Wednesday with Ben

Ben Roethlisberger met with the media Wednesday for his weekly press briefing. Here's what the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers had to say:

BEN ROETHLISBERGER, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Did they look vulnerable in a couple of close games?

No. They're the New England Patriots. They're a great football team. They don't have a lot of weaknesses and we're going to have to be on top of our game.

You're not playing against (Tom) Brady, but you're playing against Brady. Can you talk about going against a guy with that pedigree?

It's going to be an interesting game all around, regardless of who's playing quarterback for either team. It's Pittsburgh Steelers versus the New England Patriots and I'm going to enjoy watching Tom play. Every time we play them, I do, just because I enjoy watching quarterbacks play because you learn from them. Our defense is all over them and you learn how to avoid a sack, I guess.

Is this just another game (Way to lead Captain Cliché into another cliché)?

For us, we're going into it like it's the next game on the schedule because that's what it is. It's not the Super Bowl. It's not the playoffs. It's a big game for both teams.

When you saw the way Baltimore ran on them, does it make you perk up a little bit?

That was very interesting to see them do that. That's one of our MOs, running the ball. I think we'll come in and do that. We've got to be able to run the ball to be effective. We've got to do everything effectively against this team.

What about sustaining drives?

As long as we can keep that offense off the field, the better. If we give our defense a breather and keep them off the field, obviously it improves our chances to win the football game.

Do you relish a 4 p.m. start on the road against an undefeated team?

No, I'd rather it be at 1 so we can get it over with so you guys will stop talking about it and just get the game over with.

But it's kind of a different stage. Is there anything to glean other than winning the game?

No. The biggest thing is that it's an away game. For some reason, we haven't played that well on the road this year. That will be the biggest thing for us, to try to play better on the road.

Do you like you chances of winning?

We've got a good gameplan.

Philadelphia and Baltimore did things at the end of the game that killed them, turning the ball over and committing penalties. Obviously you guys have to be on top of your game.

Yeah we do, from start to finish, from the coin toss all the way to the end of the game. To close out the game, if need be, we've got to be able to score points at the end. There's a lot of little things we need to be able to do in order to beat such a great team.

You talked about the running game, what do you say to Willie (Parker) this week?

Just be yourself. That's what Willie does best. He just goes out and runs. He performs when necessary. I've got all the confidence in the world in Willie Parker, Carey Davis, Najeh Davenport, whoever we've got back there.

Do you admire what Brady does?

Absolutely. He's a phenomenal quarterback. He's the best in the game in game right now and his stats and resume prove that.

You mentioned the road, what is it about playing on the road that's so tough to overcome?

I don't know. Since I've been here, we've always been a good road team. This year, we've kind of faltered a little bit. I don't know if there's any definitive answer to that. It's something we need to improve on, especially this week and in weeks to come.

What's the key to the coordinated pass protection? It seems the offense was better as a whole in protection.

We did a lot of no-huddle, which is me calling the protections and sliding stuff over. When I didn't do it, Alan (Faneca) does it. It's just being patient. You've got to give the line a lot of credit because they made things work whether I made the right call or not.

Do you notice that same thing when you see them play?

Tom's like a super hero or something. He's got like a force field or something around him. He'll just sit back there and no one's around him. A lot of that is him, a lot of that is their offensive line. Our defense is good at getting to the quarterback, so hopefully we'll force him into making some quick moves and getting out of the pocket.

On the same note, their receivers seem to be very fast getting off the line. Is that noticeable as well?

You're asking that to an offensive guy. They've got fast receivers, so I can assume that's why they're fast getting off the ball.

How much have you seen them play this year?

The prime time games, whenever I can. I watch as many games as I can. They're pretty impressive.

How good are they historically?

I've only been alive for 25 years, so I never got to see the Dolphins. I'll be able to tell you better once I play them, but what you've seen, they're one of the best of all time.

What would getting Santonio (Holmes) back this week mean to the offense?

It's another weapon, a guy who can stretch the field. He's a guy they need to watch. If he can go, great, I'm happy. If he can't, Cedrick (Wilson) will fill in, just like he's done the past few weeks.


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