Media Day with Ben

The Super Bowl media horde finally got a shot at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during the Steelers Tuesday morning Media Day session.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER

On playing receiver as a junior in high school and where he thought his life might be headed:
"That was a long time ago. To play receiver in high school and not play quarterback until my senior year, I never thought I'd be in this situation. I always wanted to be here and dreamt about it is a kid, but I never really thought it would actually happen."

On promise to Jerome Bettis last year and if it seems surreal now:
"I'm just glad I could keep it. I don't like to make a promise I can't keep. I told him that last year after the AFC Championship. I said, ‘Bus, I promise I'll get you to the Super Bowl.' That was maybe something just to try and get him to come back. Luckily, I was able to keep that promise."

On his development and if it was something he knew he'd be able to reach this fast:
"I knew that we had a pretty special team coming into this year and I just had to play my part and get better and do better than I did last year. The development has been a big thing. I've come a long way. We've come a long way as a team and I think that is a credit to the coaching staff and the players. We believe in what we do."

On the Seattle defense:
"They deserve a lot of recognition. Watching their defense, they're fast, they're physical. They are always flying around and making plays. This very well could be our toughest test on offense."

On possibility of being youngest to win the Super Bowl and if he's thought about that:
"Nope, not at all. Going into this we don't like to look ahead. We stay focused on what we have to do. The fact is, I'm the second youngest to play and that's all that matters right now."

On talking to Dan Marino who was the youngest to play:
"We talked a couple of times this week. He called me and said, ‘Listen, enjoy it and have fun there because you never know if it is going to come back.' He said that he thought he was going to make it back and he never got to play in it again. He told me to enjoy it but to take it serious enough because you want to win it since it could be your only time getting here."

On having Joey Porter on his team:
"It is great to have that type of leadership on defense. He's a vocal leader for this team. He's a guy who is always talking a big game and it is great because he can back it up with his play on the field. He's so much fun to watch out there on the field. I have to go against him in practice every once in a while and it is never fun."

On Seattle's secondary:
"They are opportunistic like the Bengals were. They are always around the ball. The ball bounces their way and they pick it off. They are always making plays. I think they are fast, very, very fast. I think it is going to be a challenge. I don't know that they are exactly like any secondary we've played, but they make the most of all of their opportunities."

On how he views talking to the media:
"This is the best part of it, talking to you guys. It is part of the territory. You have to accept it, especially being the quarterback you know that the cameras are pointing at you and that the media wants to talk to you. You just have to be smart and you know it comes with the territory."

On what this means to Jerome Bettis to play this game in his hometown:
"It means a lot. It means a lot to be able to bring Jerome back and we'd love to win it for him. It means a lot for a guy who is not only an ambassador for this team, he's an ambassador for the NFL, and he's just a great person and a great role model for people. So, the opportunity to bring him back is awesome."

On what he expects Bettis to say to the team before the game:
"I'm going to tell him not to say too much because I don't want to start getting teary eyed. When Jerome starts talking you start getting teary eyed because of how much he means to you. We don't want to have a bunch of guys crying coming out of the locker room."

On being favored to win this game after being the underdog all playoffs:
"You know what - everyone wants to say you play the underdog card or the disrespect card. That's for the media, that's for you guys. We don't disrespect them and they are not favoring us. We are going out and playing football. This is just about two good football teams going against each other and this is going to be a good game."

On Detroit being near his hometown of Findlay, Ohio:
"Yeah, it's not too far from my hometown so it is kind of nice to come home. My first NFL game was a preseason in here (Ford Field). It is nice to be so close to home. My family will come in this weekend."

On what he asked Marino:
"I just asked him things like what did he do and how he enjoyed the experience because all of the attention and the media was on him. I asked him how to deal with it all and he gave me some words of wisdom."

On what Marino said about game day:
"He told me to stay focused and that I'd get butterflies and that I'd get nervous and that there would be a lot of anxious feelings and to make sure to keep that under control and not let it get the best of me early."

On if he was nervous last year in the playoffs:
"I was a little nervous. I wasn't as nervous as I probably thought I'd be. The thing was I probably went out there and tried to do too much. It was the first game of the playoffs and I was so nervous and excited and everything was going on and I probably let it get to me a little too much. I'm going to try and not let it happen this game."

On dropping to eleventh in the 2004 Draft and if he was angry:
"A little bit. Obviously that helps fuel the fire a little bit. It passes and you let it go and you move on."

On dedicating the season to his grandfather:
"There are quite a few things that you put into this game and the season. My grandfather passed this summer and is something that is motivating me. Jerome obviously is a motivator. Another thing is we still have troops overseas. I think people forget that there is a bigger picture than this football game. We are playing a game and they are serving our country and people forget about them a lot. I think people need to remember that there are thousands of troops over there. This game is dedicated to a lot of those guys who are over there waving their terrible towels, and just fans in general. A lot of love, thanks and respect go out from me and the rest of my teammates for them."

On his thoughts of his grandfather:
"I think about him a lot. Every day I think of him. His picture is in my locker and before and during every game I'm thinking about him. He never got to see a Steelers game live, but I'm lucky now because he gets front row seats to every game."

On Seattle getting so many sacks:
"You don't know where the pressure comes from. They bring it from all over. I think their leading guy only has nine or ten sacks. So many guys have one, two, three sacks because they bring pressure from all over and that's going to be the challenge for us offensively - trying to figure out where they are coming from and how are we going to pick it up. I think making adjustments during the game is going to be key. Our offensive line and running backs will have to figure out where they are coming from in between series and halftime so we can make adjustments and hopefully not let them get to us again."

More on Findlay and how it has changed from Browns to Steelers fans:
"It's a great place to grow up. It's a smaller version of Pittsburgh. The transformation I've seen is awesome. Growing up everyone was a Browns fan around there and you go back there and you don't see very much orange and brown. You see a lot of black and gold and that's just awesome."

On if he plans on going to Bettis' mom's house for dinner:
"Absolutely. That's good cooking right there. I'm looking forward to just being at her house, having good food and enjoying the time with the guys and his family."

On what Bill Cowher is saying to the team:
"Coach is just reminding us to stay focused. He's got a lot of confidence in this team and that we know what to do to stay focused. He's just telling us to be smart."

On if the team will really get down to business starting Wednesday:
"Oh yeah, we are always serious. We like to have fun. We are a fun team but we'll get to business and get going."

On it taking 13 years for Bettis to get here but only two for him:
"That's a crazy thing that someone could play that long in the NFL and not get to a Super Bowl. Some guys never get to a Super Bowl and then like I said, there are people like Danny Marino who get there in their second year and don't get back. You don't take it for granted and you enjoy every opportunity of it."


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