Notebook: Arians Says Ben the Best

In today's notebook, Bruce Arians calls Ben Roethlisberger the best quarterback in the league, and much more.

DALLAS – Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was lamenting the fact that Ben Roethlisberger isn't considered elite because of his statistics when a reporter reminded Arians that Roethlisberger is second in post-season and fourth in regular-season winning percentages.

"Right," Arians said. "I'm not trading him for anybody in this league. And I coached Peyton [Manning]. I love Peyton to death. But in the fourth quarter of a ball game right now in this league, I'm taking Ben to win the ball game."

Over Tom Brady?

"Over all of them," Arians said. "He's done it too many times. You know, that drive he had in Super Bowl 43 was historic. I was one of the few people who couldn't believe he didn't get the MVP. Tone [Holmes] made some great plays on that drive, but I think that throw was a little harder than that catch. I'm a little biased, and I was happy for Tone, but that solidified Ben to me because that's the biggest stage there is. We get a holding penalty on the first play and he had to go 90, you know. The guy just never loses his cool."


The hard cast is off and the crutches have been kicked to the curb, but Maurkice Pouncey still wasn't practicing when the Steelers hit the field at TCU on Wednesday.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told pool reporter Peter King that "He's a center who's got a high ankle sprain. If he played a skill position, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But he's an interior lineman. Whether he practices [by Friday] depends on how he responds to treatment."

Of course, the chance remains slim that Pouncey will practice Friday and/or play in the game Sunday.

Also missing practice again was defensive end Aaron Smith, who's been out with a partially torn triceps muscle since Oct. 24.

King asked Tomlin if he has any hope of Smith playing, and Tomlin said, "I do, but it's fading."

Also noteworthy at practice, according to the pool report:

* Replacement center Doug Legursky was pulling on some running plays.

* Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger "looked sharp throwing 10 to 12-yard sideline routes.'

* Scout team quarterback Charlie Batch hit rookie receiver Antonio Brown with a deep pass against the first-team defense.

* Cornerback Ike Taylor dropped an interception.


The Green Bay Packers worked indoors Wednesday at Highland Park High School, and the facility exceeded expectations.

"I don't think anybody was disappointed when they walked through the doors," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told pool reporter Jim Trotter.

The Packers had four players on their injury report after Wednesday's workout: LT Chad Clifton (knees), OG Jason Spitz (calf) and LB Erik Walden (ankle) were limited and LB Frank Zombo (knee) was a full participant.


Mike Wallace went through it just one more time for the national media yesterday. Here's his "Young Money Family":

"I am the founder. I'm Fast Money," Wallace said. "We also have Easy Money and Cash Money."

Which one's Emmanuel Sanders and which one's Antonio Brown?

"E is for Easy Money Emmanuel. That should help you remember."

What about Hines Ward?

"Hines is Old Money. He's got the old money, the long, old money. Ben is Always Money."

Wasn't Heath Miller called Big Money when he was in college?

"I didn't know his nickname," Wallace said. "I'll have to work something out with those guys. It was only a three-man crew but we had to let Hines in because he is our big dog. I'll have to see about Heath."

For the record, Miller doesn't feel left out.

"I never really liked that nickname anyway," he said.


One reporter at the Steelers' media session Wednesday seemed to be looking for angst from players that it's the Dallas Cowboys who are known as "America's Team." Here's how it went with Troy Polamalu:

Q: Even though the Steelers have a great fan base, the Cowboys are known as America's Team. Do you have any comment on that?

A: No.

Q: Wouldn't it be sweeter to win No. 7 in Dallas?

A: If it was here or in Anchorage it wouldn't matter.

Q: Do you think the Cowboys are America's Team?

A: You guys can label it whatever you guys want to label it. That's why I don't watch too much TV. You're really reaching here.


Ward when asked if the Packers' secondary is better than the New York Jets' secondary:

* "No. The Packers – no disrespect to them – they do have a great secondary, but I think [Darrelle] Revis and [Antonio] Cromartie, those two cornerbacks are the best tandem of cornerbacks out there."

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