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The Roethlisberger Factor

We talked about the Pittsburgh pass rush earlier today, and I think that sacks - or lack thereof -will big a major factor Monday night. The Redskins have just 10 sacks, and no one with more than two sacks through a half season. The ends aren't threatening the passer for the most part - though they have batted a few balls - and some lesser quarterbacks have had far too much time. The lack of sacks goes hand in hand with the lack of turnovers, and that impacts field position, defensive scoring, etc.

Giving Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger an abundance of time could cost the Redskins (if he isn't distracted). And when the Redskins do blitz, they had better get to Roethlisberger and knock him down. This dude is like a fortress, big, strong, hard to tackle. He can break out of arm tackles and when you leave your feet and go for the kill, he's agile enough to step aside, and then really hurt you downfield.

"A lot of their big plays come from Ben just keeping a play alive long enough," Redskins Coach Jim Zorn said.

He's better after contact than anyone I've seen, and his ability to buy time for his receivers to break free is, to me, the major component of this Pittsburgh offense. The Steelers aren't exactly driving all over people and scoring at will on teams, but they do make a commitment to run the ball and Big Ben lets them play some street football out there when the play breaks down. He's got a quarterback rating of like 90-something in his career after being hit, and proper tackling technique is a must in the backfield this week.

"He gets hit a lot, but it seems like he can take the punishment," Zorn said. "He has no fear. That's the thing you like about the guy."

Pittsburgh's offensive line has been downright horrible at times this season and Roethlisberger is getting pounded many weeks, but he's built to withstand punishment. When things go awry, Hines Ward is excellent at improvising and getting into positions in which the QB can get him the ball, and Nate Washington has turned into a big-play guy.

Getting an interior push from defensive tackles Kedric Golston and Cornelius Griffin will be vital; if they can collapse the pocket against a sagging offensive line and prevent Big Ben from stepping up into his throws after he has to move off his original spot, then perhaps the Redskins can restore something of a big-play element to their defense.

On the season, Roethlisberger has a lackluster 85.7 passer rating, with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has been sacked 23 times and the Steelers rank just 24th in the NFL in passing, and 25th in total offense. But, again, you have to respect their willingness to try to pound the ball on the ground, and they win with the run game, defense, and generally sound play from the QB.

I'll pass along anything huge from open locker room and post a quick item from Greg Blache's presser before I chat at 1.

By Jason La Canfora  |  October 30, 2008; 12:18 PM ET
 
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Comments

Tonight is the night the Bobcats begin their quest for mediocrity! That's right folks, the Bobcats are not looking to a championship or even a playoff birth, despite what they claim.

The Bobcats are awful and it would be an accomplishment for them to be mediocre at the end of the year. They drafted the little loser PG DJ Augustine instead of the baller Derrick Rose. They drafted a dorky French Alexis Ajinca who averaged under FIVE MINUTES playing time in some French league PER GAME last year, and averaged like 4 points per game and 2 or 3 rebounds per game. That is in some FRENCH LEAGUE where they probably had NO players with NBA talent. What a great pick! Those are our two first round players this year baby!

Woot woot!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 30, 2008 12:31 PM

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 30, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

F the Bobcats on general principle.

I'll throw in an extra F for the Bulldogs as well. That's a freebie, baby. Don't cost nothin'

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 30, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

1st

Posted by: CP4MVP1 | October 30, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I want to get Siked/Sited for the MNF Steelers pre-election brawl but I am just so Jacked Up for Bobcats B-Ball season that I have so little room for redskins Sitement...

Posted by: chrislarry | October 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins have just 10 sacks, and no one with more than two sacks through a half season. The ends aren't threatening the passer for the most part - though they have batted a few balls - and some lesser quarterbacks have had far too much time. The lack of sacks goes hand in hand with the lack of turnovers, and that impacts field position, defensive scoring, etc.

Once again I could give a rat ass about sacks. We are # 6 and I am sure they are team that are lower than us that have but don't have a winning record. As long as they keep winning who the F cares other than you. 6-2

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

pressure, pressure and more pressure on Big Ben to me is the key defensively. This guy's whole career was built around buying time and making big plays. He is not a timing or rhythm qb imo.

Posted by: WVskinzfan | October 30, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, I agree with the previous poster, let's stop the personal attacks on Jason. Questioning his ethics or integrity is one thing, but calling him chubby crosses the line.

Posted by: mack1 | October 30, 2008 10:33 AM

Well, he is a fat little f#$%er isnt he? We're just reporting the facts!

Posted by: TonyButterFingersHomo1 | October 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

F the Bobcats on general principle.

I'll throw in an extra F for the Bulldogs as well. That's a freebie, baby. Don't cost nothin'

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if anybody has noted this yet, but here goes. I thought footbHalloween NEW!In MocksvilleMoviesNewsShoppingSports MLB NFL NHL NBA College Football College Basketball PGA LPGA Auto Racing TravelTVVideo Rent or Buy Video Video Channel My Services
Learning PackUnlimited MusicVariety PackEmail EMBARQ Online Security MyEMBARQ Toolbar Personal WebspacePhotosInternet Support My Account
Customize Homepage EMBARQ Bill Add/Remove Services Billing Help Special Offers View/Pay Bill Online Settings Add / Delete Mailbox Downloads Email Settings Online Transactions Parental Controls Welcome JAMES AND AMY FORSBERG | Log Out October 30, 2008 GENERAL FOOTBALL NEWS


Obama, McCain to be interviewed for 'MNF'
Thursday, October 30, 2008 11:13 AM EDT
The Associated Press

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Are Barack Obama and John McCain ready for some football?

ESPN says the presidential candidates are planning to participate in one-on-one interviews via satellite that would air during "Monday Night Football," the day before the election.

ESPN's Chris Berman will do the segments earlier Monday, if the candidates' schedules permit, and they'll air at about 10:15 p.m. EDT.

Monday's game is the Washington Redskins hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers
all was supposed to be our escape.

Posted by: NCICURN | October 30, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins have just 10 sacks, and no one with more than two sacks through a half season. The ends aren't threatening the passer for the most part - though they have batted a few balls - and some lesser quarterbacks have had far too much time. The lack of sacks goes hand in hand with the lack of turnovers, and that impacts field position, defensive scoring, etc.

Once again I could give a rat ass about sacks. We are # 6 and I am sure they are team that are lower than us that have but don't have a winning record. As long as they keep winning who the F cares other than you. 6-2

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the largest outdoor cocktail party in the world - boy...

Hey, Maybe the Bobcats could pick up Tryon?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I want to get Siked/Sited for the MNF Steelers pre-election brawl but I am just so Jacked Up for Bobcats B-Ball season that I have so little room for redskins Sitement...

Posted by: chrislarry | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

pressure, pressure and more pressure on Big Ben to me is the key defensively. This guy's whole career was built around buying time and making big plays. He is not a timing or rhythm qb imo.

Posted by: WVskinzfan | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

the truth is, nobody gives a damn about the bobcats or the dawgs.

Posted by: puttinforbird | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anybody else posted this yet or not. I thought football was supposed to be our escape.


BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Are Barack Obama and John McCain ready for some football?

ESPN says the presidential candidates are planning to participate in one-on-one interviews via satellite that would air during "Monday Night Football," the day before the election.

ESPN's Chris Berman will do the segments earlier Monday, if the candidates' schedules permit, and they'll air at about 10:15 p.m. EDT.

Monday's game is the Washington Redskins hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers

Posted by: NCICURN | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Also, I agree with the previous poster, let's stop the personal attacks on Jason. Questioning his ethics or integrity is one thing, but calling him chubby crosses the line.

Posted by: mack1 | October 30, 2008 10:33 AM

Well, he is a fat little f#$%er isnt he? We're just reporting the facts!

Posted by: TonyButterFingersHomo1 | October 30, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

F jla, so negative, he's a ravens fan and needs to be fired.

Sorry, thought that was the mandatory response to any post on here, oh I forgot the tubby dork line that one guy always says.

I think this is the game we get some sacks finally, the Steelers oline is in shambles and Big Ben has been known to throw some picks before, Horton being healthy really helps, I hope we blitz a lot, their offense doesn't scare me at all.
Skins 21 Steelers 10

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 30, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

F jla, so negative, ravens's fan, has it in for Vinny and Danny, and he's a tubby dork that needs to be fired...

There ya go z

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 30, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Steelers give up a lot of sacks and the Redskins defense hasn't had many. Which one will give?

Big Ben tends to hold on to the ball too long, I think this game will pad our defensive statistics a little in that category.

Posted by: dfbovey | October 30, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

As a matter of fact - F jla, let's feed him to boa constrictors and televise it at half time of the MNF game...while his family watches

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 30, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

We heard about our lack of a pass rush agains't Dallas, Philly, Saints, and the Cards. JLC talked about how great their O was and how much trouble we would be in if no pass rush. I guess he forgot the games are played on the field and we won all of them

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | October 30, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

+++The ends aren't threatening the passer for the most part - though they have batted a few balls - and some lesser quarterbacks have had far too much time.

By Jason La Canfora | October 30, 2008; 12:18 PM ET +++

I would ,respectfully, disagree on a few points...

** I think we have batted down a LOT of balls this year.

** Lesser QB's?? We have faced LBM, Brees, Warner ( at the time top rated passer), Romo, McNabb, Bulger. Granted, Anderson and Orlavsky are not top notch...but how many more top rated passers do we have to face.

Posted by: cej75024 | October 30, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I expect plenty of pressure on Ben, a few sacks maybe, mostly coverage sacks, the trick to will be to just pressure him into bad throws and actually catch it when it hits the Skins' hands.

I just finished watching the Steelers/Giants game again, and I think the Skins can run on this defense. They may not have success early, but they will wear out, and we can gash 'em late.

They stack the line of scrimmage on almost every down, so JC will have opportunities to beat 'em in coverage too.

Horton could have a big game, and Landry getting a pic or three is a real possibility too.

Posted by: craig2 | October 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I know this doesn't matter one tiny bit, but La Canfora isn't fat. Sure, that head shot doesn't do him any favors, but the dude isn't fat. I'd wager he's in just as good shape as, or better shape than, most of us up here. (Not you, jm220.)

And that's beside the bigger point, which is that a person's weight has no relation at all to his or her ability to report on sports.

Not that any of this matters to those who want to call him a tubby dork or fat schlub or whatevs, just want to get it out there.

Just whistlin' in the wind, is all... as you were...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 30, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Big Ben is very good even after a defender gets a hand on him. But you know else is? Our own Jason Campbell.

That said, the Steelers weakest link is also our weakest link. Poor pass protection vs poor pass rush. Big Ben with time to throw is not going to be good.

The one upside, the Skins DL doesn't get fooled and the QBs don't get a lot of freelance stuff. Haven't seen many opposing QBs buy time vs our pass rush.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 30, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Yall are so lame..So what guy past his 30's isnt carrying some excess aroung the waist...I guess everyone on here is 6 ft and a buck eighty

Posted by: Tyler84101 | October 30, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Feeling it today Nate? Are you really defending JLA or just trying to bring a little respect to RI?

Posted by: craig2 | October 30, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I still say we should feed him to the snakes

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 30, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Rogers: Pick 6. I had a dream.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | October 30, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

DC United won the U.S. Open Cup this season

Posted by: Realness1 | October 30, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Feeling it today Nate? Are you really defending JLA or just trying to bring a little respect to RI?

Posted by: craig2 | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Big Ben is very good even after a defender gets a hand on him. But you know else is? Our own Jason Campbell.

That said, the Steelers weakest link is also our weakest link. Poor pass protection vs poor pass rush. Big Ben with time to throw is not going to be good.

The one upside, the Skins DL doesn't get fooled and the QBs don't get a lot of freelance stuff. Haven't seen many opposing QBs buy time vs our pass rush.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Cut it out Nate. You are obviously trying to run all of the non regs off the blog again;)

Posted by: dlhaze1 | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Nate, I was being very sarcastic, I think Jason does a great job, is basically fair with probably a little lean towards the critical, which goes the same for me, this franchise needs to earn the benefit of the doubt first before I stop being skeptical of basically everything they do. I get so tired of people coming on here and bashing JLa, he provides better more timely information than any other media outlet reporting on the skins, even the skins themselves, and yet nobody appreciates it and just continuously bashes him, if you want to talk track records maybe you should turn all your ire towards the owner and his boy toy Vinny first, then way down the line the beat writer who has the nerve to do his job and be critical when its necessary.

Posted by: zjfr2 | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

DC United won the U.S. Open Cup this season

Posted by: Realness1 | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I still say we should feed him to the snakes

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Rogers: Pick 6. I had a dream.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | October 30, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Feeling it today Nate? Are you really defending JLA or just trying to bring a little respect to RI?

Posted by: craig2 | October 30, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Big Ben is very good even after a defender gets a hand on him. But you know else is? Our own Jason Campbell.

That said, the Steelers weakest link is also our weakest link. Poor pass protection vs poor pass rush. Big Ben with time to throw is not going to be good.

The one upside, the Skins DL doesn't get fooled and the QBs don't get a lot of freelance stuff. Haven't seen many opposing QBs buy time vs our pass rush.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 30, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

"On the season, Roethlisberger has a lackluster 85.7 passer rating, with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has been sacked 23 times and the Steelers rank just 24th in the NFL in passing, and 25th in total offense. But, again, you have to respect their willingness to try to pound the ball on the ground, and they win with the run game, defense, and generally sound play from the QB.

"

Way to give them the benefit of the doubt (eye roll).........

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 30, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Cindy Boren | October 30, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Nate....these are the same people that think Obama can't be a good prez because he is Black or Palin because she is a woman.

Merits of a post/blog etc should be based on it's quality. I agree, the earlier post of Campbell's imitation didn't translate to print...however...it should not have anything to do with personal issues or stature, etc.

(Side issue...We all complain when there are only 1 or 2 posts a day...then when there are numerous, we b***h when they all aren't breaking news)

Posted by: cej75024 | October 30, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"...you have to respect their willingness to try to pound the ball on the ground, and they win with the run game, defense, and generally sound play from the QB."

Sounds like another team I know...

Posted by: kjhealey | October 30, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Who cares whether JLC is fat, bald, or whatever. As long as he does a good job of reporting on the status of the Skins, that's his job. Too bad if he's a little too critical of Vinny or Danny. The only reason people aren't ripping them on this site for the draft which has yielded nothing except Chris Horton (who was recommended by a UCLA assistant who used to be an assistant here - not a Vinny find) is they are 6-2.

The reason this team is doing well is Zorn has maximized the use of the talent this team had under Gibbs. The defense is not doing any better than it did under Williams. TO's have dried up since Sean Taylor passed away and our pass rush has been a weakness for years. Our LB's and DB's are good in coverage and tacking after the catch which results in a lot of 3 and outs.

I thought this blog was to focus on the Skins, not on JLC's personal appearance. He had a number of positive comments as well as honest critiques. Nothing different than Blatche's own presser today when he talked about the lack of a pass rush or forcing of TO's.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 30, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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