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 makes Oakland a tough place to play?
I think the environment, the team, travel. A little bit of everything.
What is that environment like?
It’s cool. If you respect sports, if you respect fans and venues, it’s a neat one.
Are you upset you won’t be able to play on the dirt field?
No. Not at all. I’ve done that before.
Re: You were 13 when the Steelers last won there, the team is due to win:
Well that’s what makes it fun, right? You asked me about the venues, the fans, and all those things. It’s not an easy place to play. What an awesome challenge for us.
Do they look like a 2-10 team?
No. You see what they did last week against of one of the best teams in football and fought them all the way to the end, so we can’t worry about records. Like I said, I’ve never won there so that becomes a challenge as well.
Are you concerned about the running game?
No. We’ve got our linemen and some guys that are willing to step up and fill the void.
What tweaks need to be made with James Conner out?
None. We’ll put the plan together and go about our business.
What kind of challenge was Derwin James in the Chargers game?
I think that it was just, we’re talking about last week, they made more plays than we did, especially in the second half. They played better than we did. I don’t know if it was anything in particular.
Did he talk you out of running the ball?
No, I don’t think so.
What have you seen from Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley?
[Stevan] Ridley is a guy that has been around the League for a while. He’s got some NFL experience and has been here for a little bit now. [Jaylen] Samuels is a guy that is kind of new to the game and a big body guy that we use a lot in the passing game. We have specific plays and packages with him in because we want to throw the ball, so it will be interesting how they want to use both of them going forward. I think it will be good for everyone to get reps and keep each other fresh.
What are the issues traveling to the West Coast?
I’ve been doing it for a while and I hear people talking about it. Whether you are going to elevation in Denver or going to the West Coast, West-East, however you want to say it but I’ve heard people say if it’s under 24 hours it doesn’t affect your body. We’ve always gone at the same time, as long as I’ve been here. This year we are going earlier in the day, so I guess we are trying something different.
When you went to London did you feel any effect then?
That one I think we went on like a Thursday, we went very late. You felt it. The other team, I think Minnesota went earlier, and I think when you are going that far and going through time zones and different days that’s smarter to have more time but we definitely felt that one, I did.
Can you talk about the urgency of this last stretch of games?
It’s the fourth quarter of the season. We know how important that is that you are playing your best football, December going to January. So, it’s a big stretch for us and we’re playing some really good football teams. Going on the road and playing good ones at home, playing good ones on the road so this is an awesome test for us if we want to be a playoff-caliber team and make the playoffs then we need to have this kind of stretch.
How many production meetings have you had with Jon Gruden?
I had a few I’m sure. He’s one of those guys that everyone knows. Spends hours and hours on film and those kinds of things. I don’t know if production meetings are going to be gleaned on any of those things, but we’ll see.
Do you have the flu or cold?
Something. I don’t know what it is.
What’s the importance of the head coach-quarterback relationship?
Communication. Just like any good relationship. You have to be able to communicate with each other. I think that is also what makes a successful marriage.
How does that play out with you and Mike Tomlin?
I think we communicate well.
Transcript provided by the Pittsburgh Steelers.