Q&A: Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger talked to the Pittsburgh media today about the injured foot that knocked him out of the second preseason game, and much more.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

Q: How's everything feeling as you get closer to game day?

A: Good, you know being able to get out there and get some work with these guys and try to get everybody healthy and ready to go because it's a big preseason game for a lot of us, especially for the offense.

Q: Is this more of a regular season game than any of the other preseason games?

A: Yeah we try to make it as close as we can. We do the game-planning a little bit. We have scouting reports. We try to simulate it as best we can. I think a lot of us will get a lot of playing time, a half or so, but we do go into this more like a regular game.

Q: How much playing time would you like to see?

A: Whatever feels comfortable. It's kind of hard to say now. I think it's more along the lines of how you feel when you're out there. We'll see how the flow of the game goes.

Q: Do you need time to work on your timing with Santonio and Hines?

A: I think you always need to get work and try and get better in that aspect. It's good because I get work with them, I know where they're going to be, but with them not practicing for whatever reason it's good to get work with Wallace and Sweed and Nance and Bake(r) and McDonald.

Q: Did you get an apology from Max Starks for hurting your foot?

A: (Laughs) No, no need. It was a total accident.

Q: Can you understand it with James Harrison over there?

A: I understand what's going on over there all the time.

Q: Now that you're feeling better, is it a sigh of relief?

A: Yeah, it was a pretty scare thing to have a three hundred and, (cough), heavy-pound guy step right on the back of your foot, on your Achilles. And he went down, too, so you know he didn't just graze it. We both went down. It felt like – everyone thought they heard a pop, too, so we didn't know what happened, but luckily it was a bruise and it's coming along. It's not a hundred percent but it's coming.

Q: Achilles is a nasty word –

A: Yeah.

Q: Did you get an MRI or anything like that?

A: Oh, you know I can't talk about what we've done, but I'm up walking, I'm participating a little bit, and we'll just continue to get better every day.

Q: Could you have played if it was a regular-season game?

A: Um, I'm glad it wasn't. I don't know. It would be one of those tough ones. We'd see.

Q: What did you see from the offense against a pretty good Washington defense?

A: They did a good job. I thought there were a couple things here and there that hopefully were corrected by watching it on film and being out there. I thought Charlie did a great job connecting on some big third downs. Obviously there are still things, some tuning up we need to do, but for the most part I liked what I saw.

Q: Limas Sweed has had a few drops this preseason. What's your confidence level in going to him?

A: I've got all the confidence in the world in him. I know he can do it. After the drop he had in Washington I came up to him on the sideline and I told him, I said, ‘Limas, you did everything perfect on that. You ran a great route. You swam on the guy. You just didn't catch the ball.' You know what, he just needs to keep his head up. There's no need to get down on a guy like that, because he's playing well, he's come a long way. He'll continue to improve.

Q: Has Limas begun to separate himself as the No. 3 wide receiver?

A: That's coach's call. It's kind of what they see, what B.A. sees, Coach Tomlin. What do they need? A small slot guy? A big outside guy? Who knows what they want and what they're thinking.

Q: What did you think about what happened to Dick LeBeau yesterday?

A: A lot of people were just talking to the defense about Coach LeBeau, but Coach LeBeau and I have a special relationship. We're very close. We hold hands on the team prayer before, and we spend a lot of time golfing and hanging out. I couldn't be more proud. He's such an unbelievable coach, but more than a coach he's an unbelievable person. I think anybody that spends even 10 seconds around him, just something, an aura or something, comes off him and you realize what a great person he is.

Q: Couldn't he be a grandfather figure?

A: Coach LeBeau isn't a day past 50. Don't let him fool you.

Q: What would he shoot at Bethpage?

A: He's not real long, so I don't know how he'd do there, but he'd shoot in the eighties, I'll tell you that – low eighties, maybe 82.

Q: What's it like working with Bruce Arians and what do you like best about the way he calls offense?

A: I enjoy working with him because I feel like we have a partnership and we're able to talk about everything and discuss and critique; I can critique him, he can critique me. It's good because if I don't like something, I'm not afraid to tell him that. He'll tell me the same thing. If he likes it and thinks I should work on it, he'll tell me. But you know what? He's a player coach, he's a quarterback-friendly coach and I've enjoyed having him as my coach.

Q: How beneficial is it for Max to go against Harrison every day?

A: Any time you go against the Defensive Player of the Year and the things he brings to the table, he'll make anybody better, whether it's a back, a tight end, a tackle, but more than just James it's that whole defense. There are a lot of guys on that side of the ball that make us better as an offense.


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