Will Ben Fit Back In?

By Chris Gates

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their opening two games of the season. That’s the win total most of us hoped for after four games.

So I can’t help but wonder what will happen when the Steelers hit their Week 5 bye.

This team could legitimately be 3-1, or dare I say 4-0, after four games. Then Ben Roethlisberger returns.

What will happen when he does?

Popular opinion is that he’ll turn this floundering offense in to one that actually scores touchdowns.

That will likely be the case. As a result, the Steelers defense won’t have to force seven turnovers to win a game – which is exactly what was needed to beat Tennessee Sunday.

But isn’t there a chance that Roethlisberger’s return could be detrimental to the entire team?

The two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is barred from any team activities. He’s not allowed at the practice facility. He’s basically shut off from the entire team in any football-related matter.

So while he’s gone, this team is defying all odds. They’re facing adversity and insurmountable gaps in the lineup, but winning games.

It’s times like these when teams come together and gel. Teammates bond over the hard work put in and come together to believe in the common goal they are reaching for.

So after four games, in which this team will likely have exceeded all expectations, how will the Steelers react to Ben’s return?

If I were a member of the team I’d probably feel a little bit of resentment. Seeing him walk in and assume the starting role while others and I have stepped up in the face of two injured quarterbacks and a handful of offensive linemen in and out of the lineup.

We fought through all of that together.

One thing is for sure: Ben will have to do a lot of congratulating and praising his teammates.

This team is currently alone atop the AFC North at 2-0. I understand the wins haven’t been pretty and Ben is probably the one missing piece to this team being a Super Bowl contender.

But he hasn’t been there to experience this opening stretch. When teams come together they form a bond for the long haul. That is true in any professional sport.

Hopefully, for the Steelers sake, Ben is able to fit right in.

But I can’t help but wonder, what if he doesn’t?

Read more from Chris Gates at his Area 4-1-ZOO Pitt Panther Blog and follow him on Twitter at @Chris_Gates.

  • Tim Kessler

    Absolutely Ben will fit in.

    You are failing to recognize that this team’s goal is to get by while Ben is out… so why in the world would they not be looking forward to his return???

    And seeing what the offense is like without him, i think they will take it as an opportunity to relax a little and not have to carry the team as much.

    I think the majority if the team realizes that his suspension was questionable to begin with, being that he was not arrested, or even charged with a crime… the first ever suspension with that being the case. I think that most of them know he has been doing exactly what he has to, to get back with them, so they do not harbor any ill will for him.

    He will do nothing but improve the chemistry between the offense and defense, as it will not be so one sided as far as helping the team to victories.

  • r4kolb

    OMG!!! You have got to be kidding me!!! You are an idiot to even write an article like this. No your right. If I’m on the team I know I’d think with our “O” throwing for a whoppin 9 of 17 passes for a net of 21 yards, counting the four times their two quarterbacks were sacked for 22 yards in losses. I’d be like hey we don’t need Ben we can win #7 without #7.. Wow….are you a Raven’s/Bungles/Browns fan. Embarassing….I have nothing more to say..

  • TKSteeler05

    I understand the concern, but I don’t think it’ll be a serious problem. It isn’t like Ben is a free agent being picked up after Week 4. He’s their teammate, and they know him well.
    Imagine if one of your coworkers missed a month of work; would it be that different when they returned? Team leaders like Hines, Troy, and Farrior have already been through the trenches with Ben, both good and bad times, over the past six years.
    He didn’t miss training camp or the preseason. He’ll have a bye week to get ready before a game week. He’ll be ready to play.
    Most importantly, these guys are professionals and they want to win. The team will accept him back and work hard.
    This won’t be a problem.