Ben Roethlisberger met with the media Wednesday. Here's what the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers had to say:
Is San Diego better than what its record would indicate?
No question. They're a team that the ball hasn't quite bounced their way at time early and teams are throwing touchdowns late in the game, for whatever reason. They're a great football team and we know that.
What's your practice schedule for the week and today?
I'm practicing today and every day unless something happens to me.
How much do you think that will help you come Sunday?
It always helps when you're out there doing stuff and guys can hear your voice and see the ball come out of your hand. I think it will help a lot.
Does the timing go away when you don't get to do that in the course of the week?
We don't have any new guys out there. When your throwing with the receivers that I have, we don't lose too much of it. But it will be nice to be out there throwing to them.
How much of a struggle is it when you don't get anything on first down? That seemed to be a problem Sunday.
It was very frustrating to look at the chains and see second-and-12 or second-and-10 again. We did a good job on second and third down of getting positive yards and then getting first downs.
They have a new defensive coordinator, are they doing things differently now?
It's kind of hard because it's like the first game of the year because we don't know what they're going to do. Should we watch the old tape? Should we watch the Kansas City game from last week? We've got to put extra time in and prepare to play because we're not sure what we're going to get.
How have they adjusted to not having (Shawn) Merriman in the lineup?
They've got a lot of guys, he's a special player, but they've got a lot of guys who have filled in great. They've done some great things. They're still an unbelievable team, even without him.
Are you surprised at the year Phillip (Rivers) is having?
No, he's a great football player. He's got great players around him and he's making plays.
Are you feeling better (physically) because of the way the game went last week? Did you take less of a pounding?
I actually didn't feel any pain from the game, so it's good. I had another week to kind of get healthy and healed. That's always the goal, to get out of the game without any injuries.
Is it ever going to be healed, or is it going to be week-to-week?
It's always going to be week-to-week. As we saw in the Washington game, it can always come back at any time. If we can get to the point like where I was going into the Washington week, I was actually able to sleep on my right side again, if we can get that point again and not take the hits, I'll be all right.
You and Willie (Parker) will have to make sure you don't bump shoulders on handoffs.
I'm not sure if it's his right shoulder or left. We may have to switch shoulders for a little bit.
It will be nice having him back obviously.
Yeah, it will be. You hate to sit there and say, we did miss him, but then you're taking something away from what Mewelde (Moore) has done. Mo has done a great job of filling in for Willie. It's going to be great to have him back and have a good one-two punch.
You've got a couple of home losses in a row, is that a motivating factor?
That hurts because we do take pride in winning at Heinz Field. It's the comfort level of being at home, the fans. It's disappointing to lose in front of your home fans because you know that they are passionate about it. We need to turn it back into one of the toughest places in the NFL to play and that obviously starts with our play.
Mike (Tomlin) said you guys haven't found an offensive identity yet. How do you feel about that?
I think that we've gotten by, we're 6-3. We have not played good on offense at all, which is promising. It's disappointing as an offense to know that we haven't played up to our potential or even close to it, but we're still 6-3. We still have a second half of a season to go. If we turn it on at the right time, we can be pretty dangerous.
You've had a lot of injuries too.
Injuries always hurt a team. We have had guys go down. People start to forget that Darnell Stapleton is filling in for Kendall (Simmons) and Max Starks is filling in for Marvel (Smith) and Mo for Willie. Hopefully, we'll get healthy at the right time and start to click when we need it the most.
Did you put too much blame on yourself for Sunday's loss?
No. I still feel that it was my fault, but we move on because that week's over.
Fans seem to be getting a little anxious. Is there any of that in this locker room?
No. We've still got a whole second half to play. We're 6-3 not 3-6. There's no reason to panic and there's no room for it. We'll let the fans do that for us. We're going to keep a level head and go out and play football.
A lot of that panic was because you weren't throwing deep a lot against Indianapolis.
A lot of people made a big deal of it, but the reason we were checking down a lot was because it was a cover-2 defense and they were dropping everybody deep and the stuff underneath was open. That's why Mo had a lot of catches and Matt Spaeth had a lot of catches. A lot of why we threw the ball where we threw the ball was because of them.
Did you also want to get rid of the ball quicker?
That was the thing, get the ball out of my hands and get it to the playmakers. We did that. I think we were very efficient. If I could just have two throws back, I would. I think the rest of the game, we looked at it, it was pretty good.