Opponent Opinions: QB Ben Roethlisberger

Few players have attracted more attention this NFL year than Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, who made his season debut last Sunday after sitting out four games because of a league-imposed suspension. Roethlisberger spoke to South Florida reporters on Wednesday afternoon, touching on a variety of subjects.

On talking to James Harrison about retiring: "I talked to him last night. He's a friend and a guy we need out here, and we need to show support for him."

On the Steelers taking pride in being hard-hitting and physical: "I think any defense should take pride in that. And I think most of them probably do if that's their reputation. Since I've been here and since before I was even born that's what Steelers defense is. It's hard-nosed, it's tough and it's physical."

On Troy Polamalu and James Harrison adjusting to changes in league rules and interpretations: "Well, it's hard. And I'm sure those guys, who are some of the best in the game, will find a way to get it done."

On Vontae Davis: "He's strong and physical. He always seems to be making a lot of plays. He's good around the ball. He seems to be running really well too. Guys try to throw fades over the top and he doesn't let that happen."

On his performance last week and this week: "We strive to be the best. Last week I left a lot of plays out there, could have played better. But there's room for improvement. We will get ready this week and practice. We'll go down and try to have a better game."

On the team going 3-1 without you: "Awesome, so proud of them, especially with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch, the quarterbacks, they did such a great job. Just with the team in general, I'm proud to be a part of it."

On Chris Clemons: "We have to identify where a lot of these guys are on defense. They seem to do a lot of blitzing, a lot of moving around, different fronts, different corner and safety blitzes, and a bunch of different things. We're going to have to identify where the safeties are at all times because they can come down and make plays in the backfield."

On facing Karlos Dansby in the Super Bowl and now: "He's a great player. I know that he's very physical and fast. We have to identify where you guys are going to be. He's one; he's been there and played the game. He talked some trash during the game to me and we trash-talked so it was pretty fun."

On having seen Dolphins defensive coordinator Mike Nolan before: "I know he's been with the Denver Broncos and we've played them a couple times the last few years. It helps but you never know what you are going to get. Defenses seem to draw up new blitzes up every week. We just have to be ready with a game plan and be ready to make adjustments on the sidelines."

On not having Santonio Holmes: "'Tone obviously was a great football player and he still is up in New York. He's doing great things. We got guys that had to be able to step up and I think have done that. You know what you're going to get from Hines Ward. But Mike Wallace has done an exceptional job this year. Having Antwaan Randle El back, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, all those guys have done a great job of filling in and trying not to miss a beat."

On the Dolphins struggling at home: "It's going to be warmer there than it is up here. We have to make sure we adjust and deal with the heat appropriately, but it will be nice being out of this chilly weather for a while."

On how it is playing in Miami besides the heat: "It's awesome, the stadium was great. I felt like we had a lot of Steelers fans there and hopefully we will have a lot more this time around."

On what he expects in terms of fan reaction in his first road game: "No different than it is when the Steelers go on the road anywhere. It's always hostile wherever we go. They either love us or they hate us. I anticipate a lot of Steelers fans will be there, but it's never like when you go on the road they cheer for you. But you just band together as a group and play football."

On being hard to take down: "It's a double-edged sword. You live by it and die by it. We got some big plays from it, and we got some big negative plays from it. People ask me why I don't go down, but I think it's just my competitiveness from it. I don't want to give up on any play. Maybe some times I should but it's just hard to tell me to do that."

On much he knew about Cameron Wake before the season started and now: "Not a lot. I think everybody in the NFL knows who he is. He's causing a huge stir. He's doing some great things. He's a very physical rusher. It doesn't even matter if he's being blocked he seems to find a way to either throw guys off of him or run through them. He's making plays left and right like it's nothing."

On changes in what he does on the road during away games: "I haven't really thought about it. I don't think so. For me it's about playing football. I'll go through my routine like I normally do whether it's at home or on the road and just prepare to play the game."

On Miami's defensive line: "They do a lot of similar things like the Baltimore Ravens or Denver Broncos because of the defensive coordinator [Mike Nolan]. Bringing the double-barrel, bringing guys around, running kind of seven defensive backs or extra linebackers, like I said the biggest key is identification."

On areas of his game that have been rusty: "There are probably a lot of things I need improvement on, but that's what practice is for and getting back into it is about."

On whether he has adjusted quickly: "I think it's been good. Every day I feel like we've been doing good things at practice and getting more familiar with each other, trying not to skip a beat."

On more strict tests about concussions before guys can return to play: "I've had mixed emotions about it. I think it's great because it's the one part of your body that you can't repair, not that I know of, a new brain. You get new knees, shoulders and all that stuff. I think it's good. The scary part about it if you get a ding [hit in the head] and you tell somebody, you can't go back in the game. Honestly I think, in effect it's going to make some guys hold back telling truth because they want to get back in the game though they had a minor, little dinger real quick."

On whether that's what he has done: "I play the game hard however it is, but I'm not going to take crazy chances."

On Chad Henne: "I think he's done great, especially with as much wildcat they run down there. As a quarterback you want to try and get into rhythm and a groove. I don't know their ratio, but I do know they do a lot of wildcat and shuffle some guys around. In that sense I think he's playing real well because he's got to be able to throw it on one play and then maybe go out to wide receiver or come out the next play. So you got to tip your hat to him."

On whether there have been any negative reactions from his teammates: "Not one thing."

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