Wednesday with Ben, Nov. 29

The Steelers' quarterback talks about how the team will react to not having Hines Ward in the lineup.

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

How do you feel about facing Bruce Gradkowski?

I hope he comes in and does well, just not too well.

Any idea of what that would be like emotionally?

No. I know it will be a pretty big high for him, but like I said, hopefully our defense plays pretty well.

It's a pretty big day for the MAC?

Always. It's always a good day for the MAC.

You said after the game that some of those sacks were your fault, that you could have thrown the ball away or to checkdowns, was that what you saw on film as well?

We need to move on and focus on Tampa Bay this week.

What about Mr. Bettis and his passing? You've lost someone dear to you, what are your thoughts about it?

As part of this team, the NFL community and the world in general has lost a good man. Jerome being the class act that he is, he got it from his parents. I know the Bettis family well and Mr. Bettis was an awesome guy. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. It's a sad day.

Where do you guys go from here at 4-7? Is it kind of a new season?

We're going to keep taking that one-game-at-a-time approach. That's the biggest thing we have to do. Just focus on this game. It's a big one for us, it's important.

Bill (Cowher) said yesterday that you guys will continue to see a lot more of what you saw from Baltimore, with everybody bringing everybody?

That's the way it's going to be. Teams watch film and that's the way to get things done, to bring the house. We'll expect to see some of that.

Usually you can get a big play out of that, you just didn't Sunday.

That's the disadvantage of doing it, you can get hit for a big play doing it. That's what we need to do, we need to take advantage of teams that do it and hit them for big plays.

Without Hines (Ward) out there, who do you look to or do you look to everybody?

I'm going to continue to do what I do. It's not Hines on every play. I always know where he's at because that's the kind of player he is. The rest of the guys, I have all of the confidence in the world in them that they'll step up and continue to do what they're doing.

In a game like this, it really comes down to who wants it more, correct?

It's getting down to that nitty gritty time. It's time for us to step up and dig deep and come from heart.

Are the young guys playing for next year and jobs?

I think that usually happens when teams quit. I don't think one guy in this locker room has quit. We're going to continue to fight and try to do everything we can to win a football game.

You started a lot of games as a rookie, how tough will this team be on the kid on the other side?

It's never easy. I go against them every day in practice and it's not fun. I couldn't imagine playing them in a game situation, they're a pretty good defense.

Did you watch the film of Baltimore?

Oh yeah, I definitely watched it. You watch and learn and move on so hopefully you don't make the same mistakes.

Is it a matter of just having fun on Sunday?

Yeah, that's what we're going to do. I'm going to talk to the guys and tell them to just go out and have some fun. Let's just play the way we've been playing the last couple of years and just go out and do it.

Is it a matter of elevating some guys with Hines out? Is there anything you can't do without Hines in there?

Hines is always that guy who is Mr. Dependable, if you will. You always know where he's at. I've got all the confidence in the world in the rest of those guys, the running backs. We'll use Heath Miller. I'm not worried about it because I know those other guys will step up.

Can Heath do some of the wide receiver stuff?

Heath's got good hands and he can run well so I think we'll be able to use him in some four wide stuff and utilize him at the tight end position.

Running game?

That's kind of our M.O., so we need to get that going and really, I know the line will take that on their shoulders, to protect and open up holes for Willie (Parker) and Najeh (Davenport) and really get that going.

Would you love to be able to sell a play fake again?

That would be good. We'll get it going again and we'll be able to utilize the whole package, I think. We'll start doing things that we do best, that's running the ball and making the big plays when that comes.

One of the patterns is that you've run the ball well at home and not on the road, any explanation for that?

The field that we have over there at Heinz is suited for our style of football. That's what we do best, is move the pile. The other guys can't get as much of a push. When we had the Bus, he got the wheels going. Willie can run well in it and Najeh can too.

Is your chest still sore?

I'll be all right.

Did you get a helmet to the sternum on that?

No, I'll give him a lot of credit, he hit me very clean. He could have put me out for a while if he'd have hit me under the chin with his helmet. But he hit me clean. I can't say thank you to him, but that's a credit to him that he didn't hit me illegally.


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