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Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger in a one-on-one interview with SCI publisher Jim Wexell on his throwing regimen, arm strength, receivers and outlook for the coming season.

 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: I saw you the first day working out and you looked like you had to get the kinks out. Do you have a regimen in which you build up arm strength? And has it changed as you've gotten older?

BR: No, I throw less in the offseason. That was the first time I've thrown since February, the first day of OTAs, which I feel has benefitted me at the end of seasons, because I don't throw all offseason. There are some quarterbacks, and some of their general managers were trying to talk me into telling their quarterbacks to stop throwing so much in the offseason, because guys go out there and just grind it.

Q: What's the offseason? This right now or the next five weeks?

BR: Both, but for me I still won't throw when this is over. After today I won't throw again until training camp. I try to preserve as much as I can, because you can go out and do a lot of things without throwing. You can do drills and footwork things without throwing. For me, I'm really only going to throw to my guys. It doesn't benefit me to throw to a standing target or whatever. That's why it takes me a couple of days to get back into it, and once I do I feel much better.

Q: It doesn't take you long? You don't have a program through the spring?

BR: No. Rest is my program.

Q: Rest is the best.

BR: For me it is. That's what I found helps me in November, December, January for my arm to still feel as strong as it did early.

Q: Do you still feel it's as strong?

BR: I do. I do. The best gauge for me, I can feel a certain way but if the receivers, they're my best gauge. They'll tell me 'OK, the ball's getting to me quick' or 'You really put that one out there for me,' things like that. They're usually my best gauge in talking to them. It was always easy having Heath. You could talk to him. AB does a good job because he's been with me long enough to communicate with me on how he thinks it is. If I'm not putting the deep balls far enough for him, he'll let me know, or if I'm throwing it too far. Those are my best gauges of how my arm feels.

Q: Spring practice is beneficial though? Don't you have to work with the receivers?

BR: For sure. So many new guys, Justin (Hunter). There are a lot of new guys that you have to work with, so that's why it's good to get in here for a couple days to get some work in. You don't want to go to training camp and have it be the first time you throw to anybody. So there are some benefits to this stuff.

Q: I see you working with Martavis You guys are playing above the rim.

BR: Which is good. It's good to have that threat opposite AB I mean, AB should be doing everything he can to keep Martavis on the field because he's going to create attention, and that's attention away from AB. Justin's going up and playing big. We've got some guys who are really playing some big ball now.

Q: You're excited.

BR: I am. Not having pads on is one thing. We've got to get pads on and get on the football field, but as of right now very excited.

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