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Steelers must be more accountable in 2018

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most talented teams in the NFL. Pittsburgh has a host of Hall of Fame-caliber players ranging from Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell to Antonio Brown and Maurice Pouncey. The Steelers’ 53-man roster is almost impossible to out-man. Yet they’ll be at home this weekend after losing 45-42 to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional round.

In the immediate aftermath of the loss, Roethlisberger spoke to reporters. The subject was why he didn’t try a quarterback sneak on two different fourth and inches occasions in the defeat. His comments, per NFL.com, are both shocking and borderline unbelievable. Roethlisberger told 93.7 The Fan that he’s not authorized to check to a quarterback sneak at the line.

If that’s truly the case, then head coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley should be taken to task. Roethlisberger is going to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. With two Super Bowl rings on his fingers, has more than proven his mettle in big moments. He should be able to play at any time. Not giving him the green light to run a quarterback sneak if sees the right defensive alignment is insane.

Now, if Roethlisberger is simply trying to escape some heat for not taking the ball up the gut, that’s another story. This wouldn’t be the first time that Big Ben has been perceived to throw somebody else on his team under the proverbial bus. We only have to date back to a Week 15 loss to the New England Patriots, when Roethlisberger claimed his game-ending interception in the end zone was partially because the coaching staff wouldn’t let him spike the ball.

This kind of nonsense has to stop, regardless of who is truly at fault. Pittsburgh is far too talented to be losing games and making gross play calls because of miscommunication and sloppy planning. The Steelers need Roethlisberger to have freedom at the line of scrimmage, but they also need their star quarterback to take the heat without passing the fire to everyone else in the vicinity.

Next year, Pittsburgh is one year closer to the end of Roethlisberger’s career. He has two years left on his deal and then could very well walk into the sunset. At that point, Brown will be approaching his mid-30s and Bell could either be on the decline or perhaps on another team entirely.

The time is now for the Steelers to make a few more runs before rebooting this whole thing. If they want to win a Super Bowl, it starts from the top men taking a deep introspective look.


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