Roethlisberger Says They Were Going To Have To Drag Him Out Of The Game

After the New England Patriots scored their final touchdown to go up 55-31 with 2:49 left in the game, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to the field for the final offensive series instead of backup Bruce Gradkowski. After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the decision to let his veteran quarterback, who had already been sacked five times, return to the game.

“Because we have to get better and those are snap opportunities to get better,” said Tomlin. “We aren’t turning it down. We aren’t running away from anything. We had the opportunity to work and get better so we did that. The guys that were healthy were going to stay on the grass and finish the game.”

Roethlisberger, who has now been sacked 31 times so far this season, was asked after the game if he was surprised to still be in the game that late down 24 points.

“No, not at all. I wouldn’t have [sat out],” said Roethlisberger. “They would have had to drag me off. I’m not going to quit; I’m going to stay out there and fight until the end.”

I admire Roethlisberger for not wanting to quit, but there comes a time when he needs to be saved from himself and this was definitely one of those times. There was no way the Steelers were going to win the game at that point and nothing good could come out of leaving him in.

I’m not buying Tomlin’s reason, either. If anybody needed work at that point it was Gradkowski, because at the current rate that Roethlisberger is getting sacked, he won’t last many more games.

I have a feeling that Roethlisberger told Tomlin he wasn’t coming out and that was that.

  • Chris Maxwell

    Yes keep Ben in , so he can have more TO. If you played better Ben you would get pulled because we would be winning , but we ain’t because you love giving the ball to the enemies.

  • I respect that, so do the players. Manning & Brady would never come out either no competitor would.

  • Chris Wilkes

    At first I thought he should be pulled, but after thinking about it and hearing from him and Tomlin I changed my mind. Being as I was disgusted with the defensive performance and the fact they straight up quit on those last 2 TDs allowed, how could I want Ben to quit too? I mean, what are we saving him for? It’s not like we have a chance at the playoffs or even a winning record for that matter. Let him play his heart out and try and get better.

  • SG

    I’m starting to think that it was a small miracle that Tomlin got to 2 super bowls and won one. He’s pretty clueless out there and his explanations and rationals hardly ever make much sense.

  • “I have a feeling that Roethlisberger told Tomlin he wasn’t coming out and that was that.”

    I agree, and I think that is one of the problems. Tomlin doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of sway over the veteran players, particularly Ben.

  • Starting to?

  • He had an up and down game, which is par for the season, but he isn’t the reason we lost.

  • dgh57

    Wow, Big Ben has been sacked 31 times and it’s only half way through the season. On pace to be sacked 62 times! Kinda see why Tomlin was asked that. I would leave it up to Ben as he knows how he’s feeling after the pounding he has taken so far.

  • I’m not so sure. I can’t see Ben every willingly taking himself out of a game, for good or ill. How many times has he hurt us in the past by saying he was ready to play when he wasn’t?

  • 2443scott

    lets keep guys hanging around for 4 years then give them contracts when they did nothing in those 4 years but collect pay checks by 3rd year they are starters if not they should be let go …i blame coaches alot because they are not holding the guys accountable for what they do so they are rideing the season on there pay checks while coaching staff looks on ..tomlin looked mad after the game and plans to sit guys when he should be telling them to play the game or pack there bags ….i think def came into game thinking they werent going to win so by time of first snap they already gave up …..that coaching staff needs to be gone through and changed i thought haley was a good choice but i was wrong ….we brought in a new line coach to do some zone blocking and running but all we get is run it up the gut to 8 guys in box waiting for it … watch guys just mudding along after a plays not even over not giving that little extra …and coaching staff is either cluless or just not yelling and screaming at these guys to go till plays whistled …maybe if tomlin sit all the first team and play the second team maybe then they might get the message ….but then again we got so many hurt we might not have enough …maybe haley needs to sit a game also its unbelieveable some plays he calls even a high school kid could figure out his plays …..we had a very good draft this year but these guys will be waisted if we keep the 15 rd guys who are mixed in with everyone else because maybe in 4 years they can play when they were all drafted with in the top 7 rds ….oh we wont play the rookie he isnt ready but every other teams rookies play theres but we will use the guys we paid for the last 4 years who didnt do any thing …because they played a game here there and they are more experienced ….this coaching staff has lost this team baby them let them jump in end zone get first down and act like you do it every time when you dont …they should hurry back to huddle for next play then act all cocky like you did something great…if players dont respect the coaches that means there is a prob with in coaching staff and the players will do just enough to collect there pay…….and thats whats happening ….tomlin your the coach dont sit guys because your mad at them do your job and get on your coaching staff to get the players ready ….

  • Chris Wilkes


  • Mike.H

    Ladies & Gentlemen, please sing unison in the tune of Don Meredith per Monday Night Footall:

    ” Turn out the lights, party’s over~!…”.

  • Not much of a historian are we? You may recall in 2006 when he rushed himself back from his appendectomy only to play horrendous the first few games, all of which we lost.

    Or perhaps you recall 2011 when he got hurt against Cleveland, insisted on playing the next week against San Fran when he wasn’t healthy, got hurt WORSE and contributed to the loss?

    Or how he then came back before he was healthy again to play a meaningless game against Cleveland, leaving him banged up and showing it for the playoff game against Denver that will go down in history as the only playoff win, and the only win against a team that finished the season with a winning record, of Tim Tebow’s career. Those are several examples right there, just off the top of my head. Once, you say?

  • Tom Savastano

    So many things wrong with that game, Ben staying in during a blow out is low on the list but does make it..

  • joed32

    Sang that a month ago.

  • NW86

    Maybe Tomlin simply never thought of it. He never seems to have any idea when the clock is running out, or never relates it to how that should chance a game plan.

  • T R

    Well that shoukd drug his butt out then. Cause that’s shows selfishness and ignorance to,stay in a game and continue to get pounded. The bench what little we have shoukd have been cleared and let folks play that don’t to give them some practice. All 2nd and 3rd string.


    I know a bad day on the Driving Range simply reinforces bad habits. Better to go home and come back when good habits can be put into muscle memory.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    At this point do I care one way or the other?

  • Bob Graff

    I think the more pressing issue is, We can’t match-up with quality teams. Brady just applied steady pressure and we dropped like a ton bricks.There is lots of work to be done before this team gets into contention again. How about this question why wasn’t this team ready to play an entire game [everybody] ??

  • Ahmad

    Well next time take him by his word and drag his ass out! There was no reason for him to be on the field when the game was already loss. If he had gotten hurt, Tomlin would have caught major hell for it.

  • AndyR34

    Agreed…IMHO it is Ben being selfish…not really thinking of the good of the team, but of thinking of his stats and his Big Ben, warrior, image.

  • AndyR34

    Agreed…near the end of the game, the camera was on him a good bit and he was wandering around with that bug-eyed look, looking totally clueless as to what to do.

  • Nick Sunset

    Maybe pulling Ben sends a message we are getting tired of him taking sacks and causing 13 turnovers already this season. Gradkowski is not as bad as everyone says remember he picked apart the Steelers once upon a time ago. He needs to get playing time. The Steelers should be no different than any other team when the game is out of reach let the second string QB play. They showed a graphic today on ESPN of 4th quarter come backs it listed the top six QB’s in the last two years, Ben’s name was no where to be found. Ben is selfish player sometimes and it hurts the team.

  • How did him being in there hurt the team? Love Steelers fans the most popular player in town Backup Quarterback. Gradkowski is a local boy he can throw that ball! He is a Backup, Backup, Backup,Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup,Backup, Backup, Backup, Backup.
    Again he is a Backup, Backup, Backup

  • rofl yep its easy wonder why so many hof are ringless

  • Chris Wilkes

    Yeah, I still say once. That San Fran game he couldn’t play at all. The guy is a true football player and you might not think he was ready to play, but him being out there in those situations was better than any option we had.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    The worst part is we’re WASTING Ben’s good years with a terrible supporting cast and spotty coaching. Do you see what is happening to the teams who don’t have franchise QBs? We have one, and yet we’re WASTING him.


    Way more than once


    What are you talking about “quality teams”!? We are the only team that has lost to the friggin Vikings this year, and what did backup Foles just do to the Raiders yesterday? We never look prepared and that has to lie with the coaches first. Quality teams…sheeesh…any teams can beat us right now. Go Steelers

  • Dan

    First of all, Tomlin is supposed to be the Head Coach, a position of authority. If a player wants or doesn’t want something, SO WHAT! You’re the Head Coach, make a decision and enforce it!

    Second of all, Ben is in his 10th year and is one of the few players that has played well this year. He had already played 58 minutes against the Patriots D and done fine. He wasn’t going to gain anything in getting 2 more minutes of “practice” against the same Patriots D. The rationale is idiotic, but in the end it doesn’t matter.

  • Dan

    It’s hard, aint it? Any other time I would.

  • You are entitled to be wrong…

    ” him being out there in those situations was better than any option we had.” You have I am assuming, forgotten about how Batch started game 1 in 2006, which we won, only to have Ben come in and post three consecutive games with a rating under 60, throw 7 INTs and 0 TDs in that span? I hate to think that was the best option we had. And those are just a few examples, not all of the ones I could come up with.

  • Chris Wilkes

    C’mon you’re talking about a season that happened 7 years ago. Batch had a great game that day and a good year in spot duty. Cowher wouldn’t have let Ben play if he didn’t think he could tho. And, yes, I don’t know who else you thought we had at the QB position over the years, but I’ll take a hurt Roethlisberger over any of them healthy.

  • 7 years ago doesn’t matter. My point, that Ben isn’t going to take himself out, for better or worse, is still valid.

  • And in most cases, I would take a hurt Ben over Batch or Lefty too, but there were times when it clearly hurt the team.

  • Steve Klingensmith

    Is it field personnel or coaching?, Haley might have “History” with the Steeler’s, but maybe he was more effective as a ball boy like he was when his father was with the team. I know the league in context is a small world, but nepotism and getting a gig based on who you know as opposed to what you know has got to stop. Seeing the second generations of Gruden’s, Phillips, Ryan’s, Harbaugh’s and others makes me realize that the real battles are being done in the board rooms, not on the field. I like Tomlin, and I hope he will do what has to be done, even if it goes against the grain of some, even the Rooney’s. As a youth I used to walk to Three Rivers Stadium for practices, hoping to catch a glimpse of Bradshaw, and company, and I hope there will be the same enthusiasm for up and coming generations of Pittsburgh’s young and old alike.

  • ty simpson

    Absolutely 100% corrct readingof the situation. It is shocking people have not caught on to bens selfishness yet.

  • ty simpson

    Played well? What games are you watching. What does it do to a team to get psyched up to play tge patriots and have its 12 million dollar qb turn the ball over twice early in the game? The hero worship blinds steeler fans to bena nonsense

  • HopalongCassidy

    Any coach with the stones to stand up to his players would have pulled Ben and Ben would have complied without a big argument. However, Tomlin is not that guy.

  • Kevin Artis

    This sounds like he had an option. Who is the coach of this team? If he says you are out, you’re out. Bottom line. Tomlin might need to make an example out of a veteran. He definitely doesn’t hesitate on rookies.

  • Riverstko

    He shouldve let Grad go in instead it seemed like Ben was being selfish.Some years Ben reacts fast some years he reacts slow throwing. This years he reacting slow. He’s even to slow to scramble like he use to. I haven’t got a chance to wear my 7 jersey this year.

  • robpsych01

    I wouldn’t count us out yet. We still have five division games left, anything can happen. I have faith in my team. It isn’t over until the says 0:00. Statistically we’re still in this don’t start jumping off the bandwagon yet. You fake ass fans can hope off anytime. Win, loss, or tie I’m a STEELERS fan until I die.

  • r4kolb

    While I agree w you and w Ben, I guess the answer to “what are we saving him for?” would be, saving him FROM potential injury.

  • r4kolb

    I don’t think he has sway over ANY of them. You don’t think the coalition of our losing ways started after Bus, Hines, Porter, Farrior and other LEADERS left? That’s the problem w this team are NO vocal leaders. Playing like they did at the start and what was the best thing the current leaders could do? Take away the rookies games? What a joke.

  • r4kolb

    To be fair and somewhat of a historian…. I think the San Fran game was for the #1 seed and that was what drove that.

  • r4kolb

    Uh maybe that’s because he IS clueless?

  • Chris Wilkes

    I know, and I wouldn’t have been mad if he was pulled, especially at the time. But, he has a chance of injury on every play. It’s not like the offense was completely failing either. Just the defense that let the game get away from us.