Roethlisberger completes run test

Ben Roethlisberger showed no ill effects from his motorcycle accident at the annual run test to open training camp. Roethlisberger ran his 14 40s in a slower group -- with Marvel Smith and Orien Harris -- and felt well enough to meet with reporters afterward. Here's the transcript:

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: How did it feel to be back out there running at full speed?

BR: It felt good. I went out there and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel. I haven't been able to run too much. But to be able to go out there and run like that, it felt good. It felt good to get it done with.

Q: Was it important to get out there and show your teammates you're ready?

BR: It was important for me. A lot of guys were asking me, ‘Are you really going to run? You don't have to go out and prove anything to us.' But it was important for me to get out there and show the guys and coaches that I'm out here and I'm going to give it my all.

Q: What's your schedule for practice? Do you plan on going out with the first team tomorrow?

BR: Yeah, I plan on it. Unless Coach Cowher tells me otherwise, I plan on it.

Q: Any questions about that?

BR: Not in my mind. I'm probably wondering about it as much as the coaches. But it depends on how I feel. If I go out there and feel light-headed or dizzy, which would be news to me, than that's different. But as of right now, I plan on going out there, being with the first group and going strong.

Q: Will it be a normal camp, same as always, same amount of reps?

BR: That's coach's call, but, yeah, I plan on it. We've got four quarterbacks, so that might cut down on the reps a little bit because of the nature of the beast, but I plan on being out there and giving it my all every time.

Q: Any aftereffects at this point?

BR: I feel normal. I feel good. I'm a little worn down because I just got done running, but I think a lot of the guys are.

Q: Did you beat Marvel or did he beat you on the final sprint?

BR: I don't know, it might have been a photo finish. We'll have to check the tape.

Q: Why were you running with linemen?

BR: I was running with Marvel. It was one of those things that I wanted to get out there and run. I didn't know how it was going to be. Marvel hadn't run in a while, so we went out and ran together.

Q: How much do you weigh now? Are you comfortable with your weight?

BR: I weighed in this morning at 236 and I'm very comfortable. I want to be between 235 and 240 and that fits right in between those slots.

Q: Do you know what you ended up at last year?

BR: Weight-wise?

Q: Yeah.

BR: Yeah, I know what I weighed.

Q: It was more than that?

BR: Yeah, it was more than that (pauses and laughs).

Q: What about getting back to practice?

BR: Now it's time to get back to football. When we report to camp, it's not quite time for football until we finish this test. Now it's time to start focusing on football. We have a walk-through this afternoon and meetings and then tomorrow we get to start throwing the football around.

Q: You mentioned you hadn't been able to run much, what did you do to keep your wind?

BR: A lot of bikes. It's easier to sit on a bike than run. I've been able to do a lot of swimming and stuff to keep cardio. I've been able to throw and lift since the accident. But I passed today, so I must be doing all right.

Q: Have you given any thought how it's going to feel taking that first hit?

BR: That never feels good; it's never a fun thing. I've said it once and I'll say it again, the best protection isn't the newest technology in helmets or shoulder pads, it's my offensive line. Those guys are the best in the business, so I'm a lucky guy.

Q: Have you given any thought to which helmet you'll wear?

BR: We're going to try both out throughout camp. I'm not getting hit, so it's going to be a comfort level.

Q: Last year Heath signed on the first day and Santonio signed on the first day this year. Is it encouraging to have him here?

BR: It's good to have him here, especially with him not being here for OTAs. To have him out here from Day One will be good; to get him out here running routes and getting him on the same page with the rest of us. We'll get him out here with Hines and let Hines start working with him quick. When you've got a coach like Hines Ward, it really helps.

Q: Are you amazed where you're at physically considering where you were six weeks ago?

BR: Amazed but blessed. I count my blessings every day. When my guys still see me, they shake their heads, the coaches shake their heads. I shake my head every morning in the mirror. I do feel blessed to be out here in front of you guys and to be able to take this test and play football.

Q: Do you have to still take tests of any sort?

BR: No, actually not. I feel like I'm sharp as a tack. I haven't gone out there and had to read defenses and go with our plays, but right now, I feel very comfortable with where I'm at.

Q: Did you ever hear from Santonio?

BR: Yeah, when he showed up yesterday we said hi to each other.


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