Rough outing for Roethlisberger


By Teresa Varley

Ben Roethlisberger took a beating against the Eagles, leaving the game before the final series with a hand injury after having it stepped on.

But there was good news. The x-rays were negative.

"I think he is going to be fine," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "Of course he's battered a little bit. He got hit quite a bit. He got hit on the hand. X-rays were negative, but to get hit like that…we'll see where he is."

Roethlisberger was sacked eight times in the Steelers 15-6 loss in Philadelphia, including six in the first half. Two of the sacks resulted in fumbles that the Eagles recovered.

"We've got to give them a lot of credit," said Roethlisberger of the Eagles defense. "They're a very good team, very good defense, and they got after us.
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"We're very good at making adjustments at halftime, and we made adjustments, but they were the better team today and that's the way it goes."

Roethlisberger completed just 13 of 25 passes for 131 yards and lost 35 yards on the eight sacks, two more yards than the 33 the Steelers gained on the ground. Byron Leftwich, who came in late for Roethlisberger, was sacked once for a nine-yard loss.

"I'm disappointed that we did not handle their pressure packages," said Tomlin. "Notice that I said we. I've said all along that the protection of our quarterback is an 11-man job…the quarterback, backs, wide-outs, tight-ends and linemen. Characterize it however you want to characterize it but offensively we didn't do a good job in the protection of our quarterback."

There weren't many that would argue with him.

"The Eagles really got after us and we knew what they were going to do," said tackle Willie Colon.
"I think there were some mental as well as some communication breakdowns in the game.

"It was really disappointing that we did not improve in the second half. If our unit was on the same page, I think we would not have had any issues moving right up and down the field. This game was a butt kicking. It really was."

And things don't get any easier for the Steelers, who host the 2-0 Baltimore Ravens on Monday night at Heinz Field. The Ravens will get after you defensively and the Steelers know that they have a lot of work to do this week.

"It has to be correctable," said Colon. "Any team that watches this tape right now is going to understand we're suffering with the blitz coming at us and if we don't get it done, they're going to blitz the heck out of us."

Be sure that is something that will be worked on this week in practice.

"In the National Football League, when you put a display like that out there, you are going to see it again and again and again until you make that problem disappear," said Tomlin. "It's a problem that we have, it's obvious.

"What we are going to do is go in and look at it, accept responsibility for what happened, make corrections, prepare to see it again on Monday night because we will until we stop it."

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