Ben Roethlisberger hoping Mike Tomlin will allow him on sidelines
Ben Roethlisberger obviously won’t be able to take the field with his teammates in the coming weeks due to an MCL sprain in his left knee, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback hopes head coach Mike Tomlin will allow him to be close to it during Thursday night’s tilt with the Baltimore Ravens.
“I’m trying to convince Coach (Mike) Tomlin to let me be on the sidelines,” said Roethlisberger, via NFL.com. “I’m still negotiating that with him. He has a no-crutch rule on the sideline, so if I can get rid of these, we will see what happens.”
Roethlisberger believes he can contribute to the team in myriad ways if allowed to patrol the sidelines, especially in assisting Michael Vick in his first start with the Steelers.
“I want to be there, because I want to be able to communicate with (Mike) and with my line,” he said. “These are my guys I have known for a long time and have been around. I’m still going to do everything I can to be a leader and be out there for them. If I see something, have to talk to Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, or whoever it may be, I want to be there. If I can help Mike in any way, I would like to do that.”
Roethlisberger is correct that being on the sidelines would allow him to provide on-the-fly input to both Vick and the coaching staff, so his experience and advice could prove invaluable. But there have been countless instances of players, coaches, officials and the like getting injured on the sidelines when the momentum of a play carries players out of bounds.
Being on crutches — or simply somewhat immobile — could potentially leave Big Ben helpless in any efforts at protecting himself should such a situation play out. Perhaps Tomlin and Roethlisberger can work out an arrangement that so long as Big Ben stays well away from the field of play — back by the benches, perhaps — he can be close enough to the action to contribute but still be well out of harm’s way.