From Teresa Varley’s recap at

Ben Roethlisberger knows there will be a lot of hype on Sunday night, a lot of excitement as they celebrate the championship. And it won’t bother him, instead it will be something that can serve as a motivation to be that team next year.

“I think it’s cool to be a part of,” said Roethlisberger. “You go out there and watch it. You try and channel it to say that needs to be us next year. That’s the way I look at it. It’s the first game of the year. They are the world champs. We’re just trying to get to where they have been. It will be exciting for all of us. I know the crowd will be excited. Sunday Night Football, it’s not a one o’clock game. All those things add up to an exciting night.”

This year will mark the fourth time the Steelers have opened the season against the Patriots, previously doing so in 1979, 2002 and 2015. It’s the third time they are opening against them with the Patriots coming off a Super Bowl win, and Roethlisberger was at the helm when the Steelers opened against the Patriots in 2015, a 28-21 loss.

“They are the best for a reason, coaches and players,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s not like we have had a problem with them. The league has had a problem with them. They’re that dominant. Like I have said before playing them at home is hard enough. To go to their place is almost impossible. I guess the only positive is it’s not an AFC North team.

“No one’s got a win, no one’s got a loss. They are the world champs and we have to go to their place and do our best.”

Roethlisberger, like probably every player in the locker room, will have those first-game butterflies when they take the field. But it’s not nerves, it’s just that energy of a new beginning.

“I think it’s just as much excited nervous, as nervous,” said Roethlisberger. “We are going up there. I am sure they are dropping a banner or whatever they are going to do. What an exciting and awesome opportunity for us all.”

More from Ben here.