Embattled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had his suspension reduced from six games to four but cannot be around the team until his suspension is over.
Meanwhile head coach Mike Tomlin named Dennis Dixon the starter. When Tomlin was asked whether Roethlisberger would be the starter after his suspension he didn’t commit to Big Ben. Tomlin stated, "I'm not going to back myself in the corner."
The Steelers also named their team captains for this up-coming season and Big Ben wasn’t one of them. For the last two seasons he’s been one of the team captains. It goes without saying Roethlisberger’s reckless behavior over the past two played into their decision.
With Tomlin not committing to Roethlisberger and his teammates not naming him team captain what does the future hold for Roethlisberger?
Typically when there’s smoke there’s fire, but in this case I can’t envision a scenario where Roethlisberger does not get his job back. Even if the Steelers run the table I don’t see the Steelers having a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback sitting on the bench in favor of a young unproven quarterback in Dixon.
You just wait and see.
Dixon has a big arm, makes good decisions and runs well. But his lack of experience will be a detriment considering the Steelers have four tough games to start the season.
I have consistently maintained Roethlisberger has averted consistent public attention and ridicule from the mainstream media because of his race and the current media structure. He’s not been forced to ask the tough questions regarding his two sexual-assault cases from the mainstream media because they haven’t asked.
Roethlisberger has been allowed to get all his ducks in a row since the charges were dropped against him from the March 5 incident in Milledgeville, GA where he was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old co-ed. He’s been allowed to ease back into the graces of the public and his team without really facing the music from the mainstream like his quarterback brethren Michael Vick.
Yes, Vick was convicted of a felony for funding a gambling ring and killing dogs. He served time in prison and missed two-years of playing in the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell did not think that was enough so he popped Vick with another four-game suspension on top of the two seasons he missed while in prison.
Roethlisberger was not convicted of a crime in the court of law but he brought shame to a first-class organization. His not being selected as captain of the Steelers and his suspension reflects the shame he’s brought to himself and how teammates feel about him in the locker room.
Bottom line: After four games Roethlisberger will be back under center. He will be asked about how it feels to be back on the field and what can he do to put the Steelers in the playoff hunt.
Just wait and see.