Will Big Ben stay out of trouble … and a Steeler?

April 28, 2010

Steelers days numbered

Ken Murray

Baltimore Sun

It would make a wonderful feel-good story if Ben Roethlisberger were to divorce himself from his unsavory past and find deliverance in his football future. I hope that happens. But I stopped believing in the tooth fairy a long time ago.

It's obvious Roethlisberger needs help. If you read his statement about the NFL's suspension, you had to be disappointed. He was sorry for his teammates, the Steelers' fan base and himself. But nowhere in those three paragraphs was even a remote hint of remorse for the young woman/women.

He stated, correctly, that he committed no crime. And, yes, he may fear a civil suit. But Roethlisberger doesn't begin to take the first steps to recovery until he acknowledges what he has done. I give him a year and a half in Pittsburgh.


Trouble around corner

Bill Kline

The Morning Call

Ben Roethlisberger's six-game suspension is so steep, it must be based on more than his two high-profile but crime-free incidents. You have to believe NFL investigators uncovered much more about Roethlisberger's lurid lifestyle.

That's why his demons are going to be much more difficult to beat than a third-down blitz by the Ravens.

Sure, Roethlisberger is too scared now to venture out after dark. And the Steelers will keep him out of trouble through the season.

But once the season ends in early 2011, he'll get the taste for the nightlife once more, and his handlers — or should we call them his enablers? — again will let him down.

We'll give Roethlisberger one more year in a Steelers uniform, figuring the clock in Big Ben's tower will strike midnight at about this time next year.


Wake-up call last chance

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

Ben Roethlisberger has been warned before, but he never has cared enough to change his behavior. Maybe the scrutiny of his latest episode will wake him up.

He has lost a lot of respect. He's going to lose a lot of money. And he nearly lost his job, as the Steelers were talking about trading him before the draft.

It looks like he is going to stay put in Pittsburgh for now — at least as long as he stays on the straight and narrow. He's saying all the right things. But doing them is something else entirely.

There is hope for Roethlisberger. He is a young man who can learn from his mistakes. Hopefully, he will be smart enough to do so.


Not likely to change

Joseph Schwerdt

Sun Sentinel

The Steelers may have shopped Ben Roethlisberger during the draft. But with no quarterback selected — despite quality arms available — and only a predraft trade for Byron Leftwich, it seems certain Roethlisberger will remain in Pittsburgh at least for the upcoming season.

Whether Big Ben can change his behavior is another question. Human beings are creatures of comfort and habit. We surround ourselves with acquaintances — often no matter their negative influence. We go to places we enjoy, no matter what danger lurks.

For some pro football players, unfortunately, that means strip clubs or dog fights. For Roethlisberger, that means college bars with friends who enable bad behavior.

Roethlisberger is a Steeler, not a Bengal, but it's hard to believe he can change his stripes.


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