What Ben Roethlisberger's Suspension Could Show Us About The O-Line

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IJune 11, 2010

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01: Offensive linemen (L-R) Willie Colon #74, Darnell Stapleton #72, Justin Hartwig #62,  Chris Kemoeatu #68 and Max Starks #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stand in the huddle against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) Steelers won 27-23.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With the six game suspension (will be four) to Ben Roethlisberger, many people in Steelers Nation are debating who will replace Roethlisberger for the beginning of the season.

The real question in my mind has nothing to do with who is under center, and a LOT more to do with who is playing next to him.

For years, we have heard that the reason Ben Roethlisberger takes so many sacks is because he holds on to the ball for so long.

Some people are quick to point out that he is just not going to throw his offensive line under the bus, while others swear that the offensive line is that bad.

The reality is, barring injury, Byron Leftwich will be the man under center when the Steelers open at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

No one on this planet is going to mistake the slow-footed Byron Leftwich for Ben Roethlisberger.

You can bet that we are not going to see Leftwich running around making plays with his legs. You can bet that we are not going to see the offensive line having to hold their blocks for more than five seconds.

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This is how we are going to see exactly how good (or bad) the Steelers offensive line really is.

If Leftwich is sacked the same way Roethlisberger has been, then we can point to the offensive line, and say it is their fault.

If, however, Leftwich keeps from landing on the ground every other play, and the Steelers have a running game to boot, then all of the credit is going to have to go to the offensive line.

The largest argument in Steelers Nation over the last two years here on Bleacher Report, is the quality of the offensive line.

That question is finally going to be answered.