When you only have five games left to play in your career, your tolerance for mistakes probably goes out the window. And playing out your final season with four rookie starters and a bunch of other young and new moving parts is not going to be conducive to the cleanest brand of football this league has ever seen.
While certainly not the first time, we saw the frustration surface out of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on multiple occasions during Thursday night’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings—particularly in the scoreless first half, which saw them enter the locker room trailing 23-0.
He was asked after the game whether or not he was showing that frustration during the game, which he admitted that he “probably” was. “I try to do my best not to, but sometimes it’s hard not to, and I hate that because I don’t want to seem like I’m frustrated about anything in particular, but just a general frustration sometimes”.
There was ample opportunity to get frustrated, unfortunately, especially about the offensive line, which at times seemed completely incapable of figuring out the Vikings’ pass rush, showing five or six at the line of scrimmage but only rushing four, and still routinely getting one or two rushers free or in a choice one-on-one.
Roethlisberger’s offensive line for this particular game featured the usual two rookies and a veteran free agent signed this year, but with the added wrinkle of the first career start of John Leglue, who may well have just made his last start if Kevin Dotson or J.C. Hassenauer are available next week.
Then you have the assorted headaches caused by the skill position players, Chase Claypool on this particular day, capped off by a ludicrous celebration with about 30 seconds to play as time was running and no timeouts remained.
As mentioned, this was of course not the first time that Roethlisberger has been visible frustrated on the field, and that has sometimes appeared to extend to his feelings about the play call. A couple of games ago, he was visibly flummoxed after a fourth down play in the red zone failed utterly, shaking his shoulders as if to say, ‘That’s not on me, I never would have run that play’.
How well can you button up your frustration, however, in such circumstances? I am curious what some of you all think. Do you believe Roethlisberger should do a better job of controlling his emotions on the field as a leader of the offense? While we can all relate to his frustration, is it bad for the group? Does it not matter?