Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger fielded questions from the media horde on the first day of the Steelers' volunteer minicamp. Here's the transcipt:

BEN ROETHLISBERGER, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

How do you feel?

Good. It's good to be back out there. Some new things, new faces all around. It was good to get back out on the field.

Is the offense noticeably different?

It's a little different with some of the calls. I almost feel like I am a rookie again with a little more knowledge than I had the first time around. All of us, all of the quarterbacks, are working together at this point, talking and asking each other what we see and if we did anything right or wrong.

Do you feel you've become one of the leaders?

On the field he is putting more control in my hands, making the calls and making sure I make the change myself. In that aspect, yeah. Like I say every year, I am not going to step on anybody's toes. Alan Faneca and Hines Ward are our captains on offense and they are still our leaders. I am just assuming the role with them.

Will more responsibility in your hands be a big difference?

It makes it tougher right now. Initially it makes it a lot harder because there are a lot more things. You break the huddle and you forget what you called it on. You forget what the protections are. Right now it's tough, but once we get the hang of it, it will make it a lot easier and better.

Do you like to have that on your shoulders?

It makes it easier because there won't be as much complications. There still will be complications. I'm still going to screw up. We're not going to be 100 percent clicking on every single play, but hopefully we can on most plays.

How's Mike Tomlin?

He's a great guy. He didn't try to do too much, which was one of the questions: Is he going to come in and yell and scream at everybody, what is he going to do? He came in and was as calm, cool and collected as he seems.

With a new coach, is minicamp more important?

It's important because we want to improve. We want to do good for him. We want to do good for all of the players, coaches and the fans. It's important we come out and play better and it starts now.

What's going on with Alan Faneca?

Alan is going through a lot right now. He has every right. He is a leader and probably the best guard in this game. I talked to everybody and told them if Alan doesn't want to be here, he doesn't have to be here. He is the best. I am not going to hold any grudge against him. When he comes, he is going to continue and fit right back into the slot of being the best guard in this game.

Will he block for you this season?

I hope so.

With the loss of Joey Porter on the heels of losing Jerome Bettis, does this put a bigger burden on you?

It makes it quieter. We miss all of those guys, whatever reason they left, we always miss those guys. You can never replace them. Everybody just fits into their relationship as it fits.

How about your relationship with Tomlin compared to Bill Cowher?

It will definitely be different because Coach Cowher was here before I got here. Our relationship wasn't great because he was here before I got here and I was just a young kid. Coach Tomlin and I are rookies together in a sense so I think we will have a better relationship.

What about working under Bruce Arians?

Just the philosophy he brings to the offense, the schemes. He did a lot of our passing game last year as a wide receivers coach and now he is in charge of it. I think right now, after half a day of practice, it seems like it is going to work good.

Do you assume you'll pass more often?

I am not going to assume anything now.

What can you tell us about Kenny Anderson?

As a quarterback coach you are a buffer between the coordinator and the quarterback. I am going to miss Mark Whipple. I thought he did a great job here. Coach Anderson will do a great job.


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