Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger enjoys talking to the media so much, he held court at the end of the afternoon practice. Here's the transcript:

Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: How did it go today?

A: Offensively we can do better. The defense did a great job today. The offense has to pick it up a little bit more, but we'll be all right.

Q: Was coach a little more animated today?

A: He's always animated, so I didn't pay that much attention.

Q: What's the evolution of the offense? How's it growing this year?

A: It's just another year under B. A. (Bruce Arians). He's done putting new stuff in right now. We're working on perfecting the things we already have in. I'm learning to progress through the offense, learn the reads. Just learning what everybody's doing is probably the next step for us.

Q: What's new? Can you give us a taste?

A: Nope. Can't tell you. I'd have to kill you.

Q: Were there timing issues today?

A: It was probably just a bunch of little things. Mostly it's from the first day. The things are easily correctable. It's nothing anyone's panicked or worrying about. It's just when you set high expectations for the offense and fail to live up to it the first day, I guess you kind of have to move on. It'll be all right tomorrow.

Q: Is it easier mentally with a game so close?

A: Yeah, we do play soon, don't we? No, it's just one of those things. Training camp is short this year, which everyone likes. It'll save our legs, which kind of killed us last year, being so long. But I think we'll be just fine. We'll start game-planning pretty soon, so we'll be ready for it.

Q: Did the linebackers look active to you?

A: It was everybody on defense. They had a lot of safeties coming down. I tried to convince Coach LeBeau not to blitz today, but you knew that wasn't going to happen. So the d-line was moving around, linebackers, safeties, cornerbacks. That's typical Steelers defense. We have to adjust and make it happen.

Q: Would you like to run that no-huddle offense more this season?

A: We've got a very good offense, however we run it. Whatever Bruce and coach Tomlin see fit, I think we'll be good at however we decide to run our offense.

Q: How did the rookies look?

A: Good. They did really well. They all stepped up and did a good job today. Mendenhall had a couple big runs and a couple times he, as a receiver, not that I wasn't expecting him to know what to do, but I was watching him and he was right on the money. I was impressed with the way he practiced today.

Q: Do you expect Santonio Holmes to make another big leap this year? Absolutely. I think more teams are going to watch him. Even our defense, it seems like they're really watching him a lot closer. He's that kind of a player. He's that dynamic and explosive. He deserves to be watch, and I think teams will watch him. But he's a good enough player that I told him that I expect him to have an even bigger year than last year.

Q: How will you figure out when to hold it and when to throw it away? And how do you practice that?

A: I don't think you can. It's just trying to be smart. I know it's only Day One, but I tried in minicamp to get better at it. You'd see a couple times a day I threw it away instead of trying to make a play, but it isn't a game. They're not trying to tackle me out here, so you never know how it's going to work out. I'm trying to get better at it so I can help this team eliminate sacks and keep us in positive plays all the time.

Q: Will it be a wrestling match with your competitiveness?

A: I like to make plays; I like to be competitive. I'll try and be smart out there, but not at the sacrifice of big plays because we've had a lot of them in my career.

Q: How good can the offense be?

A: We're really young on offense, and that's part of the excitement. I think some people look at it and are a little nervous, but I like the young attitude that we have and I think we can be very good.


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