Big Ben rejoins Steelers, in shape

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ben Roethlisberger took the field with his teammates on Tuesday but will not talk to the media, while Jim Wexell of reports that Big Ben is in “much better shape” than he was a couple of months ago.

Roethlisberger appeared to be overweight when he showed up to workouts in March, but it’s not unusual for him to be out of shape at this point during the year. If Wexell’s report is true and he’s in much better shape now, maybe the events that transpired over these last couple of months woke him up.

And what a relief that would be for the Steelers. They don’t need Roethlisberger to clean up his act until he gets back from his suspension and then fall right back into the same pitfalls that got him in trouble in the first place. They need him to make wholesale changes so they don’t have to make a drastic decision, such as dumping him entirely.

Time will tell if the new, slimmer Big Ben has improved his decision-making.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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Eminem takes shot at Big Ben in new song

Never one to be shy about taking swipes at celebrities and athletes, rapper Eminem made Ben Roethlisberger his latest victim in one of his new songs.

From E

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star quarterback joins an elite roster of those with the dubious honor of being dissed in rhyme by Eminem. In this case, Big Ben’s recent off-field problems are name-checked in the new Em cut “Despicable,” which debuted online yesterday.

“I’d rather turn this club into a bar room brawl/Get as rowdy as Roethlisberger in a bathroom stall,” Eminem raps.

The line references a March incident in which Roethlisberger allegedly sexually assaulted a 20-year-old college student in a women’s restroom in a Georgia nightclub.

I haven’t heard the song yet, but it can’t be any worse than the ultra-horrendous “We Made You,” in which he dresses up like Tony Romo for the video. I’m not a big fan of Eminem’s “work” as it is, but I’ve dropped deuces that were more impressive than that song. (Although I’ll be the first one to admit that “Til I Collapse” will always be on my MP3 player when I hit the gym.)

It’s kind of amazing that Big Ben has gone from two-time Super Bowl MVP to the butt of one of Eminem’s jokes in just a couple of years.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Roethlisberger speaks for first time since suspension

Speaking for the first time since commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for six games next season, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that he would not appeal the suspension and would comply with what is asked of him.


“The Commissioner’s decision to suspend me speaks clearly that more is expected of me,” Roethlisberger said in a statement posted on the Steelers’ website and e-mailed to media. “I am accountable for the consequences of my actions.

“Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family. I will not appeal the suspension and will comply with what is asked of me — and more.”

“Missing games will be devastating for me,” Roethlisberger said in the statement. “I am sorry to let down my teammates and the entire Steelers fan base. I am disappointed that I have reached this point and will not put myself in this situation again.

“I appreciate the opportunities that I have been given in my life and will make the necessary improvements.”

Some have painted Roethlisberger as a rapist, which is unfair given the details that have emerged from the story. The victim can’t even given an account of what happened that night, so how can anyone else draw conclusions without it being speculation?

But whether or not he committed a crime, he needs to learn that he can’t put himself in these situations. This is the second time in under a year that he’s been accused of sexual assault and if there’s a third time, he can all but be assured of his exit in Pittsburgh. (He would no doubt face a stiffer punishment from the league, too.)

Only time will tell if Big Ben has learned anything from this ordeal.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Big Ben, Raiders seem to be a perfect match

Let’s pretend you’re Art Rooney II for a moment and you’re trying to deal with the internal war that has been raging inside you since Ben Roethlisberger was once again accused of not being able to keep his hands to himself.

Your head is telling you that it’s unwise to get rid of a franchise quarterback because after all, it’s not like they’re sitting on shelves next to the Big Bites at 7-Eleven. Trade Big Ben and you run the risk of setting your already diminishing franchise back several years in the process.

But then your emotions start to get the best of you again. You know that even though Big Ben the groper hasn’t been charged with anything, this clearly isn’t the trustworthiest of people. In the past four years, he’s been accused of sexually assaulting two women and almost killed himself by not wearing a helmet while riding his motorcycle. Considering he was just suspended six games next season, maybe it’s time to cut your losses and close the final chapter on the Ben Roethlisberger era in Pittsburgh.

Now, finding a trade partner is a little harder that it seems. More than half the league needs a franchise quarterback, but teams aren’t usually overly excited to part with a first rounder for a player with a history of making poor off-field choices and who will be suspended for the first part of next season. Buffalo, Kansas City and San Francisco are three teams that might be interested, but all three would likely pass in the end. The Bills can’t field a competitive team around Big Ben, while the Chiefs and 49ers aren’t likely to part with other players in order to pay for his services (especially in KC’s case, which shelled out big money to sign Matt Cassel last year).

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Steelers still open to trading Roethlisberger

Although the rumors have died down a bit over the last couple of days, the Steelers have not ruled out trading quarterback Ben Roethlisberger if the right deal comes along.

Per a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers aren’t actively seeking a trade for Big Ben and won’t dump him the way they did receiver Santonio Holmes (who was recently traded to the Jets in exchange for a fifth rounder). But if the right trade came along, the Rooney family wouldn’t hesitate signing off on a deal.

On Tuesday, the Steelers acquired Byron Leftwich from the Buccaneers in exchange for a seventh round pick. The deal indicates that the Steelers are preparing to be without Big Ben for at least part of the 2010 season and it may even suggest that they’re ready to move on period. Leftwich was a shade above horrendous last year in Tampa, but he did play well in Bruce Arians’ offense in limited action two years ago. If Roethlisberger were dealt, Leftwich would compete for Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback job with Dennis Dixon, or perhaps even a rookie prospect.

It still seems unlikely that Big Ben will be dealt, but it’s clear that his on-field resume won’t save him in the eyes of the Rooneys. The fact that he’s embarrassed the franchise holds more weight than his two Super Bowl victories. Holmes was the team’s Super Bowl MVP two years ago and now he’s in New York. Roethlisberger will just have to hold his breath this weekend and await his fate in Pittsburgh.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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