Memories All Too Clear

Ben Roethlisberger said he's feeling fine, and that he felt that way in 2006 when the Steelers were shocked by the Raiders.

PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger has suffered four known concussions, but after only one of those did he play the following Sunday.

And it was one of the worst games of his career.

In 2006, a week after taking a helmet to the head and being wheeled into the locker room in Atlanta, Roethlisberger went to Oakland and threw a career-high four interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns – in a shocking 20-7 loss that dropped the defending champs to 2-5.

But Roethlisberger told Oakland-area reporters yesterday that the concussion had nothing to do with his poor performance.

"I felt good. I felt clear," he said. "I wouldn't have gone out there. The doctors wouldn't have let me. They're very cautious, especially after my accident that involved my head. Extremely cautious with me, so I don't think they'd have let me go if they didn't think I was ready. I think it was a bad game, to tell you the truth."

Roethlisberger this week is coming off another concussion. He missed one game and expects to return Sunday to play the Raiders.

"Feeling great," Roethlisberger said yesterday. "All headaches are gone. Feeling good."

If Roethlisberger has headaches this week, they might be from answering questions about Hines Ward. Roethlisberger was asked about Ward's controversial comments during his teleconference call.

"He called me and we talked," Roethlisberger said. "We're moving on and everything is fine."

Ward apologized to the team Wednesday "for having to even answer questions about this," Ward said. "We've moved on and (are) getting ready for Oakland."

The Raiders are 3-8, and only 12-40 since beating the Steelers back in 2006. But the Steelers, cleaning up a mess on the field as well, are showing the utmost respect for the Raiders.

"I don't think anybody is taking this game or team lightly," Roethlisberger said.

The Steelers have lost three games in a row for the first time since 2006. The loss to the Raiders that year was the Steelers' second of that three-game skid.

"A lot of young faces out there," Roethlisberger said of this year's Raiders. "I don't think I can talk enough about their secondary, and then adding (DE Richard) Seymour. They're a really good defense. I don't think they get enough credit, at least on this side of the country."

NOTES – The Steelers brought back Anthony Madison and released Corey Ivy. Madison was the Steelers' left contain man on kickoff teams and a gunner on punt teams. He led the Steelers with 25 special-teams tackles and was one of the reasons the kickoff and punt teams ranked first and fourth in the league, respectively ... The Steelers re-signed NT Steve McLendon and RB Justin Vincent to their practice squad and released RB Isaac Redman. ... Chris Kemoeatu (knee) returned to practice Wednesday. Troy Polamalu (knee) and Travis Kirschke (calf) did not practice.

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