Colbert, Cowher talk about Roethlisberger

<b>Kevin Colbert:</b> We're very, very excited about this. We're excited about the opportunity to get a young quarterback. We said in the pre-draft stuff that we thought this was realistic possibility. The more research that we did, the truer it became.

It just came to us and it was great. We're excited. We think this kid's potential is unlimted. I don't even think he's scratched the surface yet. As Bill alluded to on ESPN, this kid hasn't played a lot of quarterback, having only played the position one year in high school and three years in college. He hasn't peaked yet. We're excited that when he does peak, he's going to be a Steeler.

Bill Cowher: The bottom line is that we don't plan on being up here this often, so when you get a chance to get a good young quarterback who has a lot of upside, it's too golden an opportunity to pass.

Q: This isn't a guy who can help you right away. Could this be considered a gutsy move?
Bill Cowher: It's all how you want to view it. As we sat there putting this board together, the higher you are, you get some quality opportunities. Even though you look at needs and while there may have been other needs that were higher priority, the opportunity to get a quality football player has to take priority over that, particularly when it's that position. You can call it gutsy or whatever, but you have to look at how the board has been put together and to follow that, particularly when you are picking higher in the round.

Q: Bill will you not want him to start right away?
Bill Cowher: We'll wait and see what happens, there's no preconceived thoughts. It's a good situation to be in because of the veterans we have on our offensive football team. If there is a situation for a young quarterback to come in and not feel the pressure to play right away, we think this is one of those situations.

Q: Did you get any offers for the pick?
Kevin Colbert: We had some discussions. But we said it on Monday, we're going to make the pick. It would have taken a lot for us to drop. We were very happy to have this opportunity. It would have taken a ton for us to move.

Q: Were you worried somebody was going to jump ahead of you?
Kevin Colbert: We were good. We had 11 guys. We weren't going to lose in this situation. There was no way we were going to lose. The way it unfolded it was great. There was no reason to panic or do anything crazy. We knew we were going to get a good player. It worked out for us.

Q: Is there any possibility you might trade one of your two veteran quarterbacks? KC: If you look at our quarterback situation, we've got two veterans, we have a young kid in Brian St. Pierre who has a bright future and now we add Ben Roethlisberger, that's a position of strength. We've said it a million times, you can't have enough good players, especially at that position because it's the most important.

Q: What do you like about him?
Bill Cowher: I think athletically, he may have better attributes than the guys taken in front of him. It's only the questions of where he played. Certainly Pennington and Leftwich are quality quarterbacks, maybe with Byron there is still something left to be seen. I think this kid has a lot of upside, the only thing is the experience. A lot of people point to the one game he played poorly against Iowa early in the season, but down the stretch, he played very well. He's only going to get better the more he plays.

Q: With your strength at the position, do you expect to field a lot of calls about a trade?
Kevin Colbert: It's going to be a good day. We're going to go through the rest of the draft and let it roll. We're not actively going to try to move anybody today. We're just going to see how it goes. It worked in the first round. We hope it will work the rest of the way, too. Sometimes patience pays off.

Q: So you'll have the phone off the hook?
Kevin Colbert: No, we'll have the phone on. That's crazy.

Q: Before the pick, Ben was on the phone talking to somebody from Pittsburgh, was it you, was it coach?
Kevin Colbert: It was actually Phil Kreidler. He makes our phone calls. Phil made the contact and then coach Cowher got on with him. We always like to talk to the player, coach likes to talk to the player and get a nice feeling about talking to the kid, then we get the pick in. We needed some extra time just to spell his name. To make sure we got all the letters.

Q: Bill did you realize you had a national audience when you were on the phone with him?
Bill Cowher: I did and after I had him on the phone, I couldn't go and keep him waiting. We made our conversation real short. I knew he was on the camera. I just told him congratulations and that I'd call him back.

Q: The MAC isn't a power conference. What's your thoughts on the kind of football they play there?
Kevin Colbert: Even though people view it as a notch below the SEC, the Big Ten, whatever, they've been very competitive, especially last year. And when you watched Ben play in the MAC last year, he did what you'd expect at that level, dominate. There was no question he was the best player in that conference and that's what you'd expect. If it's viewed to be less of a competitive conference, you want him to dominate and he certainly did that. We don't think he's reached his peak yet. We're getting a guy whose on his way up. Some of his physical attributes are very exciting.

Q: Bill, was there something that put him over the top with you?
Bill Cowher: I think if you looked at those three quarterbacks, they definitely separated themselves from the rest of the group. It was just putting them in order. The question was that if you had a chance to get one of these three, there were some other good quarterbacks in this draft. This is probably a good draft for quarterbacks. I think when you look at him, obviously there is the question of the competition. But when they played Bowling Green, they were both ranked in the top 25. And they had some big wins this year over major conference schools. The more you watched the guy with his arm strength, mobility, his accuracy on the run. Then when you look at how long he played that position, Mark Whipple comes in and in the first year he gets a pretty good player to work with. It's an ideal situation for him to come into.

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