been. He’ll be out for 4 to 6 weeks. He’s one of the toughest players in the NFL, certainly at his position. But ligaments are nothing to play around and his presence will be missed on the field.
CBS Sports reported Michael Vick saying of the man in front of him, “I was kind of stunned. You never want to see a guy like Ben go down.”
ESPN reported Vick saying, “Ben’s a guy we all look up to in this locker room, but I was brought here for a reason. I’ve just got to hold the spot until Ben comes back.”
Steelers.com quoted the great Antonio Brown, with whom Ben has a connection we’ve all seen on the field for years, as saying, “It’s always disheartening when your leader takes a fall and goes down. I’ve never seen him down so it was a little shocking, so I just asked him how he was doing. He said he was alright and he’ll be back.”
Michael Vick had a fairly mediocre performance in first time with the Steelers. He fumbled and nearly threw an interception. He did have a good completion percentage. Overall it was an understandable performance given his limited time with the Steelers. A win is a win but he’ll need to rise to the occasion and at least go .500 in the next 4 to 6 games.
ESPN’s Dave Luecking had some interesting quotes from and about Vick. Vick said, “I’ve got plenty of confidence; I feel like this is what I was born to do. I’m not a young guy anymore; I’m a seasoned veteran. It’s a short week, but we’re all professionals. Just got to get in [Monday] and grind. It’s still my normal routine.”
Mike Tomlin said of Vick’s performance and his future, “If [Vick] plays next week, he’s got a full week of preparation. My standard of expectation would be a little different under those circumstances. [Vick’s performance] was above the line today. He got us out of the stadium.”
The defense continues to improve. It’s by no means the best in the league, like I even had to say it, but it’s getting better. They even had an interception, at the perfect time no less. Young players are stepping up, old players are showing the way. The offense is expected to win games despite the defense, and it was nice to see the defense stepped up when the offense couldn’t get the job done.
F. Dale Lolley of Observer-Reporter had a few solid quotes about the defense.
Tomlin said, “I can’t say enough about the effort of all the men in that locker room. It takes a collective effort to win a grimy game like that. It feels good to play good defense.”
Will Allen, the man of the hour, saver of games, said, “We had to rally together. We understood we had to step up and make a play and that’s what we did.”
Mike Mitchell said of the continued improvement, “We’re a pretty good defense. We’re not where we want to be. But we held that team to six points. That’s a team that put up a lot of points on a Seattle defense that is very talented. To hold them to six at their place, it shows some grit.”
Lawrence Timmons, the other old vet on the team said of the effort, “We’ve got to step up as a defense and make more plays for our offense, and give them a short field so they don’t have to go all the way down. Give them half a field, or a third of the field, so we can win these games.”
Cam Heyward said, “We made strides. I’m not going to say major strides, but strides. We’ve still got a long way to go to get to where we want to be.”
CBS Sports quoted Tomlin summing it up nicely, “You grow infinitely when you pull those out. Obviously not the type of game we’re searching for, but a win nonetheless.”
See you Thursday gang.
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