Wednesday with Ben: Sept. 24

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


What do you remember about last year's game when you played them on Monday night?

Any time you can beat them, it feels good. We're not thinking about that because we can't afford to. They're a new team, as well as we are.

Do you think those guys remember that one?

I'm sure they do. They'll probably use it as fuel. But I think there are a lot of veteran guys there who will say we're two different teams. It's a new year.

Do you have confidence in the rookie (Rashard Mendenhall) running the ball?

Absolutely. He's not Willie Parker and he doesn't need to go out and try be Willie Parker. He needs to go out and be the best Rashard he can be and we've got confidence he can get it done.

Did he show you some things in the preseason?

He's a good runner. Obviously, it's early for him. We've got some other backs, Carey (Davis) will do a lot of helping out back there. He even helps Willie out. He'll do a lot of helping and we'll see how it goes.

Does the Baltimore defense attack teams the same way they did when (Brian) Billick was the head coach?

This is an extremely good defense. They're No. 1 in the NFL. They're bringing guys from every different direction. They've got great players and they're healthy and when they're playing well, they're pretty doggone good.

How does (Ed) Reed always seem to make big plays?

He kind of reminds you of Troy (Polamalu), he's all over the field. He takes chances, he gambles and he gets it right. He's just a phenomenal football player. He's one of the best football players I've ever played against or seen. It's amazing.

Were they overlooked?

I haven't overlooked them and I don't think anybody in this locker room has. I think the media and people out there overlooked them because of what the Browns did this offseason and I think they questioned what they do on offense. You never know who they're going to have in at quarterback. They have a rookie quarterback in and he's playing pretty well right now.

How much of what happened Sunday concerns you that it will happen again?

Well, we never like losing a football game and that's the biggest concern, that we lost a game. But it's early and we move on.

But what about the pass rush getting to you?

You know what? It doesn't concern me. I'm standing here. We're all good to go and we move on.

You're fine?

Yeah, I'm fine.

Do you have an idea what happened now better than Sunday?

Yeah, we had a chance to watch the film. We made the mistakes. What it came down to – I'm sure you guys heard it – was communication. We just didn't communicate well.

Are there things to beat blitzes that will put people back on their heels?

Yeah, if you can beat a team that likes to blitz you once or twice, usually, you'll take them out of it. We didn't do it Sunday. We have to be prepared to do it this Monday because Baltimore will throw blitzes at us and show us a bunch of different looks. If we're prepared and we can beat them once or twice, we'll take them out of it.

Were there a couple that happened against the Eagles that could have gotten that done?

We had a couple early that we didn't communicate well enough on and it hurt us.

What hurts communication on the road?

I think the noise, just understanding what defenses do. We've just got to talk, the center and quarterback, quarterback and o-line, the receivers. It starts with me and the communication.

Will being at home be enough to make that difference?

It will help. We're not going on a silent count, we're using my count. That in itself will help a lot.

How did you have so much success against them last year in that game?

We just made a lot of plays. Heath (Miller) made a great one, Nate (Washington) and (Santonio Holmes). We had a lot of guys step up. We have to hope for some big plays this week as well.

You had the benefit of a 15-1 team when you were a rookie, can you kind of talk about what was going through your head after eight quarters of football like (Joe) Flacco has played?

I don't know what he's going through. I know for me, it was utter confusion, to figure out what the snap was on, to figure out who the mike linebacker was, who I was going to hand off to. It was just trying to figure everything out. I'm sure he's going through some of that. But watching a little bit of what he's done so far, I think they're trying to make it very simple for him to put him in best position possible.

Are you planning on practicing today?

I'm going to try.

Is Monday night still special?

It's just like Sunday night, it's something special. Everyone knows that theme song and it's just Monday night football and everybody's watching and you want to perform. It's a little extra special.

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