Once Ben Runs This Outfit


September 25, 2010

In the movie Tombstone there is a memorable scene in which "Curly Bill" Brocius, the leader of the local gang of ruffians says ”I tell ya, boys, even I'm wary of what's gonna happen once Ringo runs this outfit."

In a couple of weeks Ben Roethlisberger comes off his suspension and will, no doubt, rejuvenate an offense with virtually no passing attack. With the added capability of having a franchise quarterback heading the offense and coupling that with an outright scary defense, well, you can bet there are d-coordinators across the league that are saying "I tell ya, boys, I'm wary of what's gonna happen once Ben runs that outfit."

Perhaps Byron Leftwich might have provided some sort of passing attack had he not went down with the knee injury, but even he wouldn’t provide the elite element that Ben gives the offense. The Steelers have been handicapped by being a one dimensional running team without a legit gunslinger behind center. We have to give Mendenhall some much deserved credit for persevering through a patchwork offensive line and for having to face defenses who knew that the majority of our offensive plays were going to be handoffs to the young running back.

All that ends with the return of Roethlisberger.

Sure, he might need a little while to shake off the rust, but from the first play in which he steps on to the field, defenses will have to plan against his arm. After being gone and because of the situation surrounding Ben’s suspension, we can all be assured that he will come back with a purpose and with a need to prove himself. Look for him to be driven by a desire to win back the fans that he disappointed. Look for him to prove that his focus will now be on the field and the biggest portion of that proof to be made at the expense of opposing teams.

The Steelers were all but written off at the beginning of the year, with most experts predicting us to garner 3rd place in the division behind the Ravens and Bengals. Hats off to NFL analyst Bucky Brooks and SI’s Peter King for not just regurgitating the same old party line. Like most Steelers fans they understood the very real possibility of a team being carried by the defense and could look past the Steelers first 4 weeks.

The combination of an opportunistic elite defense and a balanced athletic offense is going to be a thing of beauty.

Like “Curly Bill," I think we are getting excited to see "what’s gonna happen once Ben runs this outfit."

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