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Ben Roethlisberger, shown above in a much happier time with Willie Colon, will not report to the Steelers' offseason conditioning program that starts on Monday, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. The conditioning work emphasizes weight lifting and getting into football shape, and involves no on-field practicing.

According to Schefter's source, "after discussing whether Roethlisberger's presence would create too much of a distraction, the decision was made for him not to attend the team's offseason program."

This comes on the heels of Mike Tomlin proclaiming on Wednesday that he expected Roethlisberger to be in attendance at the workouts, saying, "When it's time for him to be there, he'll be there."

Chalk this up as the first "official" football-related distraction to arise from the recent claim of sexual assault against the two-time champion QB. It is unknown when Roethlisberger will report to the team, but much like in case of Tiger Woods, the eventual meeting with the media is going to come sooner or later, and it's likely not going to a pleasant experience for #7.

As Schefter points out, such workouts are not open to reporters, but a large number were expected at the Steelers headquarters Monday because Roethlisberger has not commented on the Georgia incident since it occurred earlier this month.

For those of you wondering, the next milestone on the Steeler offseason calendar is OTAs, which start on April 19 and resemble the practices held during the season. Starting quarterbacks usually take part in most sessions unless they are injured.

Roethlisberger not joining teammates [ESPN]

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Harlan T. Fescue said...

So on the downside he's accused of sexual assaulting a girl in a bar bathroom, but on the plus side he's got an excuse to show up at camp as out of shape as he was last year.

Jonny Van Mundegaarde said...

Nice one derek

I can't wait to see if/how Mark Madden spins this on his show tomorrow.

SantoGold said...

#1 Well thats interesting. Less than a week ago Tomlin said he expected to have Ben here this week for the conditioning drills. Now according to Schefter, the team decided it was best for him not to be here. Either Tomlin changed his mind or else someone higher up over-ruled him. Wonder how that feels?

#2, Not that I'm one to point this out, but if any Steeler looks like he could use some offseason conditioning, its Ben. Recent pix make it look like he's adopted a few chins this offseason.

The Mad Bubbler said...

NFL Bylaw Section 20.13: All NFL players must have as many chins as they do sexual assaults.