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Big Ben throws three touchdown passes in return – no big deal.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pauses during warm ups before his first NFL football game back from a four-game suspension in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 17, 2010. The Steelers will face the Cleveland Browns. REUTERS/ Jason Cohn (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The last time Ben Roethlisberger took a snap from under center, Julius Peppers was still a Panther, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush were still together and MySpace was still more popular than Facebook. (Just kidding. Like MySpace could ever be more popular than FB. “Like.”)

With that in mind, you’ll have to excuse Big Ben for throwing a pick on the Steelers’ first possession and struggling through the first two quarters of his return. Because once he shook off the rust, he was brilliant.

In the Steelers’ 28-10 win over the Browns on Sunday, Big Ben completed 16-of-27 passes for 257 yards, three touchdowns and just the one interception. He hit Hines Ward and Heath Miller for red zone touchdowns in the second half and slung a 29-yard TD to Mike Wallace in the second quarter. He also didn’t take a sack, which is rather amazing considering this was his first game action since January 3rd of this year.

Roethlisberger will receive a stiffer test next week against the Dolphins, but he and the Steelers had to have loved his 2010 debut. To celebrate, maybe he should go out with some of the fellas and bar hop a little. You know, kick a few back, meet some ladies, hit up a few parties.

I kid, I kid. Grab a freaking book and turn in early, Ben.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Breaking News: Big Ben’s suspension reduced to four games

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger walks onto the field before a preseason game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey August 21, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

NFL Network’s Jason LaCanfora is reporting that the NFL has reduced Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension from six to four games.

Roethlisberger’s suspension is 4 games. He has left the NY area and is en route back to Pittsburgh. Full story ahead on NFL Network

Not shocking – I think most people were expecting Roger Goodell to reduce the suspension in light of Big Ben’s good behavior (for lack of better words).

The games he’ll miss are against the Falcons, Titans, Bucs and Ravens and the news couldn’t come at a better time with Byron Leftwich suffering a knee injury in Pittsburgh’s final preseason game Thursday night. ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen believes that Leftwich can avoid having surgery and still start in the opener, although in my opinion, Dennis Dixon is a better option anyway given Lefty’s issues with consistency.

We’ll see what happens with Big Ben in four weeks. He’ll have some rust to shake off by that point and it stands to reason that he’ll need a couple of starts to get back into the groove of things.

And no matter how well he performs when he comes back, he better avoid off-field issues or else is career in Pittsburgh will likely end. Considering the Steelers were contemplating dumping him after this last incident, I don’t think I’m reaching with that statement either.

All summer, I’ve been advocating taking Big Ben in the 9th or 10th round as part of a Quarterback By Committee (QBBC) with Eli Manning, Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, so this is obviously good news for those owners that have followed that advice. By getting Roethlisberger so late, fantasy owners will be getting a Top 6 or 7 fantasy QB at a big discount. I suspect that this news will push Roethisberger’s ADP into the 9th round, so be prepared to use a 7th or 8th rounder on Eli/Ryan/Flacco and a 9th on Big Ben to round out a very potent committee.

Can Leftwich and Dixon keep the Steelers afloat until Big Ben returns?

8-14-10:  Ben Roethlisberger  and Byron Leftwich  during the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Detroit Lions game in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the affects that Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension could have on the Steelers’ quarterback position.

After trading Santonio Holmes to the Jets in the offseason, some feel as though the Steelers’ biggest weakness is at receiver. But Hines Ward continues to be the model for production and Mike Wallace is turning heads as a potential deep threat. I also like promising sixth-rounder Antonio Brown and there have been reports that third rounder Emmanuel Sanders could beat out Antwaan Randle El for the No. 3 receiver job by the start of the season.

If I’m the Steelers, receiver isn’t my main concern – quarterback is.

As of this writing, Ben Roethlisberger is still slated to miss the first six games of the season due to a suspension. That number could be reduced to four games, but Roger Goodell has yet to make announce his decision either way.

But even if it’s only four games, the Steelers still have to be concerned about getting off to a slow start with either Byron Lefwich or youngster Dennis Dixon at the helm. They host the Falcons in Week 1 before facing the Titans and Buccaneers in back-to-back road games. They host the Ravens in Week 4, their bye is Week 5 and then they play the Browns at home in Week 6 before going on the road to Miami in Week 7.

While it’s a rather fruitless endeavor to try and predict the success of teams in preseason, it’s probably safe to assume the Falcons, Ravens and Dolphins will be playoff contenders, while the Titans will be improved as well. I’m sure if the Steelers can play .500 ball while Big Ben is out, they’ll take it. But what if Leftwich and/or Dixon put them in a hole early in the season?

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Roethlisberger takes responsibility for actions, is a fan of third person phrases

Ben Roethlisberger recently granted separate interviews to Pittsburgh television stations KDKA and WTAE to discuss the allegations of his sexual assault case.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

In the interviews, Roethlisberger repeatedly faults himself for mistakes, blaming it in part on his immaturity while transitioning from his small-town Findlay, Ohio, background to “big city” Pittsburgh.

“Big Ben just kept building up, and I think it ended up coming off the field, and as the years kept going it just kept taking over Ben Roethlisberger,” he told KDKA’s Bob Pompeani.

Roethlisberger appeared relaxed and contrite throughout the interviews, with his most emotional moment coming in description of recent talks with his father, who now has a Western Pennsylvania farm Roethlisberger has visited frequently.

“We were talking about everything and how I got kind of lost, and he looked at me and we both kind of broke down, and he said, ‘It’s good to have my son back.’ And that just killed me,” Roethlisberger said.

I don’t care in what context they do it in: I love when athletes break out the third person. It’s classic.

It’s good to see that Roethlisberger is saying all the right things, but his actions will speak louder than his words in the end. He’s going to be tempted again at some point to go out, have a few adult beverages and check out the “scenery.” Will he do a better job of putting himself in a good situation or will he fall victim to his poor decision-making again?

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Big Ben accuser didn’t fight back because she is “a little girl” and he’s a “big boy”

Video evidence from the Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault case has risen to the internet surface and in one clip, his accuser can be seen saying that she didn’t want to fight back because she didn’t want him to hurt her “any more than he was going to.”

From FOXSports.com:

“I noticed throughout the night he kind of had like a short temper, like he would get really like defensive,” she told police in her second interview with them on March 5, about 12 hours after she said the assault took place. She didn’t elaborate further on what made her think the quarterback had a short temper.

During the first interview, she said she repeatedly told Roethlisberger, “I really don’t think this is OK,” but couldn’t stop him from having sex with her in the bathroom of a bar.

“I don’t know what I can … do,” she said. “I’m a little girl and he’s a big boy.”

In the video, the woman’s face was blurred. She was wearing a navy blue T-shirt and jeans and had her blond hair pulled back. She told police she didn’t think trying to fight Roethlisberger would stop the assault.

“I figured it wouldn’t help anything,” she said. “I didn’t want, obviously, him to hurt me any more than he was going to.”

Hindsight is always 20/20 and you’ll have to excuse me for passing judgment on someone else when I wasn’t involved in the situation. But if she said that he had a short temper, why didn’t she and her friends exit stage left at some point during the night? Why keep following him around to the different bars? What were her intentions that night? If they were to party with a celebrity, then she had already accomplished that. She didn’t have to continue to get drunk with a guy that a) she didn’t know, b) she didn’t trust and c) was someone who appeared to have a short fuse.

I’m not excusing anything Roethlisberger did that night, but she has to take responsibility for her actions, too. Wearing a “DTF” sticker on her shirt, getting wasted and following him around that night doesn’t pass for using good judgment. Neither was getting so drunk that she didn’t know whether or not he sexually assaulted her or she just “thinks” he did.

Another thing I’m a little fuzzy about is how the two of them wound up alone together in the bathroom. Did he ask her to come and she followed him? Was she dragged in there against her will? How did the situation go from a party scene with lots of people around to just him and her alone in the bathroom?

We’ll probably never know the details of what happened that night because the people involved were likely too drunk to remember. And unfortunately, the more details that emerge, the cloudier the facts become.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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