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Asked and Answered: Game Day Week 11

Posted Nov 16, 2017

Another installment of Bob Labriola answering your questions about the Steelers and the NFL.

Let’s get to it:

DOUG COPPELER FROM FAYETTEVILLE, AR:
Ben Roethlisberger has been around awhile. Are there any teams that he has not beaten? I would also guess that the Browns are the team where Roethlisberger has had the most success.

ANSWER: Since Ben Roethlisberger has spent his entire NFL career playing for the Steelers, the only team he hasn’t defeated as a starting quarterback is the Steelers. He has a win against each of the other 31 franchises in the NFL. Against the Browns, Roethlisberger is 21-2.

CLAUDE DOZIER FROM COLORADO SPRINGS, CO:
I am a big fan of Ben Roethlisberger, but I've noticed that the past two seasons, he has fallen off a little. Is there a possibility that one of the young quarterbacks will get a shot at playing in a game this season for experience? Landry Jones is listed as the No. 2 quarterback, and Josh Dobbs would bring youth and fresh legs.

ANSWER: Great idea. Maybe against New England on Dec. 17.

MICHAEL WOLOZYN FROM OIL CITY, PA:
When are we going to place the blame for poor performance by the offense where it belongs – on Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, he does have superb knowledge and understanding of defenses, particularly pass defenses. Yes, he probably does have an excellent grasp of offensive formations and what plays could yield optimum gains. But the fact is that he hasn't himself executed at the level necessary for the team to excel. He has repeatedly thrown poorly, likely with the expectation that the receiver would cover for his mistake. Maybe it is time to sit him down to reflect as is done routinely with other players who need to reflect on their performance. Who plays in place of him? Certainly not Landry Jones. He's hasn't ever shown himself to be an adequate replacement for Ben. So what about Josh Dobbs? We've not seen him beyond a few preseason reps, and I don't think he performed that badly. Maybe he does “have the stuff” to do what's necessary. At least giving Ben “a break” might get his attention so that he either regains his previous Hall of Fame form or moves on.

ANSWER: Great idea. Maybe against New England on Dec. 17.

MARTY SEARLE FROM MOUNT DORA, FL:
The Steelers have no shortage of players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Excluding active players and those not retired long enough to be eligible, which Steelers not currently enshrined deserve to be there? Donnie Shell and L.C. Greenwood top my list.

ANSWER: Nothing wrong with those choices. I would add Bill Nunn and Andy Russell.

ROB PERSICO FROM HAWTHORNE, NY:
I thought I read at the start of the season that the Steelers would be wearing their color rush uniforms on Christmas Day again. I was wondering if they will be wearing their color rush jerseys for tonight’s game as well?

ANSWER: The Steelers are wearing their color rush uniforms tonight against the Titans, not on Christmas Day.

GENT RIVER FROM FT MCCOY, FL:
Martavis Bryant is a speedy receiver who isn't known for breaking tackles or making defenders miss. Why do they give him the ball on that end-around play that hasn't been successful against any team this season?

ANSWER: I have no idea.

SALIM KARIM FROM RELIZANE, ALGERIA:
Why don’t the Steelers ever win a game by a large margin? Every game this year makes me breathe so hard.

ANSWER: And turns more and more of my hair gray.

ALFREDO DE LA TORRE FROM HUNTINGTON PARK, CA:
I would like to know if Mike Tomlin is calling the plays, because if he is then he is not doing his job and needs to get some help from Ben Roethlisberger.

ANSWER: If you’re trying to sell me on the notion that all of the plays called by the quarterback are the ones that work, and all of the plays that don’t work are called by someone else, I’m not buying it.

CHRIS KNAPPENBERGER FROM BROOKLYN, NY:
I can't seem to understand why the "Fire Tomlin" gang on every social media outlet doesn't want to understand the Steelers have had only 3 coaches in the last 48 years, and also that Tomlin is a successful coach in the NFL. Besides Bill Belichick, who else is consistently winning Super Bowls? Tomlin is 1-for-2 in the Super Bowl and has never had a losing season. Am I crazy?

ANSWER: You’re not. They are.

BRIAN SCHAADE FROM NORTH AUGUSTA, SC:
If you had to put together an all-time team for the Steelers and selected three quarterbacks, who would you pick?

ANSWER: If I am forbidden to include players who were drafted by the team but never made the roster, it would be (in alphabetical order) Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Layne, and Ben Roethlisberger. If I am allowed to include players who were drafted by the team but never made the roster, it would be (in alphabetical order) Terry Bradshaw, Ben Roethlisberger, and John Unitas.

JOSEPH ZOOK FROM WYTHEVILLE, VA:
I loved your response to the submission in the previous installment of Asked & Answered: “No Question. One Name. Darrelle Revis.” Why do people think the Steelers should sign Revis? Isn’t our pass defense ranked in the top five in the league? Why get an old, washed-up cornerback? Some people don’t make sense.

ANSWER: Heading into Week 11 of the regular season, the Steelers pass defense ranks fourth in total passing yards allowed, second in passing yards allowed per game, second in average yards allowed per pass play, and second in points allowed per game.

WALTER MITCHELL FROM LANCASTER, PA:
I think tonight’s game against Tennessee will be special for Jesse James. He is important to the offense and a valuable, experienced receiver who catches and holds on to the ball. Your take?

ANSWER: I’ll settle for Jesse James not having to run down any Titans players who picked up a blocked extra point or field goal and are heading for the end zone. That, and maybe doing a better job as a blocker for Le’Veon Bell.

SHANE LUCAS FROM BUFFALO, OH:
I have often thought that Cardale Jones from the Chargers would be a good backup/replacement for Ben Roethlisberger due to their similar styles. Any thoughts on that?

ANSWER: My thoughts on that fall somewhere between hysterical laughter and intense gratitude that you’re not working in the Steelers personnel department.

KEN GROCE FROM GRAHAM, NC:
Who is best qualified to assess Todd Haley's play-calling so far?

ANSWER: Neither one of us, that’s for sure.

JIM LEV FROM LA MESA, CA:
Just a request: If it’s still doable, please ask the coaches to come up with a game plan that will provide at least a 41-16 win tonight against the Titans. Thanks!

ANSWER: Just to save time, I made the request for each of the remaining games on the schedule. I assumed that would be OK with you.




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