Finally, Ben Roethlisberger has returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and finally the Pittsburgh faithful will be able to watch an offensive series without grimacing.
Now, any half-decent sports writer would be able to write a book about what Roethlisberger brings to the table for the 3-1 Steelers, and any of those writers would likewise be able to write a book about how and why this team is leaps and bounds better with him under center.
But, who in particular benefits the MOST from having No. 7 taking snaps from Maurkice Pouncey instead of Dennis Dixon, Byron Leftwich, and Charlie Batch?
Let's all take a seat and figure this out.
Look at it like this: Charlie Batch no longer has to go out on a weekly basis and attempt to lead this team to the win. He no longer has to feel the pressure associated with starting and leading a team for 60 minutes a night. Now, he gets to help prepare the offense for opposing team's quarterbacks.
No longer is he going to be a subject of media scrutiny because of an ill-advised throw, an interception, or a sack that shouldn't have been taken.
He's going to be able to retire in a Steelers uniform with a sense of accomplishment for leading them to a 3-1 start, and nearly a 4-0 start. I truly hope he continues his football career in a coaching capacity.
Heath Miller is going to benefit from the return of the great one, but not nearly as much as most other offensive starters. He should have been the number one target throughout the first four weeks, when the team should have been playing it safe and dinking and dunking down the field as opposed to taking long shots downfield to Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle El.
Miller is without a doubt one of Roethlisberger's favorite targets on gamedays, and for good reason. Not only does he eat zone coverage alive, but he has the exceptional ability to stretch the field. There aren't many tight ends in the league with that skill set. His hands, of course, are impeccable, and combined with his blocking he is the most complete tight end in the NFL.
The special teams are going to benefit mainly because they aren't going to have to be a big play unit anymore. Any big plays they add will be icing on top of the cake as long as they can start the offense out with decent field position.
With Roethlisberger back under center, the special teams is going to have a large burden removed from their backs. Emmanuel Sanders isn't going to have to think end zone on every return and there is more room for small errors.
Also, short punts by Daniel Sepulveda will not be such a heartbreaking occurrence, like in the Ravens game, as the Roethlisberger-led offense will be able to convert third downs at a greater rate than a Charlie Batch-led offense.
This will help Jeff Reed as well, because he offense should be able to get into the endzone more often than they have over the past four weeks.
The second-year playmaker is looking forward to Roethlisberger's first game more so than Roethlisberger himself. Wallace is going to be getting look after look from here on out and with his speed and hands, he'll be the number one deep threat on the team once again.
Santonio Holmes' trade to the New York Jets was a blessing in disguise for Wallace and Steelers fans alike.
Roethlisberger has the uncanny ability to throw the long ball, which just happens to be what Wallace catches best. Look for a play I like to call, "Mike run as fast as you can and jump" to become a repeated occurrence in this offense.
Mendenhall's been running over and around every team he's gone up against, and that's with them keying in on the rushing attack in the absence of two-time Super Bowl winner Roethlisberger.
With opponents having to respect the Steelers' versatile passing attack, you're going to see teams keeping their safeties out of the box, leaving prime real estate for Mendenhall to fly and spin through.
This is a group that sees nothing but hate from the media and fans alike, but they aren't that bad of a group. They are banged up, and moved around to a point that would make most offensive lines fold.
One thing that's special about this and every other offensive line unit that Pittsburgh has ever dressed is that these guys love to hit. They love to inflict pain upon opposing defenses.
Rookie center Maurkice Pouncey is looking like the second coming of Dermontti Dawson and the third coming of Mike Webster. Hopefully he continues along those lines.
The line is going to get a little more leeway in their pass blocking especially, because of Roethlisberger's ability to evade the pass rush and make plays with his feet. For the most part, they won't have to be diving for fumbles if and when Roethlisberger is sacked.
When the Pittsburgh defense is well-rested they are one of, if not the best defense in the league. When they have been on the field for an extended number of minutes with short rest, then they look tired, as they should.
A tired defense is not a good defense, no matter who the players making it up are.
With Roethlisberger back, the offense will be more likely to sustain drives, meaning more time on the sidelines for the defense. This will allow them to tee off on opposing quarterbacks, which will ultimately lead to more turnovers.