From his Q&A with the media at Steelers.com:
Ben Roethlisberger has a suspicion as to how much he and the first-team offense might play on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo, but he isn’t certain.
In the wake of the Steelers losing center Maurkice Pouncey and the Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson to significant injury last Sunday at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger maintained previous plans might be altered.
“This is typically (the game in which starters play) the full half, maybe the first series of the second (half),” he said. “That’s the expectation going in.
“With what happened I don’t know if that’s going to change but that’s my expectation.”
Roethlisberger addressed a number of other subjects with the media this week, including:
Whether the offense needs additional preseason work:
“I don’t think so. I think we’ve shown enough, we’ve worked hard. The good thing about our offense is we have everybody back. We don’t have a lot of moving pieces and so we can get that work and just kind of pick up (in the regular season) where we left off from training camp.”
Whether players can take steps to avoid injuries in the preseason:
“As a competitor, my mentality, it’s hard for me not to just play my game. You have to consciously say ‘don’t do anything crazy here,’ get down, throw it away, whatever it is. You can say that but in the heat of battle it’s hard to do that.”
The offense’s theory that the only way it’ll be stopped is if it stops itself:
“That’s always been our mentality, (that) no one’s stopping us but us. I’m sure every offense in the league says that or believes that. We really feel that way, that no one stops us but us.
“We had that (against Green Bay). We had a couple penalties, we had first-and-25 and we overcame it. Both punts we had the first two series were off of plays that could have/should have been made, that should have kept drives going. And then the third series we went no-huddle and went down the field and scored.
“We feel comfortable with where we’re at.”
On Maurkice Pouncey’s durability:
“People talk about, is he injury prone? No, he’s just always in the play. He’s always around the ball because of his intensity. You don’t find too many linemen that are 10, 15 yards down the field trying to block safeties for the running back. That speaks for his toughness, his tenacity and his desire to be the best.”
You can read the full interview here.
And from Andy Benoit at Peter King’s MMQB.com:
“The Evolution of Big Ben”
As the Steelers undergo what they hope will be a smooth transition into a new era on defense, they fortunately have an offense they can lean on heavily in the meantime. In fact, it’s the best offense in the NFL. And it’s become that through very traditional means: by accumulating the best players.
Start with the man under center. (Oh actually, let’s mention the center. When Maurkice Pouncey is healthy, he’s one of those “best players.”
His combination of athleticism and football IQ is second to none at his position; let’s hope he can bounce back from his recent ankle injury sometime before the holidays.)
Ben Roethlisberger, 33, is coming off the best season of his likely Hall of Fame career—something no one would have imagined given how his sandlot style has so often left him battered and bruised.
That playing style has also been grossly under-appreciated. Because Roethlisberger looks like a big oaf, few have noticed that he’s one of the most remarkable athletes of his era. We’ve never seen a physical specimen quite like the 240-pounder. It’s not just that Roethlisberger can brush off would-be sackers; it’s that he does so without compromising his arm strength or accuracy, which are both tremendous.
His brilliance is overlooked because it doesn’t appear smooth and polished. But that’s the inherent nature of it.
Last season, according to ESPN’s Week 11 Monday Night Football broadcast, Roethlisberger’s quarterback rating after being contacted was 158, with an 80 percent completion rate. The league average for completion percentage in this category is 43.8.
Let that sink in.
The reason Roethlisberger is coming off a career year—4,952 yards, 67.1 percent completion rate, 32 touchdowns and just nine interceptions—is that he’s evolved into a very fine pocket passer. It comes from a new sense of discipline, both in his mechanics and reads.
No quarterback in the league has evolved more over the past decade.
Roethlisberger will only continue to get better in this capacity, especially given his rich supporting cast. By season’s end, Pittsburgh’s receiving corps will be the most feared in football.
I know you’ll want to read the rest of this one…and you can do so here.
Kelvin Beachum shared this photo of himself posing with his fellow go-cart teammates Big Ben, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Ramon Foster enjoying a boys night out!