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Insider Only Steigerwald: No in-between, Mike Vick likely to be a smashing success or a major disaster


Maybe the Steelers should just mail the four Ls into the league office.

You know, why risk getting other players injured in games they have no chance of winning?

There’s lots of gloom and doom among Steelers fans since they found out Ben Roethlisberger is going to be out for four to six weeks with an MCL sprain.

Why wouldn’t they feel hopeless?

How could anybody expect this team to succeed without Ben Roethlisberger?

Oh, I don’t know, maybe they could look back to 2010.

That was the year that the Steelers had no chance in their first four games because Roethlisberger was suspended.

There was no way they could expect to win with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch at quarterback. Until they won three of the four.

Then there was 2004, when Tommy Maddox was hurt in the second game of the season and, because backup Batch was also hurt, the Steelers had to turn their offense over to the rookie third-stringer from Miami of Ohio with the funny name.

They won 15 in a row, including a win over the Jets in the playoffs.

Everybody knows the NFL is a quarterbacks league and that, if you don’t have one who is at least approaching elite status, you probably shouldn’t show up.

It’s never been easier to succeed at quarterback in the NFL, but it’s also never been harder to find an elite quarterback.

Brandon Weeden completed 88 percent of his passes on Sunday in a losing effort for the Cowboys.

Luke McCown completed 81 percent in a losing effort for the Saints.

Aaron Rodgers, Phillip Rivers, Tony Romo and Roethlisberger have all completed 75 percent for the season.

Somebody named Tyrod Taylor has completed 74 percent for the Bills.

Russell Wilson is chugging along at 70 percent for the Seahawks.

Rodgers has the highest passer rating in the league at 128.4.

You know who’s second? Andy Dalton at 121. He has eight touchdown passes and one interception.

Is it ridiculous to expect Mike Vick to be as good as Tyrod Taylor or Andy Dalton for four to six games?

He did complete 83 percent of his passes against the Rams on Sunday.

The consensus seems to be that the Steelers’ only hope is to have Vick hand off to Le’ Veon Bell 40 times a game.

That might have worked 15 years ago with Jerome Bettis and a shutdown defense, but not in the Dink and Dunk version of the NFL.

You have to throw it and you better complete at least two out of every three.

Before getting hurt in St. Louis, Roethlisberger had completed three out of every four this season.

But, if you were to go through the tapes, how many difficult throws was he asked to make? Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

John Steigerwald

TIOPS Columnist

John Steigerwald, a life long Pittsburgher, has been covering PITTSBURGH sports since 1977 as a TV anchor/reporter, columnist radio reporter/commentator and talk show host. He is also the author of one of the best selling local books in Pittburgh history, "Just Watch The Game."

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