Wednesday with Ben, Oct. 18

Ben Roethlisberger held his weekly briefing with the press corps Wednesday. Here's what the Pittsburgh Steelers' quarterback had to say:

Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

What about the challenge of their defense?

There are a lot of challenges this week. We're going to a hostile environment. It's going to be loud. It's in a dome. We know how good their defense is. They're very fast, very physical, and then offensively with the running game that they have.

Are you going to play Michael Vick this week in practice?

No, we're going to let somebody else do that.

What about (DeAngelo) Hall and what he allows the other 10 guys on their defense to do?

DeAngelo is obviously a friend of mine and a great player. He has great ball skills. He could probably play receiver too, which is a far step for most DBs who don't have the ball skills that he do, or does. He's a great cover guy. He likes to jump routes because he's got great ball skills and great anticipation.

You guys know each other?

Yeah, we went through all the draft stuff together.

Offensive line?

The way our offensive line is playing right now, I love it. They're giving me time and protecting me. They'll tell you it's still going to be a challenge for them. They are a good defensive line and they are going to bring a lot of pressure and they're very fast. I'm sure they will be the first ones to tell you that it will be a challenge this week.

The Giants were successful running right at them.

But going into that game they were in the top five, I think, against the rush. The Giants got into them a little bit in the second half. They did a good job of shutting them down in the first half. That's our MO, running the ball, so we're going to do the best we can to keep the pressure on them running the ball.

Did you need a breakout game like last week?

We all needed a game like last week. We got a win. We needed to win the game, that was important. I think offensively we needed that as a group because we came out and played well in all phases of the offense as a group and put together an outstanding performance and I think that was big for us.

Does that mean you're back in the good graces of the fantasy owners?

I have no idea.

To have a rough stretch and to only be a game out of first place, how important is that?

It was nice to see those guys lose and only get us a game back, but right now, we're not thinking of winning our division, we're thinking of winning one game and that's this week in Atlanta. Obviously, it's nice to know that we're close, but right now it's Atlanta and that's all we're focused on.

Hines (Ward) said you guys didn't get good overnight and that you had been close, why did it come together so well against Kansas City?

I don't know. Like Hines said and like we've been telling you guys from week one, we're close. Eventually if you keep getting closer and closer, you're going to click. Hopefully we can continue to click like we did last week.

Will carrying things over from that game to practice and to another game be easy to do?

You felt like you had been practicing well. I did. We've been practicing well and we finally took it onto the field on Sunday. Hopefully we can go into practice this week and have a good practice and continue to carry it onto the field on Sunday. If we don't, I guess we'll practice bad. As long as we play good on Sunday, that's all that matters to me.

How about (Chris) Kemoeatu's play filling in for Kendall (Simmons)?

Chris did a great job of filling in for Kendall and I told him he would before the game. I said, ‘Just trust yourself because you're a great offensive lineman and you'll be just fine and I've got a lot of confidence in you.' He went out there and played very well, as did the four guys around him.

If Kendall can't go this week, how much confidence does that give him and you?

I've got confidence in whoever's on the offensive line. Those guys are incredible. If Kendalll can't go I know Chris will step in like he did this week and probably play better. He'll probably have the best game he's ever played.

Since your rookie year, you had mostly success. Did what happened this year make you a better quarterback?

If you're talking about losing, I don't want to lose regardless of whether it's in pros or college or where I'm at. I hate to lose. You get a lot of critics. It starts in the media and goes to the fans. We've got the best fans in sports and they still want to get down on us a little bit. But that's OK. They have every right to, that's why they are fans. I know there are a lot of happy fans in Pittsburgh right now and around the country


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