Wednesdays with Big Ben

Fresh off a strong wildcard playoff performance against the Bengals and heading into a rematch with the Colts, Ben Roethlisberger weighed in on Marvin Lewis, the playoffs, and the crowd noise in Indy.

Ben Roethlisberger

What about Marvin Lewis' comments about you being a whiner?
It's something I can't comment on much. You don't expect that coming from a guy like that, I guess he was kind of frustrated. I don't remember complaining. It's just unfortunate coming from a guy like that.

Going into Indianapolis, knowing what to expect, how much better will this time be?
Hopefully a lot better. We need to play better football. We didn't play good football the last time. We didn't play good on offense especially. We just need to go in and improve and play Steelers football.

What's the difference between you then and you now?
I feel a lot better now than I did then. I was a little tentative. I didn't even know what shoes to wear out there on the turf. Now I'm feeling a little better about being out there with the guys. I think they are now more comfortable with me being out there because at that time, they had went through Charlie (Batch) and Tommy (Maddox) when I wasn't playing. Hopefully we're better prepared this time around.

Can you play you underdog status to your advantage, the fact that not many people are picking you guys to win?
Not many people? I don't think anybody is picking us to win. They're a good football team. Obviously, they're the best football team in the NFL and we're just the Pittsburgh Steelers. We're going to go in and try to find a way to put a few points on the board and compete.

Jeff Hartings said last year you were trying to catch up with the speed of the game, now, you're leading. Is that a correct assessment?
I've tried to do everything I can to be better this year than I was last year. I try not to let my guys down like I did last year. Whatever I've needed to do, I've tried to become more comfortable. Hopefully, that's translated into me being a better player.

Do you get more confident and comfortable after every game?
Last week was a good game for us on offense, a good game all-around for our football team, we won a game. It definitely builds confidence, but we're playing a great football team this week in Indianapolis and it's going to be tough.

Was there a point last week when you said, ‘All right, I've got this. We're going to score some points today. This isn't last year.'?
Last game was last week. We're looking forward to this game and we got some confidence last week. But we're going to need a lot of confidence heading into this game.

They jumped on you early the last time. How important would it be to go out and score early?
It's very important for us to get out quick because they can score at the drop of a hat anytime they want to. We have a lot of confidence in our defense to be able to stop them. You have to have that confidence. But if we get the ball first, it would be great for us to go down and score on that first drive. We're going to try to keep (Chris) Gardocki off the field as much as we can and keep Jeff (Reed) to just extra points. That would be awesome.

Is Cedrick (Wilson) maybe somebody Indianapolis is looking at a little more closely this week?
Cedrick has been playing very well recently, but he's been playing well all year. He's a speed guy. He's got good hands. He got his first touchdown the other day, I was happy for that. He's going to be another threat for them on the outside.

What do you think about Bussie on the cover of SI?
I heard he was on, I haven't seen it. He's a guy that deserves to be on there, I guess.

What about the noise the second time around?
It's going to be a big game for us, we just need to play good football.

You don't want to give them any reason to be any louder.
That team is an unbelievable football team. They don't need to be motivated any more than they are. They're as good as it gets in the NFL. It's going to take our A-plus game to be able to go out and beat their B-minus game. It's going to be one of those games where we're going to need to go out and play good football.

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