Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger answered questions about the 0-4 preseason, Jonathan Dwyer, the running game, his motivation, the local baseball club, and much more.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Hey, Ben, you're closing in on 30,000 career yards. What does that mean for you.

BR: I just found out (chuckles). You know, I've never been one about individual goals. It's more about the team to me. To me those are things I'll look back on when I'm done. When I'm done with my career I'll look back and think about how great it might've been.

Q: We've seen a little bit of the offense. What's the status in your mind?

BR: There's always going to be room for improvement. I don't know that we'll ever be satisfied with where we're at. For this time of year and for where we're at, I think we're in a good spot.

Q: You guys seem to be under the radar a little bit.

BR: A little bit? We're very under the radar. That's fine with me. I like being a hunter.

Q: Has your approach to an opener changed over the years? Or is it what it's always been?

BR: Yeah, pretty much. The first game you're always get a little bit of jitters and nerves, regardless of what year it is. But playing at home, you want to come out and get a good taste in your mouth and let the fans have something to really get excited about.

Q: You've come off Super Bowl years and non-playoff years. Is it ever different because of what happened the year before?

BR: No. For some people, maybe. For me, no. The approach has to be the same. Regardless of what happened the year before you have to approach the first game, and every game, like it's the biggest. The thing about a first game of the year is it kind of sets the tempo -- usually it should set the tempo -- for your season. That said, we want to come out and set an early tempo.

Q: What's your reaction to Jonathan Dwyer's release? And how do you think Isaac Redman and the running game will do?

BR: Well, I think our running backs will be great. I'm excited to see what Felix (Jones) can do here in Pittsburgh, and LaRod Stephens-Howling) as well. I know what Redman brings to the table because he's been here and he's been a good back for us. Just excited to see what happens on Sunday with everybody out there.

Q: Are you surprised about Dwyer?

BR: Yeah. It's the perfect example that this is a business. I don't know why it happened, those little details, but you never like to lose a teammate. That's a brother. We wish him and his family the best and hope everything goes well for him.

Q: Did you get a good balance in the preseason between work and rest?

BR: I do feel good physically, so that's Key One. And I feel I got a good enough amount of work in that I'll be ready to roll.

Q: This year's team went 0-4 in the preseason. Do you see more pep in the guys' step for the opener?

BR: Well, I really don't care about winning or losing preseason games anyway. Couldn't tell you what the preseason record is in my career. That's why it's the preseason; you want to get some work in and let young guys get a chance to make the team, if you ask me. For us, there's pep in the step because it's the first game of the year. We're excited about it. We're ready to get back to football.

Q: Not having Heath Miller out there, how does it change anything you do?

BR: Heath's the best tight end in the game. So not only is he a comfort blanket for me, he opens the outside receivers because he requires so much attention from linebackers and safeties down the middle of the field and short passes underneath stuff. We'll definitely miss him and hope and wish him a speedy recovery.

Q: Why are you guys flying under the radar?

BR: Because we're 8 and 8, we lost some veteran guys, we're getting too old, too young. There are a lot of reasons. We could spend all day on them probably.

Q: So why should none of that come to fruition?

BR: Oh, no, I'm fine with us being under the radar. They can say whatever they want.

Q: But you are 8-8, you are older in some places, and you are younger in some places. Why is that not a reason to worry?

BR: The outsiders can doubt us all they want. That's fine.

Q: Do you use that as motivation?

BR: My motivation is trying to win every game and being the best I can be. A lot of guys do use that. There's no secret that we want to be great so we can rub it all your guys' faces.

Q: What will you expect from Tennessee's defense?

BR: We've watched a lot of film. We've watched last year's game, we've watched preseason stuff, we've watched Saints stuff. We don't know what to expect so we're preparing a little bit for everything. I would have to expect a lot of what we saw when we played the Saints a couple years ago, a lot of crazy blitzes and different looks and stuff.

Q: In that respect, is it better to be playing this game at home?

BR: It definitely has its advantages to playing at home, with the crowd noise. That does help, yes.

Q: It took the Pirates a while to get a winning season. Any thoughts on them clinching a winning season?

BR: Well, they don't have a winning season yet, right Mike (Prisuta, who reported on WDVE that they have not clinched a non-losing season)?

MP: That's correct.

BR: (Chuckles) No, I'm so excited. The fans have been waiting a long time for this, and us as fellow athletes in Pittsburgh are excited about it. We wish them the best and hope they keep going up.

Q: And now you have a punter named Zoltan (Mesko).

BR: I know, crazy huh? We found out this morning he speaks four languages, so we're excited to hear some of it.


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