Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger stunned local reporters by showing up in the open locker room for a second consecutive day. It was another mob-style interview. Here's half of what the nation's sportswriters asked the Steelers' rookie quarterback Wednesday at noon. And the other half? Steel City Sports could only take so much

BEN ROETHLISBERGER
Anyone follow your lead on tsunami relief?
I'm not sure about that. Hopefully people will start to do that.

Do you hope it's negative 20 degrees at game time?
No. I don't like the cold weather. I'm used to it but it's not like it's going to help us. They're from New York so they're used to the cold weather too.

Coach said you're not a rookie anymore, but what are your thoughts on going into the playoffs as a rookie and knowing no rookie has ever won the Super Bowl?
That's true. I can't be a rookie anymore. The guys are counting on me too much. I can't make rookie mistakes. Obviously I'll probably make them. Nobody's perfect. But I can't afford to make too many mistakes because if we lose we go home.

Do you feel pressure or do you hide it well?
Nah, I think I hide it pretty good. I mean, there's a little bit of pressure out there because if you don't win you go home.

Did you physically wear down the Jets last game?
I don't remember. Sorry, that's too long ago.

Your linemen think the Jets will crowd the line and dare you to throw, even with Plaxico. Could you win a game like that in 10 degree weather by deviating from the team's identity? What if they force you to beat them?
I guess we'll have to see. I know I'll do what I have to do and I know the receivers will, the running backs will, the linemen, everyone will do their job. If we have to throw the ball to win the game then that's we'll try to do. If we have to run the ball we'll try and do that. We're going to go out and execute our game plan.

Your teammates talk about your poise. Where does that come from?
I think it comes a lot from them. They help me have poise. The linemen have done a great job all year giving me time to throw, the running backs are running the ball and the receivers are open and catching the ball. They help me out a lot.

Are you enjoying this moment?
I'm enjoying the heck out of this. I'm having fun. Winning football games is always enjoyable.

Are you worried about being rusty?
No. Actually I feel real good. My body feels better now than it has in a long time, my knees and my ribs and everything, so I feel pretty good. I think this time off will definitely help this team a lot.


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