Big Ben met with journalists and reporters today before practice. Among the topics he was asked about was his bye, the Jets defense and Coach Rex Ryan, the mood in the Steelers locker room, his injured finger, the offensive line changes, and teammate Ryan Clark’s comments on ESPN’s “First Take”.
Some of the highlights:
Did a week off help?
Yeah. It was nice to kind of get away and forget about football for a little bit. Kind of recharge the battery.
Did you have a chance to watch the Jets Monday?
A little bit, until I fell asleep. I watched a really good team go down to a tough place to play against, what I think, is a good Falcons’ team and good Falcons’ offense. The Jets’ defense is very good.
Re: The Jets young defense:
It reminds you a lot of a defense that I’ve played a lot against, ours and the old Baltimore. Mixing things around, showing all kinds of different looks, blitzing, just anything you can draw up. Coach Ryan is a very intelligent defensive coach, and sometimes you look at things and you’re like, “Did he just draw that up, literally on the sidelines?” He’s that good. They’re ranked number-two for a reason.
Are they also a group that can overpower you?
Oh yeah. It’s not just finesse and confusion. I think it is finesse, confusion and power. I think they have a bunch of different things that can get to an offense, and that’s what makes them so talented.
Not a lot of teams put 10-11 defenders across the line of scrimmage. Do you almost welcome that? If they’re going to leave the deep part open, do you sense opportunity there?
If you have time to get it off. That’s the issue you come across when you see a zero-blitz and everyone is up, and everyone is going. It’s not easy. If you can just get a little bit of time and get the ball off, you’re good. But the key is blocking it up and giving yourself just a second of time.
Do you look at the standings and think that you are still kind of in this?
Not really. For us, it’s about breaking the season down into quarters and the first quarter is over. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to but we had a bye week. Hopefully we rejuvenate and get ready to go back at it.
Does it make a difference that no one in the division is 4-0 or 5-0?
We know where we’re at and that’s what is more important. We know that we’re behind everybody else and we’re playing catch-up.
Do you worry about guys losing focus when things aren’t going right?
No. I don’t think that guys in this locker room would allow it to happen, and I don’t think that anyone that puts on the black and gold from way back in the day until now has ever allowed it to happen, because it starts at the top with us. From the owners, the coaches and the players, it’s just not the way it happens around here. You always stay focused. You always think you’re in every game and every season until the end.
You seemed to throw the ball pretty well on Monday. Does your finger feel alright?
It hurt a little bit when I threw, but it’s just a finger. I’ve had worse [Laughs].
Ryan Clark said over the weekend that he thought you needed to tone down the improvisation because he thought it was creating too many turnovers and too many sacks. Is that him just trying to say something on ESPN or do you really take something out of that?
I didn’t hear about it. It is what it is. I’m just going to play the game the way that I play it and try not to turn it over.
Do you appreciate a teammate saying that?
That’s the great thing about this country we live in. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and allowed to say what they want. If Ryan feels that way, then that’s fine.
Re: Keeping continuity and belief in the offensive line with all the changes:
You just have to trust in the group and the individual. I’ll always have faith in those guys up front, whether it’s wide receivers or linemen. You have to trust with the work that they put in that they’re going to be focused and ready, and that they’re going to give it everything they’ve got, either to protect you or make a play for you.
Re: Importance for you to know who will be starting on the offensive line Sunday:
I think it’s more important for those guys up front, Ramon Foster, or whoever is a left guard or at center. I would like to know before Sunday morning, but you have to have faith in whoever is out there. Whether it’s Kelvin Beachum, Levi, Mike Adams, whoever it is, you have to have faith. And I have that faith in whoever it is.
You can see & hear more from his interview here.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Daddy hugs are always the best hugs!
Photo: Peter Diana, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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Happy Birthday Wishes To
Ashley Greenley (Aug 18)
Bonnie McDade (Aug 18)
Jenn Wiseman (Aug 18)
Brian Baker (Aug 19)
Brooke Griffin (Aug 19)
Gabe Tyson (Aug 19)
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Ronald McDonald House Charities - Pittsburgh Area
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Big Ben's BBQ SauceGo with what the Pro's use:
Big Ben's BBQ Sauce sales and fundraising have helped raise over $150,000 for his favorite charities, including The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation!
King Street Sports BarIf you are visiting or vacationing in South Carolina....
Stop by King Street Grille with locations in Charleston, Kiawah Island, James Island, Mt. Pleasant and Myrtle Beach!
"Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is part owner of the Charleston-based chain that is decked out in full Steelers theme. However, King Street Grille doesn't play favorites, it's a sports bar where all sports fans and fanatics are welcomed.
"If you're looking to catch up on sports highlights or catch a game, then this is the spot." -- Sun News Restaurant Review, July 29, 2010.
The words from Coach Hep's favorite poem, "Don't Quit" were not recited just to motivate his players before a game - they were a way of life for him. Ben keeps a copy of that poem taped to his locker.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out:
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
Ben on the Cover