Roethlisberger speaks

Ben Roethlisberger told reporters that he's closing a chapter and making changes in his life during a brief press conference Thursday. The transcript follows:

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers

I appreciate it guys. I know you guys have been waiting for a long time to talk to me, as I have to you. I just wanted to make it quick, let you guys know how good it is to be back on the field. It's been a long time away. It's been hard, but [I've] put in a lot of time and effort and working hard, both on and off the field, while I've been gone. It's not the same. I love football, to death, but I think it's meant more to be out here with my teammates, my brothers, my family, if you will, so that's what has really been neat about getting back out here. [I've] put a lot of thought into my life, decisions that I've made in the past that I've been sitting at home thinking about things, and I've been working closely with the commissioner on ways to make changes, corrections. So, looking forward to the second chance and the second opportunity, not just in football -- because I think everyone knows what you're going to get in football -- but in life. I think that's kinda what's more important. So like I said, I'm happy to be back out here, and I'm even kind of happy to see you guys again. So, maybe I'll take a question or two, Bill ...

Bill: Can you talk about [the fact that] you got a lot of public support from your teammates. And do you look at this as a new beginning?

BR: Yeah, it's been great to read and hear from those guys; not just text messages and calls that they send to me, but to read the things in the media that they say. That's why I say it's great to be out here with my brothers, because they really are family to me. Like I said, I spent a lot of time evaluating my life both on and off the field, and I think this is the time for me to close the chapter of the last couple years of my life and move on to a new one, kind of a new start, so I'm really excited about it.

Reporter: What kind of changes are you talking about making in your life?

BR: Well, a lot of them are personal things, which is just something that I need to do, but it's been neat being able to really re-evaluate my life and spend time with my family and kind of re-evaluate and re-figure what's important in life. That's me. That's kind of evaluating what I need to do, and be smarter when it comes to certain things. Like I said, it's a new chapter and I'm looking forward to it and it starts with football. Glad to be back out here.

PR staff: Thanks, guys, but we've got to get him out.

BR: Thanks guy. I'll be talking to you a lot more.

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