The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown finally kick their connection into high gear?
Before anybody else says it, I’ll beat you to the punch: yes, the defense is a bigger problem than the offense. But we’re not talking about that right now, so let’s just save it for another article. The question on my mind today is whether or not Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will start to connect as they’re used to this Sunday.
The two have not even connected on 60 percent of their passes so far this season, and that has had a lot to do with Roethlisberger missing throws, though there have been some miscommunications as well. There was perhaps one pass that Brown could have caught—in impressive fashion—that he bobbled at the sideline.
Not that he hasn’t been producing. On 24 receptions, he does have 210 yards with two touchdowns. So far he is the only player on the team with more than one receiving touchdown. Those are not the numbers he’s used to putting up, but it’s hard to imagine that it’s anything more than a matter of time.
That time hasn’t often been against the Baltimore Ravens especially when Jimmy Smith has been around, but Smith is still serving a four-game suspension. He had his way with Brandon Carr last year, however.
But the missed connections this year have been a lot more about themselves than about their opponents. While it’s true that teams have—naturally—paid a lot of attention to him, he has still been open and has still gotten his targets, only one of which was a clearly ill-advised throw that led to an interception. It’s mostly about Roethlisberger making better throws.