Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Ben Roethlisberger is Ruining the NFL
By Zach

**Note: This post originally appeared on No Blood, No Foul...where I also write**

Ever since Ben Roethlisberger entered the starting line-up for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they haven't lost. Big Ben is a rookie quarterback. So the apparent lesson here is that starting a rookie quarterback is a guarantee for success. Heck, even the Chicago Bears turned to Craig Krenzel (yes, he's still in the league) and got three consecutive wins.

But I never thought I would see the day when two of the league's better coaches would be seduced by the siren song of the unproven QB. Last week, NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin decided to go with rookie Eli Manning, despite the fact that the team was 5-4, very much in the playoff hunt, and that former QB Kurt Warner had played fairly well. Eli's game? 17-37 for 162, 1 TD, 2 INT. Oh yeah, and the Giants lost.

Now Bill Parcells has been forced to jump on the rookie bandwagon. With 41-year-old QB Vinnie Testeverde hurt during last week's loss to Baltimore, the Tuna is forced to go with Drew Henson this week. Parcells had earlier said that he was "trying to win here. We are not running a tryout camp." Still, Parcells cut proven backup Quincy Carter during the offseason, leaving him with only Henson, who, by the way, hasn't quarterbacked a real game in four years, to backup the injury-prone Testeverde.

In today's NFL, the importance of the quarterback can not be overstated. Most teams, even the great ones, are one injury at that position from seeing their season go down the drain. Which makes it all the more important for teams to have a quality backup. The success of Roethlisberger, exceptional though it is, will do nothing but lead more teams, and more fans, to think that the rookie sensation with the headset and the clipboard can do more for their team than the proven veteren under center.


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