Wednesday with Ben, Nov. 22

Big Ben talks about why he has to be extra careful this week in Baltimore.

Ben Roethlisberger held his weekly press briefing with the media Wednesday. Here's what the Pittsburgh Steelers QB had to say about the team's upcoming game at Baltimore:

Do you have to keep an eye on where Ed Reed is, he sneaks around and grabs a lot of picks?

Him and everybody else on that defense. No, you've got to keep an eye on him. He's their version of Troy Polamalu. He's a guy that's always around the ball, always flying around. He's a hard-hitter and he's got good hands too. It's going to be a challenge. We always have to know where he's at.

Do you have so momentum coming into this after the way you finished last week?

That game's in the past now. That was a big win for us, but right now we're focused on Baltimore this week. We're trying to get our first win of the season.

Defensively are they better than anyone you have faced?

They're pretty good. They do a lot of different things on defense. In the walkthrough today coach gave us a bunch of different looks just in the walkthrough. It was confusing just walking through. It's going to be a challenge for us. Our offensive line has to have a big day, that's going to drive us.

This is a place where you haven't won, is that in the back of your mind?

Yeah. You always want to win football games. I only remember playing there one half two years ago or whenever that was. We have to come out and play good football.

What do you remember about that game?

Which one?

The first one.

I just remember thinking that I was only going in for a play or two, maybe a series. Then I was trying to figure out where Ray Lewis was on every play.

You don't have to be reminded that there is no love lost between these two teams.

No. That's a well-stated fact. Everyone knows that there is a hatred, if you will, between us. It's a good rivalry. That's the fun part about it. It always goes back and forth and it doesn't matter where you're playing or who's playing, it's always going to be a good game.

Why are they better this year?

I don't know. You watch what they do, they've kept guys healthy. I think Steve McNair has brought a new-found rejuvenation to their offense. And I just think their defense is playing phenomenal.

Is their defense playing better than last year?

I think so.

Does their defense gamble a lot? Are they susceptible to big plays?

Any defense is susceptible to big plays. I think, like I said, they're a very good defense. Ed Reed is a guy who really likes to anticipate plays. We're going to have to be patient and take our shots when we get them.

That half that you played down there, was that just pure adrenaline?

In Baltimore?

Yeah.

No. I don't remember much from that game.

You made a lot of stuff happen, two picks, two TDs. A lot of stuff happened in two quarters.

A lot of stuff happened. I don't remember much. It all just was kind of a big blur. Guys were moving a lot faster than I thought they could.

What allows them to be the best team taking the ball away with 26 takeaways?

Being good, being great athletes. I think it's the scheme they run. I think it's anticipation, not necessarily guessing on stuff, but knowing what an offense is doing and jumping on routes.

So sometimes the best throw is the one you throw into the stands.

Coach said that an incomplete pass might be the best play we have this week. An incompletion is not going to hurt you. It's hard to tell a quarterback to be smart and not throw a pick. I just have to be patient and hopefully we can establish the run game and get ready to hit some big plays.

In terms of the run game, do you guys have to stay with it, even if you don't have success early, just to keep that balance?

Yeah, you always have to be able to, especially with our offense line and backs. When it's clicking like it normally does, we hav the ability at any time to break a big play. As long as we stay with it, I know that our line will open the holes and our backs will bust something open.

Santonio (Holmes) seems to be a guy when things break down, he has an ability to find the open spot and get in touch with you.

Santonio has done a good job these last couple of weeks of really coming along and getting on the same page. We still have a couple of things we need to clear up, where he's on one page and I'm on another. There's just a few things that we need to get in touch on, but he's working hard and I'm really proud of him.

Would you like to see more no-huddle?

We had to go to it late in that game last week. It's one of those things that when you have to do it, we can do it. We practice it after practice. I stay out there with the wide receivers and the running backs and we go over it. We're able to use it when we need to.

How tough is it when it's loud, though?

The two-minute, the no-huddle there at the end, isn't as tough as doing the no-huddle offense that we use in other parts of the game. It will be tough in Baltimore, especially because we know it's going to be loud. We just have to be smart and see how it goes.

The no-huddle is tougher than the two-minute?

Yes.

How?

Because I have to make the calls and the receivers have to hear the words. The numbers. With two-minute, I just have to use hand signals.

Why can't you just use hand signals in the no-huddle?

Because there are too many plays. You want me to name them out too?

We talked about the turnovers, but Baltimore has 18 picks. What are they doing to make that happen, a lot of man-to-man, zone?

Everything. That's the thing that's confusing quarterbacks is that they're going man, they're going zone, they're throwing blitzes at you. They making you make plays you shouldn't make.

Are you confident you'll have Hines (Ward) this week?

He's a fighter. If I was a betting man, I'd put my money on him being out there.


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