Ben Roethlisberger Presser: “We are spoiled to win six in a row”

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger held a press conference following practice Wednesday. Here’s a breakdown of of the franchise QB’s comments about how his team is performing and preparing this season.

What’s the biggest challenge with the Chargers’ defense?

They are an all-around good defense. They are Top-10 against the run, Top-10 against the pass, Top-10 overall. And I think anytime you talk about good defenses you start with pass rush, and they have two really good ends that get after the quarterback.

Are you used to that from the AFC West?

That is how it kind of seems to be the MO over there.

What has Ryan Switzer done to play into the lineup?

Just be dependable. Be a guy that is where he is supposed to be. Tough little booger. He makes a lot of plays, gets hit a lot, but just doesn’t make a lot of the same mistakes twice.

Is Ryan Switzer still learning?

He hasn’t been here very long. I think you see what guys can do when they have been here a year or two years. You saw it last year with Vance [McDonald] a little bit last year, you’ve seen the growth. I think we can keep getting better together as I learn more about him and he learns more about me. But in terms of knowing the offense he knows it really well.

What’s the mindset with five weeks to go? Any panic?

That is a good perspective because there is not panic. We’re just fine. We are spoiled to win six in a row and you always have those good feelings after games and then you lose one. It re-focuses you, maybe gets you back on track for what you need as the fourth quarter of the football season playing your best football so that is what we need to do now is really start playing our best.

Do you think about seeding?

Obviously the first two seeds are important to get that bye but also doesn’t guarantee you as we know from last year getting to the Championship Game. we’ve done it from all the different seeds so just getting in is the most important. Getting one of those first two byes is a big deal but there is still a handful of games left so we have a lot of games in front of us we got to take care of first.

What does it mean to be a part of the quarterback class?

It’s pretty cool, especially when we get kind of compared to the guys of the ‘83 class. [Dan] Marino, [Joe] Montana, Jim [Kelly], [John] Elway, those guys. It’s pretty neat, all three of us still playing, they’ve had a lot of success so it’s cool to be a part of it.

Have you seen what he’s done this year?

He’s an MVP-caliber player, and he’s playing at MVP level right now. What he did last week was pretty spectacular 25 [completions] in a row. It’s hard to follow all of the games on the West, so much but it’s easy because he’s a quarterback to kind of keep track of how he’s doing.

Re: what’s it like to see him play at a high level:

Yea 40 is the new 30 and it’s fun to watch a guy like that play. You said 37 but then you look at guys that are older than him [Tom] Brady, [Drew] Brees, that are still playing at a high level, too. It just tells you if you take care of yourself you can still be successful later in your career.

What’s the secret to that?

For him? Probably having eight kids.

Do you feel the game gets easier because you’ve seen everything?

Not everything. I saw something new last game that ended the game for the first time, but yes, I know what you are saying. You see a lot, the game does slow down a little bit, you understand your offense, you understand defenses, you’ve been in different situations. You go through wins and losses, highs and lows so I think all of those things factor into that.

How special is it that all three quarterbacks from the same draft class have done it with one team?

It’s pretty rare. You look at some of the guys that have played this long and play on one team, it doesn’t happen very often. I know I am blessed and lucky to be here and be here my whole career. I am sure those guys will tell you the same thing.

Does it feel like you have two number one receivers?

No, it feels like we have a bunch of number one receivers. I’d put James Conner in there. Vance McDonald, Switz [Ryan Switzer], Ju [JuJu Smith-Schuster], A.B. [Antonio Brown]. So, I’d put a lot of them as number ones.

Is Antonio Brown still your top option in this offense?

A number one is a number one so I am going to put all of those at number one. I am going to put all of those guys at number one, so I’ve got a lot of top options.

Are you concerned with James Conner’s ball security?

No, nope. I’ll stop you now. There is no concern and we have all the confidence in him. We are going to ride with James because he’s our guy.

Philip Rivers sat his first two years and you came in and played, would you have it any other way?

I wouldn’t. Like I said, I’ve been luck and blessed. His body may feel better because he didn’t play those first two years, but I don’t know if you guys talk to him or not if he’d have it any other way but like I said I am fortunate and blessed the way I had it.

Are you feeling more comfortable running the ball at this age?

I don’t know, truthfully. Sometimes it’s literally just fear, and you find a way to run. We aren’t calling quarterback sweeps and stuff like that. It’s truly just when defenses give you that 22-man with two high safeties and they are running with receivers there is no one really to account for the quarterback so that is when you have to make most of your opportunities.

When you publicly criticize a teammate, when is it time to give a guy a pat on the back or a nudge?

Being around for a long time, dealing with a lot of different players, you have to know how to motivate guys in different ways and I think that is part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. Sometimes you just grab them off to the side and sometimes you have to be honest with them. I think I’ve earned the right to do that with as long as I’ve been here. I’ll be just as critical on myself as well in front of you guys as well.

What’s your approach to how players might receive that in the locker room?

Go ask them, I have no idea. You would have to ask them. I would help they understand as the quarterback and captain I have the right to do those things. I don’t feel I abuse that situation, so I don’t think there’s an issue, but you have to ask them.

What happened on the timeout and then the first interception after?

Well we had to call timeout because the play clock was going down. They changed, if I remember correctly, personnel so we were late getting a substitute in. It was loud, I was trying to get the line to the line of scrimmage, and I had to relay the play to the receivers. By the time we broke our mini-huddle and got guys lined up, A.B. [Antonio Brown] was going to motion across, we had a lot going on still and rather than rush it, you feel it’s a critical situation on third down, rather than snap it before guys know who’s hot, who’s blocking, in my opinion it felt better to call a timeout and talk about it. We ended up switching the play to the short side of the field, that kind of got us into a little bit of a tizzy, and I just have to make a better throw.

Transcript provided by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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