And he was asked right out of the gate

“I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees, that’s just not what I’ve ever done, or who I am, but looking at the bigger picture I would say that all signs are pointing that this could be it – regular season, that is. I know we still have a chance to potentially get a playoff game if things fall our way, and we take care of business, and things have to happen. But in the grand scheme of things, in terms of the regular season, signs are pointing that way – that this could be it…the emotions have started to kick in. But I am able to put them on the back burner.”— Ben, on if Monday night could be his last regular season game at Heinz Field.

More from Ben:

How long did it take you to make the decision or come to the decision?

“The thing about it is, like I said, I don’t speak in guarantees or definites, so I’ll address the definite answer to that at some point down the road. Like I said, my focus is winning this game. This is going to be one – if it is indeed my last regular season game, it’s going to be one of the most important games of my career. I’ve been so blessed to play in front of the best fans in all of sports at the best venue, and what better way to have a last regular season potential game than Monday Night Football against the division opponent. You know, it’s just special. So the long winded answer is I’m not – I got a lot of focus on still for this year and this game. That’s got to be it right now.”

Is it you’re not capable of playing at the level you want or are you just tired?

“You know what? It’s probably – it’s a lot of things. It’s 18 years, almost half my life I’ve given to this city and this team and the fans. The fun thing I know that I still have it in the tank to go out there this week and next week and give it everything I have, to do everything I can to get us in into the post season. That’s always the ultimate goal is to win a Lombardi, and that’s still the goal. We’re not out of this thing yet.”

What are the emotions right now?

“Right now, just trying to get through talking to y’all. (laughter) The emotions will start to kick in. They already have when you think about it, but I think I’m able to put those emotions on the back burner because of the focus we have to win this game. This is a team that’s hungry. I mean, it’s the Browns, the division opponent, so they’re hungry to come in and get a win, too. I can’t sit here all week and just be nostalgic and think about everything that my career has been when I’ve got to focus on this game, because that’s the most important. This is the most important game of the season for us right now.”

On talking to teammates about it potentially being his last game at Heinz Field:

“Yeah, I mean, I think some guys know. I haven’t like asked coach for the floor in the team meeting room and said anything like that, but I think a lot of them know kind of what’s going on. But I’m quick to let them know and remind them that we — let’s end it the way we want and keep going, because that’s obviously the most important thing.”

Do you want any pomp and circumstance surrounding this, you just want to be like another game at Heinz Field?

“Oh, I just want to win the football game. That’s all that matters to me. That’s always been my thing. I found out last week I’ve got 91 wins in Heinz Field and broke a tie with Brett Favre for quarterbacks in one facility. To me that will always mean more than yards and touchdowns. Wins, because that’s – I am sure you can go back to my very first press conference with some of youguys that were here, all I ever said I want to do is win. And that’s what is most important to me, and so that is what’s going to be most important. I don’t care if it’s 3-0. I just want to win a football game, because it’s so important for our season right now.”

I believe you told Tracy Wolfson that Arrowhead (Stadium) was the first time you had your entire extended family go to an away game. Do you plan to have a bunch of people coming in this for this game, or have people told you they’re going to make the trip in?

“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of great family and friends. They come to almost every home game anyway, so I plan on having a lot of amazing people at this game as well.”

How did you decide to bring everybody out to Arrowhead?

“Like many marriages, my wife told me she was going.”

Ben, you always say I love you when you come out of the tunnel.

“Right. Yeah, you know, I always – I’m letting my family know I love them and thinking about them. My daughter loves to do it back, and everyone else does in the family. It’s also a little bit like I love you all fans, too, because it means a lot, these fans. I’ve been a person that I hope that the fans will say that I never quit. I’ve given everything I have. Shoot, last week I was begging to get back in this game down 30 with 9 minutes to go. Coach let me go in that series but not the next one. Minnesota down, whatever, I just don’t know how to quit. I’m going to give everything I have to this game, this team, this season, and just really enjoy what I think, like I said, is the best fans and the best place to play in all of football.”

(Regarding the Colts and Phillip Rivers.) You ever foresee a day where all of a sudden Mike gives you a call and…

“No, no, I don’t think they’ll ask me to come back. I think I’ve been here long enough.”

Was this the plan from the start, or did you want to see how the season was going to go?

“I was excited for this season. I still am because it’s not over. We’re not having this because this is the – it’s all over. We’ve got a really important game this week, which is going to be the most important game of the season. Coming in I felt like this team was special. I mean, we knew we were going to have some obstacles to overcome and we’ve had them and we’ve had some unforeseen ones which is what the NFL is all about, so coming into this season I’ve always been one that has wanted to fulfil my obligation to the team with contracts. I don’t have a contract next season, so I guess the writing was on the wall from them, but kind of all of us together. So I wouldn’t say that I had my mind made up by any means, but I had my mind made up coming into this season that I was going to give it everything I have to try and win a Super Bowl.

“Yeah, yes, in a sense that it’s an AFC North opponent. It doesn’t matter which of the other ones we’re playing. It’s a north opponent. We’re still in it. I know if they pull up the polls we’re on the outside of it, but if we win two we take care of our business, and I know some things have to happen and we have a chance to have another home game. But, yeah, it’s always special to play these guys. Monday Night Football, everyone will be watching. There is always a little extra juice when it’s AFC North football.”

(Regarding the Colts and Phillip Rivers.) You ever foresee a day where all of a sudden Mike gives you a call and…

“Oh, man, not right now. That’s getting too nostalgic. I’ll answer that one at some point down the road. Hopefully one more win. That one will stand out. “

Is that one of the better ones you guys have had this year?

“Yeah, that’s a big drive. Any time you can string together that many plays and take that much time off and not give them a chance, you know, that’s –as an offense I felt like we missed that in some weeks when we’ve had a chance. Tennessee, you think about, when we have a chance to put a game away. The great thing about this sport, this game, is that whatever you have done in the past you can throw out window a lot of times, because at this time of year it’s really just about the guy across from you, the team across from a you, and lining up to play your best football.”