Monday, September 20, 2004

The future is now, apparently 

Trouble in Steeler Nation, as Tommy Maddox is out until at least November. So the Big Ben Roethlisberger era has arrived far earlier than expected.

Thrust into the game after Maddox's sudden injury yesterday, the rookie played....well....like a rookie. But not like a bad rookie. His 2 interceptions were fairly ugly, and his longest completion -- 58 yards -- actually went right through a defender's hands. But he finished 12 of 20 for 176 yards and threw 2 TD passes. The idea coming into this season was to put him into a few blowout games to help him get his feet wet. Instead he got tossed right into the fire, and survived. His first start comes next Sunday.

I guess your level of disappointment at these developments depends on how well you thought the team was going to do with Maddox -- or whether you think you can "ruin" a rookie by forcing him into action too quickly. If Roethlisberger struggles mightily, Cowher might get some shit for going with him as the backup and not replacing Chuck Batch with another veteran when he got hurt. Vee shall see. But it's at least a little exciting to have the supposed QB of the future out there. Might as well find out what he can do as soon as possible. My view is that he's a tough, smart guy, and a little on-the-job training won't hurt him. Might hurt the team, but whatcha gonna do.

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