Despite bringing in new offensive linemen with early draft picks in recent years, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still plagued with one of the worst lines in football, leaving franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at risk on every snap.
But all that is about to change, head coach Mike Tomlin claimed today.
“At the end of the day, football players have to step up and take responsibility and ownership for their own play,” said Tomlin. “I have stressed accountability around here from Day 1 on the job. Ben has been expecting five other guys to protect him. How has that worked out? That’s why, starting this week, his new left tackle is his left arm.”
The Steelers have been trying out the new protection scheme in practice this week and have seen improvement.
“Granted, I would prefer to have actual offensive lineman blocking for me like other professional quarterbacks have, but me just trying to push away on-rushing defenders myself with my left arm while trying to unload the ball with my right is okay, too,” said the quarterback. “At least now I know I have to do it on every play and can be completely prepared for it. I will no longer be foolishly caught by surprise when my linemen just let the opposing defensive line run right past them when I snap the ball.”
With Roethlisberger’s left arm slotted in at starting left tackle, the Steelers are now weighing options for their other four linemen.
“What about Ben’s legs?” said offensive coordinator Todd Haley. “What if he just karate kicks people? I think that’s a pretty good idea. In fact, it’s the best idea I’ve had in some time. It would be totally badass.”
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