Week 6: Steelers 19, Chiefs 13

October 15th, 2017 by

“I am proud of this team. We had some guys filling in, doing an awesome job. This is not an easy place to play, and a great team we played against. I am just proud of everybody the way we pulled through against this team.” — Ben.



From Teresa Varley at Steelers.com this evening:

101517_1It came down to the last minute, but the Steelers pulled out a key AFC win, taking down the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, 19-13. The Steelers improved their record to 4-2 on the season, and maintain the lead in the AFC North.

After the Steelers lost to the Jaguars last week, Coach Mike Tomlin said, “I’m interested in how we respond.”

Well, his players responded.

Le’Veon Bell carried the ball 32 times for 179 yards and a touchdown, while Antonio Brown had eight receptions for 155 yards and a circus catch for a touchdown.

The defense swarmed all day, never allowing the Chiefs to get in sync and containing one of the league’s most potent offenses.

The Steelers got the ball to start the game, and moved it early in the drive. Ben Roethlisberger connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for five yards, and Antonio Brown for 12 yards. Le’Veon Bell carried the ball three times for 10 yards, but after that struggled. Bell was hit for a four-yard loss, but then James Conner added an 11-yard run. On third-and-three from the Chiefs 34-yard line Dee Ford broke free from his block and sacked Roethlisberger for a seven-yard loss, knocking them out of field goal range and forcing a punt.

Things got interesting after the punt. After a holding call the Chiefs were pinned back at their own nine-yard line. Center Zach Fulton snapped the ball over Alex Smith’s head and out of the end zone, giving the Steelers a safety and a 2-0 lead.

The Steelers had a huge opportunity in front of them with the ensuing free kick, but from the looks of things Brown lost sight of the ball in the sun, and Jehu Chesson recovered the ball at the Steelers’ 32-yard line.

With great field position handed to them, the Chiefs now looked to be the team with the huge opportunity. But the defense wouldn’t have it. Kareem Hunt could manage only a three-yard gain, and then T.J. Watt pushed him out of bounds after a one-yard reception. The Chiefs had to settle for a 46-yard field goal by Harrison Butker, taking a 3-2 lead.

With the ball back, the offense went to work. Bell pounded it out on the ground, and the Chiefs couldn’t stop him. Bell carried the ball eight times for 65 yards on a drive that would finish with him taking it for a three-yard touchdown run, to give the Steelers a 9-3 lead.

The defense continued to be dominant on the ensuing drive, aided by Mike Hiltonknocking Tyreek Hill for a nine-yard loss, and eventually forcing another punt.

The Chiefs got their biggest play of the half when Marcus Peters intercepted Roethlisberger at the 42-yard line, and returned it 10 yards to the Steelers 48-yard line. The defense stepped up again, forcing a three-and-out and a punt.

Dustin Colquitt pinned the Steelers at their own one-yard line on the punt, but Roethlisberger quickly got them out of trouble when he hit Vance McDonald for a 26-yard gain. Roethlisberger added completions to Smith-Schuster for 15 yards and Brown for 26 yards. Bell added a 17-yard run to the Chiefs’ two-yard line, but they couldn’t punch it in the end zone. Boswell hit a 24-yard field goal, giving the Steelers a 12-3 lead they would take into the half. The Steelers dominated the stat sheet for the half, with 232 yards of total offense, while the Chiefs managed only six yards.

“The old cowboy’s got a little left in him.” — Ben, referring to himself.


The defense picked up where they left off in the first half, forcing a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half as they continued to stymie the Chiefs offense. On the Chiefs next possession, the defense was equally menacing, allowing just one first down on the four-play drive that ended in another punt without going anywhere.

Roethlisberger got the offense clicking again with a 30-yard pass to a wide-open Brown, Smith-Schuster pulled in a 12-yard reception, but Bell’s 26-yard run was negated by a holding call on B.J. Finney, starting for the injured Ramon Foster. Brown got some of the yardage back on a 17-yard reception, when he held on despite being upended, but an incompletion to Bell forced a punt.

Taking over at their own 10-yard line, the Chiefs offense got moving for the first time all day. Smith hit Hill for 10 yards, then Hunt for 19 yards. Smith then hit Hunt, who broke free for a 37-yard gain. A roughing the passer penalty on Mike Mitchell was tacked on, giving the Chiefs a first down at the 12-yard line. But when you challenge this defense, they answer. Hunt was stuffed on third down, and the Chiefs chose to go for it on fourth-and-two. Smith’s pass to Demetrius Harris was incomplete in the end zone when Sean Davis wrestled the ball out of his hands.

While they were unable to sustain a scoring drive on their next possession, the Steelers moved the ball deep out of their own territory and flipped the field, with the Chiefs taking over at their 18-yard line. This time, though, they would take it all the way. Smith engineered an eight-play, 82-yard drive, that finished with a 57-yard touchdown pass to De’Anthony Thomas, to cut the lead to 12-10.

101517When the going got tough, the Steelers’ offense got going. And it was one play that said it all. On third-and-two from the 49-yard line, Roethlisberger aired it out, and truth be told it looked like it was either going to fall incomplete or be intercepted. But somehow Brown, between two defenders, never lost focus and pulled in the ball that tipped off a defenders helmet and then took off for a 51-yard touchdown, extending the Steelers lead to 19-10.

The Chiefs battled back, with Butker’s 33-yard field goal closing the gap to 19-13.

The Chiefs got the ball one more time, and with just 1:42 to play and one timeout, and Hill on the sidelines after taking a hit on the punt return, it didn’t look promising. And it wasn’t. The defense stepped up, with James Harrison sacking Smith for an eight-yard loss on third down, and then held on fourth-and-18, securing the win.


You can read more and watch video of Ben’s post-game interview here.


Ben Roethlisberger Foundation: Two new grants

October 12th, 2017 by

Today, Ben announced the fifth and sixth grant awards of the 2017 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.

101217The Foundation will be distributing grants to the Bonner Springs Police Department and the Independence Police Department, just outside of Kansas City where the Steelers will play the Chiefs on October 15th.

The Independence Police Department will use the grant funds to replace a K-9 close to retirement, while the Bonner Springs Police Department will use the funds to purchase training equipment to better their K-9’s skills in both narcotics detection and patrol.

Fans:

You can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com), using a special purchase code (77-7777). Sarris will donate 25 percent of the purchase price to the foundation.


Click here for more info on Ben’s foundation or you can contact Jessica Duffaut at The Giving Back Fund.


Wednesday’s Q&A with the media

October 11th, 2017 by

Recap from Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

101117Ben Roethlisberger put last week’s disappointing loss to Jacksonville behind him the minute the team wrapped their meetings and finished watching film of the game on Monday afternoon.

It’s nothing unusual. It’s the same thing he does after a big win as well, because he knows on the horizon is another challenge.

And this week it comes from the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, who sit atop the AFC at 5-0.

“They do a lot of unusual things on offense and their defense gets after the quarterback, ball hawking in the secondary,” said Roethlisberger. “We are going into an awesome environment this week with the last undefeated team, a football team that is playing really well, that leads the AFC. What an awesome challenge for us.”

The Chiefs have four interceptions on the season, but that number doesn’t speak to the aggressive approach the secondary plays with.

“They are really good,” said Roethlisberger. “(Marcus) Peters may be one of the best in the business. Always seems to around the ball, making plays. Even when it’s man coverage he leaves his man to intercept balls. I have a lot of film study to do to get ready for this team.

“You play a great team like this, a great team on the road, with the environment they always have there at Arrowhead. I am just excited for it. You do this long enough you get excited for these matchups.”

Roethlisberger has stressed the importance of the offense playing with more detail, and playing at Arrowhead Stadium, one of the toughest places to play in the NFL, is definitely going to require everyone to be on point, particularly in the red zone where the Steelers were 0 for 3 last week.

“It’s a shorter field, things happen quicker,” said Roethlisberger. “You have to understand reads quicker. Sometimes defenses give you looks you are not prepared for, when I say not prepared for, not a look they gave somebody else that you saw on film study. That happened to us. You have to make in game adjustments as well. You have to have your preparation and practice field stuff ready to go.”

Wanting the ball: Earlier this week Le’Veon Bell said he would like to have seen the offense run the ball more against the Jaguars. Bell carried the ball 15 times for 47 yards.

“I don’t think we got enough attempts,” said Bell.

Roethlisberger said he knows it’s never easy to make all of his weapons happy with spreading the ball around, but you have to go with what the defense gives you.

“Everyone wants the ball,” said Roethlisberger. “That is what got people to this level, their desire, their abilities. As guys grow in their roles and understand the NFL and understand defenses and looks and reads, guys understand when it’s a good look and when it’s not.

“Last week they had eight or nine guys in the box. That is not a good week to run the ball. You can try to force it at times, but it’s not. The way the game is flowing dictates how a ball gets distributed. I am not worried about guys complaining about wanting the ball. We have a lot of guys who can make plays for us, we just need to make them.”


You can watch video of Ben’s interview here.


If you’re wondering why the website isn’t updated later this week….

I’m heading out of town to a place with questionable internet connectivity, so updating may be a bit of a problem! But I’ll be back on Wednesay! — Erin.


The Ben Roethlisberger Show

October 10th, 2017 by

“If you’re asking me is my heart into it, I’ll say 100%. I love this game, I love this sport, I love my teammates, the fans, I give it everything I have. Like I said, I’m going to put it behind me, just because I put it behind me doesn’t mean I don’t care about it.”



Just in case you missed Ben’s show this morning on Cook & Poni, here’s the recap, courtesy of 93.7 The Fan:

   Coming off his five interception performance in a 30-9 loss at home at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ben Roethlisberger joined The Cook and Poni Show for The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show and made it obvious that he’s not lacking any confidence in himself.

“You wake up Monday morning and you realize, ‘Man, I’m still one of the best in the world that do what I do,’ and I’m gonna have that confidence, I’m gonna have that when I go out there Wednesday to practice and Sunday when we go into Kansas City. I have that belief that I’m one of the best that’s ever done it, one of the best that’s ever played this position and you have to have that confidence.”

One thing Ben addressed about his play is that it’s not a mechanical issue and isn’t due to injury.

“I talked to my agent…he played quarterback in college and worked closely with a lot of people. I asked him ‘Have you seen anything, do you notice anything?’ He said, ‘No, I honestly think that you’re throwing the ball as well as you ever have.’ So I don’t think there’s anything there. Honestly, I think your talent, it doesn’t go away, it goes awry sometimes, but it doesn’t go away. We just got to come back out and be ready to play some great football.”

Ben though isn’t the only one that is struggling on the offensive side of the ball and he told us that “we’re all frustrated.”

“We’ve got to get into the end zone and we’ve got a lot of talent on this side of the ball and we’ve got to utilize that.”

While there are obvious issues on the field for this team, Ben was asked about reported issues off the field. A CBS Sports report said that there are issues between Ben and Antonio Brown because of how the National Anthem was handled before the game in Baltimore this year. Ben answered that question with a simple answer.

“No, none whatsoever.”


You can read more and listen to audio from today’s show here.


Week 5: Jaguars 30, Steelers 9

October 8th, 2017 by

“Doing this long enough, you understand not to panic. I’m not going to hit any buttons where it’s like, ‘Oh man, what do I do to change all this and that, go see people.’ Just come out on Wednesday and be ready to practice.”


Ben speaks to reporters after a very tough loss today. More from the Steelers here.


#GioTough

October 7th, 2017 by

Thanks to Make A Wish, the Steelers had a special visitor arrive for practice yesterday…who left as a friend!


Gio
Gio Piazza traveled all the way from Amherst, VA to meet the team!



Gio_2
Posing with his favorite player!



Gio_1
And just a little excited to get his jersey autographed!!



Gio, it looks like you had a wonderful time! God bless you & stay strong!!


God bless Steeler Nation, hope you have a great weekend!



*Thank you to Teresa Varley for the photos!



The best of plans

October 6th, 2017 by

There is no grant announcement this week for the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, so fan Vicki Lebakken sent this story for us to share in it’s place…

From Erin Tracy at the Modesto Bee:

PershallIkeIke is a $9,137 investment for the Modesto Police Department.

But to the Pershalls, he is a member of the family, a reminder of a father and husband who was lost.

The Modesto City Council on Tuesday will consider, at the police chief’s suggestion, to sell Ike to Sgt. Mike Pershall’s family for $1.

Pershall died Aug. 22 when he was struck by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle off-duty in east Modesto. Pershall had been Ike’s handler for two years.

Modesto Police Chief Galen Carroll said his desire to essentially give Ike to Pershall’s family might not be popular among everyone – the dog is 3 years old and most K9’s work until they are 8 or sometimes as old as 10 – but he feels it is the right thing to do.

“It is not a good deal for the police department to lose the dog,” Carroll said. “But there is also the human factor of, you have a wife and two kids who just lost their dad, and that’s the family dog. What is the right thing to do?”

Modesto Police Canine Association president and K9 handler Daniel Starr said the association “absolutely, without a shadow of doubt, supports giving Ike to Pershall’s family.”

“We spend more time with our dogs than we do with our wives and kids … so there is a bond there that no one understands unless they are currently or have been a K9 handler,” Starr said. “But the dogs spend a significant amount of time with our wives and children as well, and there is a significant amount of comfort they bring (to our families) because they know the dogs protect us while we are at work.”

Starr said the association was created in 1999 to pay for the ongoing veterinary care, kenneling and ultimately death costs of retired canines. It’s been the practice in the department to sell those canines to the handler for $1.

“The work that is performed by the dogs and their handlers as well as the bond that is formed is incredible.”— Ben.


The sale absolves the city of any further financial responsibility for the dog, and that is where the association steps in.

Two weeks before his death, Pershall was promoted to the rank of sergeant. As a result, Ike was to be trained with a new handler. But that transition had not occurred at the time of Pershall’s death, and Ike has remained with the Pershall family.

Ike’s original name was Chente. Pershall renamed him as a play on Mike and Ike candy but also after another K9 officer’s dog. Ike is the first Modesto Police K9 to be born in Mexico, and he responds to commands in French, Carroll said.

Taking Ike now “would literally be going into a family who just lost their husband and dad and taking another member of the family,” Carroll said.

While Ike was paid for with taxpayer money, the most recent addition to the K9 team was paid for by the Modesto Police Canine Association, Carroll said. So, giving up Ike will be “kind of a wash.”

Funds from the canine association come from fundraisers and donations. Carroll said he plans to discuss with the association purchasing other dogs in the future.


You can read more here.


Blessings to the Pershall Family! And a BIG thank you to Vicki for sharing this story!


Wednesday’s Q&A with the media

October 4th, 2017 by

Recap from Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown have a chemistry that makes the Steelers’ quarterback think of some of the best duos ever to play the game.

When he thinks of their chemistry, he thinks of the likes of the 49ers’ Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, the Cowboys’ Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, and the Steelers’ Terry Bradshaw and John Stallworth and Lynn Swann.

“We have amazing chemistry,” said Roethlisberger. “I would like to think we may go down as one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos of all time. That would be an awesome honor because of the guys that I consider that are up there.”

But even the best relationships can cause some frustration, something that played out on Sunday against the Ravens.

On Wednesday, though, that was all in the rearview mirror for Roethlisberger.

“We are over it now,” said Roethlisberger. “We have moved on to Jacksonville. It’s Wednesday, it’s Jacksonville week. This is a really good defense. We don’t have time to think about anything else other than that right now.”

Yes, it is a good Jacksonville defense the Steelers will face on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Jaguars have the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense, allowing just 147 yards passing per game.

They also have 18 sacks, through just four games, and five interceptions. This is a defense not to be messed with.

“They have a million and a half sacks, forced fumbles,” said Roethlisberger. “Their secondary, they paid a lot of money to. They lock people down. Right now we aren’t sure what we are going to do. It’s that good of a defense. Luckily we aren’t playing today or tomorrow. We have time to get into the film room and figure things out. This will be a very good test for us.”

It will be a test with an offense that is starting to find their rhythm. The first quarter of the season is over, the time when a team feels things out. Now is the time an offense gels, and Roethlisberger expects to see more of that.

“It’s a feeling out, especially when you have Le’Veon (Bell) coming back, not being there early. Martavis (Bryant) not here all last year, and new guys, JuJu (Smith-Schuster), stuff like that,” said Roethlisberger. “September is a feeling out process. You use the boxing analogy you are kind of jabbing around, dancing around, feeling your opponent out, and feeling your team out. Now you have an understanding of where you are and where you want to get to. Now it’s time to start playing some really good football.”


You can read more & watch video of Ben’s interview here.


Happy Belated Birthday Mr. Lunn!

October 3rd, 2017 by


“Century Club: 100-year-old loves ice cream, trains and Big Ben”


From Kevin Kirkland at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today:

100George Lunn once shook the hand of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But if you gave him a choice, he’d rather have a bowl of ice cream.

Mr. Lunn, who turned 100 on Sept. 17, sometimes eats ice cream three times a day. He traces his love back to the 1940s, when he ran the Maple Dell restaurant in Moon with his wife, Gladys. Burgers were 5 cents, soft-serve ice cream cones were a dime and milkshakes were 15 cents. They also had an ice cream cart at the bottom of Stoops Ferry Hill, also in Moon.

Mr. Lunn was born in Allegheny County Hospital on Sept. 17, 1917, the youngest of Frank and Dorothy Lunn’s five children. He graduated in 1935 from Coraopolis High School, where he lettered in football all four years.

After graduation, he worked at the Standard Steel Spring Co., making car bumpers for 35 cents an hour. He got a raise to 50 cents an hour when he became a foreman.

In 1939 he married Gladys Ebert and they had two boys: George Jr. of El Cajon, Calif., and David of Greer, S.C., with whom he lives.

In 1942, Mr. Lunn joined his father working for the Pennsylvania & Lake Erie Railroad. He enlisted in the Army but was released from his obligation because he was needed at the railroad. President Roosevelt visited a railroad station during the war and shook his hand. He retired in 1972 after 30 years of service.

A member of Simpsonville United Methodist Church, Mr. Lunn likes to watch birds and loves trains, cats, the Pirates and the Steelers, especially Ben Roethlisberger. He works out at the YMCA twice a week and was pleased to see his picture and birthday on a Smucker’s jelly jar.


Mr. Lunn was a member of the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department from the late 1930s to the mid-’50s.

In 1969, his wife passed away after 30 years of marriage. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and moved to South Carolina, where he met and married his second wife, Ruth, in 1975. He was recently honored as the longest survivor of prostate cancer in America at 48 years.

Mr. Lunn has five grandchildren and nine great-grandchilden, many of whom joined him for a party on his birthday. He danced the foxtrot to Benny Goodman music.


You can read more here.


The Ben Roethlisberger Show

October 3rd, 2017 by

“Anytime you beat Baltimore especially in Baltimore it’s a good feeling…I felt pretty good with the game I called and the decisions I made” — Ben.



Just in case you missed Ben’s show today on Cook & Poni, here’s the recap, courtesy of 93.7 The Fan:

100317Coming off the teams 26-9 victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger joined The Cook and Poni Show for The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show and talked about the offense’s overall performance, why he thinks they took a step forward and what he thought of Antonio Brown’s “temper tantrum” on the sideline after not being thrown the ball.

“He got upset because he was open, which I can understand, sometimes that happens…it’s not like I intentionally missed him, it’s not like I intentionally didn’t throw it to him. I was doing what my reads tell me to do, I don’t even want to say I made a mistake, because I was reading the side I was supposed to read. It’s just unfortunate that it happened, and it’s unfortunate that he acted and reacted that way.”

Ben even took us onto the sidelines and shared what he said to Brown right after the play.

“I told him on the sideline, ‘AB, just come talk to me, ask me what happened, tell me that you were open.’ You know, if that were Heath Miller, I’d probably ask Heath on the sideline, ‘Hey Heath, were you open?’ and he’d probably tell me ‘No,’ because he wouldn’t want you to feel bad, that’s just who he was…that goes a lot further than throwing a temper tantrum.”

It wasn’t just Ben that Brown was mad at as he also had a moment with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

“We all try to talk to him and it didn’t help. I think it’s bad in the sense that we have a lot of young guys that see that too. Juju [Smith-Schuster] sitting right next to him and looking at that, and what’s Juju thinking? Is he thinking that it’s ok to act that way? I don’t know.”

And it’s not just the young guys that Ben is worried about in this situation as he talked about the distraction it can be for everyone.

“I don’t know that he needs to react that way. He’s super human on the football field and when that happens, it almost brings him back to being a mere mortal if you will, because it gets in his head and it just messes with all of us a little bit.”

In the end, Ben said he’s “not trying to call AB out” but added that “this is causing a distraction that none of us really need.”

One player who did have a big day was Le’Veon Bell as he looked like his old self again and Ben told us how great it is to see their lead back again.

“It was fun watching him work,” Ben told us. “Those weren’t easy yards” he added as Bell rushed 35 times for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. To hear Ben say it though, there was even more out there. “He really got into the flow, we got a couple of screens to him, I missed him on another screen…I think it would have been another big play.”


You can listen to his full show here.


Photo: An M&T Bank Stadium employee takes a selfie with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the hallway before warmups — Photographer Peter Diana, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


MAGAZINE/BOOK ALERT!

WHAT: Nothing at this time
WHEN:
WHERE:

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The ProCamps Ben Roethlisberger Youth Fantasy Experience
WHEN: June 18, 2017
WHERE: Steelers Practice Facility, Pittsburgh, PA.
REGISTRATION: Sign up here.

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Celebrity Pro-Am
WHEN: July 11, 2017
WHERE: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort – Shepard’s Rock Course
PRICE PACKAGES: Nemocolin.com

 


2017 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

9/10 @ Browns Win: 21-18
9/17 Vikings Win: 26-9
9/24 @ Bears Loss: 23-17
10/1 Ravens Win: 26-9
10/8 Jaguars Loss: 30-9
10/15 @ Chiefs Win: 19-13
10/22 Bengals 4:25pm CBS
10/29 @ Lions 8:30pm NBC
11/5 BYE N/A
11/12 @ Colts 1pm CBS
11/16 Titans 8:25pm NBC/NFLN
11/26 Packers 8:30pm NBC
12/4 @ Bengals 8:30pm ESPN
12/10 Ravens 8:30pm NBC
12/17 Patriots 4:25pm CBS
12/25 @ Texans 4:30pm NBC/NFLN
12/31 Browns 1pm CBS