“You get caught up when you get so much success so fast, especially in a place like this, where the Steelers are such a big deal. It does go to your head a little bit. I can admit that. You get caught up in the persona — Big Ben. It’s not always a good thing. When you start believing that’s who you are all the time, instead of just on the football field…It’s OK to be that on the football field. I use the analogy, you have to be Clark Kent off the field. You have to be Ben Roethlisberger off the field. I think when that Big Ben starts to get off the field, that’s when you run into issues of losing track of who you really are.” — Ben, from the interview.
From Judy Batista at NFL.com today:
The Pittsburgh Steelers practice had just ended on a temperate August evening, and children were everywhere. It was Family Day for the team, when the wives and kids of players and coaches visit training camp, play a little catch on the expansive green grass and stay for a barbecue. As thousands of fans headed down the hills of the Saint Vincent College campus in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, to the parking lots, one of their heroes sat in a far end zone, his two toddlers bouncing around him.
That bucolic scene didn’t always have Ben Roethlisberger, his son and little girl at its center. And he wasn’t always everyone’s hero, either, even in Steelers-obsessed Pittsburgh. But five years after reaching a personal and professional nadir, Roethlisberger has crafted a successful and peaceful renaissance, formalized in a massive new contract agreed to this March.
As he prepares this season to lead the best offense he’s ever had, maybe the best offense in the NFL, Roethlisberger has also become something more: an unintended and reluctant example of a fruitful second chance, perhaps providing a roadmap even as the NFL and its fans grapple with how many more players deserve one.
“I feel like I let down my family, my teammates, my coaches, the Rooneys, the whole family,” Roethlisberger said one day, a few hours before another training-camp practice. “You feel disappointed, almost ashamed at times. Now that they have rewarded me with the [new contract], I want to reward them by winning football games. I want them to say, ‘There is our guy.’ I want to make them proud.”
You can read the entire article/interview here.
And, if you missed the premier of The Ben Roethlisberger Show with Cook & Poni on The Fan this morning:
With the New England Patriots stealing the headlines again today as reports have surfaced that they sent employees into opponents locker rooms to steal play sheets, Roethlisberger was asked about the report but said he just heard the news as he came off the practice field.
“I’m not one to comment on opponents, especially when we’re getting ready to play them. I’m not gonna be the one that gives them bulletin board material, so maybe next week we can comment on it a little more.”
With the Steelers and Patriots opening the season on national TV this Thursday, Roethlisberger talked about what it will be like going into such a hyped up game as the Patriots will be unveiling their 2014 Super Bowl banner.
“It’s never an easy place to play, never an easy team to play,” Roethlisberger told us. “Then you throw in Brady being out there, that victory that their fans are so excited about and then unveiling the banner for the Super Bowl and Thursday night football, opening game, there’s a lot of variables that I know Coach Tomlin always says that we don’t worry about those variables, but they do mean something. There’s definitely going to be an added energy, excitement…even someone that’s played as long as I have, we’ll get jitters and nerves and anxious.”
Roethlisberger talked about the other obstacle the offense will have to face in overcoming the absence of Le’Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey and Martavis Bryant.
“We’re gonna be a few guys short on offense, but it just means that the rest of us have to step our game up and do our jobs. We don’t have to try and fill in and do more for Le’Veon, or Martavis or Maurkice, we just have to do our job and do it to the best of our abilities.”
Because of those injuries and the rescinded suspension for Tom Brady, the Steelers are going into New England as underdogs and Roethlisberger responded to most people not giving them much of a chance of coming out of Foxboro with a victory.
“Not much chance, we have no chance, I don’t even know why we’re going,” Roethlisberger joked. “And that’s ok. Whether we’re picked to win it, picked to lose it, it doesn’t matter to us. We don’t look at that…the biggest thing is that we leave it all on the field and let the cards kind of fall where they might.”
You can more recap here.