Wednesdays with Ben

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went through his typical Wednesday afternoon Q&A with reporters.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: Are you guys the "Average Joes" from the movie Dodgeball?

A: We like the underdog role. We come out and play our good football when we have each other's backs and we believe in each other and no one else believes in us. That's kind of us.

Q: Are they similar to Cincy?

A: Absolutely. They're an opportunistic team. They make a lot of plays. They always seem to be around the ball. The ball bounces their way a lot and that's a credit to them. They make a lot of plays. It's going to be important to make sure we take care of the ball, don't turn it over and try, for my part, to throw it to the guys in the white jerseys.

Q: How does that linebacker speed help them in that regard?

A: Their whole team is fast, but their linebacking corps – those three guys – are incredibly fast, athletic, talented. It's going to be a challenge for us in all aspects of our game.

Q: Do you like putting the load on your shoulders?

A: Yeah I have no problem with that because I want to come out and take care of the things I have to deal with. As a quarterback, if you do that, and don't turn the ball over and you do the things you're supposed to do, you give yourself and your team a better chance of winning the game.

Q: Could you talk about the difference from last year in how you're seeing the field?

A: You have to give a lot of credit to our offensive line. They're giving me time to sit in the pocket and make plays. The receivers are making plays down the field. It's definitely not just me. It's all those guys who are helping me see the field better.

Q: Why have you been able to pass early in games?

A: That's a credit to our run game. Our run game is usually so dominant, we come out running the ball, that coach Whis(enhunt) the last couple weeks said ‘Let's come out and throw the ball.' I love that. The receivers love it. We've been doing a pretty good job of doing that. I think that's a key to this offense. If we can keep a defense on their heels and not really sure what's coming, we can have more success.

Q: The Colts were caught off guard. Will Denver be better prepared?

A: That's hard to say. I don't know how they're preparing for us. We have to prepare for a very talented defense. It's going to be a challenge for us.

Q: What's it like playing a third-straight road game?

A: We've been on the road and we knew we'd be on the road a long time if we were lucky enough to win these games. So we're going to another environment. It's a lot different than Cincinnati and Indy. We were at those places before and we played them before. This is a new team for us. This may be one of our biggest challenges.

Q: Since you haven't played them, does that make them more dangerous?

A: That's kind of the interesting thing. I don't know if this is going to be like a boxing match between two fighters who've never fought each other. Will they dance around for awhile to feel each other out? Or will it be a slugfest with both teams coming out swinging? I don't know how it's going to be.

Q: Do you know their defensive line?

A: It's hard to say. We have to prepare for their whole defense.

Q: How different is this run as a sixth seed?

A: Well we were the favorites last year. We were coming off of a great regular season feeling good about us and this year we're the underdogs. We're the last team in. We like the underdog role. We like it when it's just us. Hopefully all of you guys are picking against us again.

Q: How better equipped are you for the pressure this year?

A: I'm just trying to take it one step at a time and be better prepared for everything that is thrown my way and just making sure mentally that I'm sharp.

Q: Are you still wheeling new stuff out there?

A: We're always throwing some new wrinkles in here and there, and being that this defense is so good and they do so many different things out there, we have to make adjustments. And I think that's a credit to this team and this coaching staff that we can make changes at halftime. We can make changes on the sidelines because everybody believes in what we do and we believe in each other. We have to be prepared to make changes throughout the game.


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