“I’m not missing the birth of my child. There’s no chance. I know some fans probably don’t want to hear that, but there’s no chance.”

More from Ben’s interview with Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Steelers fans know by now their quarterback will become a father this year. What he did not divulge, and still has not, is when his baby boy is due. The delivery is expected sometime this fall, perhaps even on the first Sunday of December when the Steelers visit Baltimore.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Roethlisberger said of trying to avoid a game-day birth.

But if that’s not enough? Oh, well, Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch will just have to take care of business that day. This is not your 2010 Big Ben. He’s 30. He’s married. He has a college degree. He’ll be a dad. He’s different.

“It’s exciting,” Roethlisberger said of impending fatherhood. “There’s a lot of things you don’t think about. It’s kind of like when you’re younger and you want to play quarterback in the NFL, all you think about is playing quarterback, you don’t think about the interviews and the little things you have to do. It’s kind of the same thing.

“When you’re going to be a father, all you think about is having this little baby, you don’t think about the registry, the room, the diapers, all the little things that go along with it. It’s exciting and it is a little bit scary, too. It is. Before long, you’re going to have this little life that you’re taking care of. But I’ve heard nothing but great things from people [about] just how it will change your life. I’m just so excited for that challenge.”

“I feel great. When I’m on the field, I feel great mentally, I feel sharp, I don’t feel I’ve lost any of my arm strength, I don’t feel I’ve lost any of my movement. I feel sharper than ever.”

So, 30 is a big deal for him or not?

“Yes and no. I look at it as, OK, this is my ninth year, which is a blessing in itself for a football player, especially a quarterback. How much longer will I play? I don’t know, no one knows that except the man upstairs.”

It is Ben Roethlisberger’s ninth season. Ninth? It was just yesterday he was the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

“A part of me says, OK, usually a good number you think about is 13, 14 seasons. I think that’s a good, long number. Obviously, you get those 19s, 20s, so in that sense you sit there and say, OK, another five or six years. ‘Boy I’m in the, quote-unquote, back end of my career.’ ”

And there’s another positive thought … “Maybe now it’s time you start playing your best ball.”

You can read the rest of his interview here.