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.