Q&A with Big Ben, courtesy of Steelers.com:
Is quarterback more fun to play than when you started?
It’s always fun to play quarterback. When you have a group of guys that you’ve played with for a while now, and the same group coming back, the coach lets you have a lot of fun with it and have a lot of influence. It’s fun to participate in. It’s fun to see the talented young guys we have.
Is the ceiling for this group of offensive players as high as any you’ve been around?
Potentially. I think it’s still always about staying healthy, as it is with any team. Staying healthy, and [we need to] keep wanting to get better, each guy individually. If each individual wants to get better, then collectively as a group we’ll get better.
You guys talked about the red zone issues early in the season that seemed to get better as the year went on. How would you like to see this offense evolve?
We just want to keep getting better in every phase of the game. Name a category, and we’ll say we want to get better at it. Whether it’s individually or collectively, as a group we need to get better and score more points, get better on third-down, red zone, first-down, second-down, everything.
Why is 30 points per game a realistic goal for this team?
It’s what our offensive coordinator set as a goal for us, so that’s what we’re going to try and do.
How important will Martavis Bryant’s development be?
It will be big. He’s put the work in. He looks good. He’s picking everything up. Last year we just kind of put him in there and gave him a couple of things to do, which he did really well at. Now we’re asking him to do more. We’re asking him to move around a little bit, front side, back side, and to know things better. I’m going to count on him in the no-huddle. Last year he’d ask everyone what to do. Now we feel more comfortable with him knowing what to do. Hopefully he’ll be able to translate that into playing faster.
13 days from your first game, what do you try to accomplish in these early practices?
Stay cool and really just staying healthy. We’ve got everyone back on offense, so that helps. It’s not really breaking in new guys. Obviously De’Angelo Williams is new, but really just trying to keep it going and piggyback off of last year. We don’t want to take any steps back.
What has Coach Tomlin meant to you during your career? How has he changed as a coach?
We’ve been together for a long time. I’m happy to have the same coach around for a long time. I’m glad he’s going to be here for a long time, along with a couple other people in the front office that were signed as well. It’s always fun when you can keep the same group of guys around, because of the familiarity with each other.
What did Jerome Bettis mean to you early in your career? How would you describe the relationship that you guys have?
Like a big brother. And we still do. A [much] older big brother. It’s just great. He was such an awesome leader and person. I still to this day, whenever there’s a situation dealing with a player, I think ‘How would Jerome handle this? What would he do?’ That’s how much I look up to him, because he meant that much to me and to everybody. He was such a good teammate and leader. I’m so happy for him going in [to the Hall of Fame]. It’s about time.
You can read his full interview and watch the video here.
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