PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Coming off one of the most dominant wins in his career, Ben Roethlisberger joined “The Cook and Poni Show” for “The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show” to talk about the team’s bounce-back performance.
One of the reasons for the huge performance by the offense had to do with Le’Veon Bell’s return from suspension. Ben talked about how they didn’t hold anything back in his first game.
“That kind of spoke volumes for his preparation and what we asked him to do all week,” Ben said. “It’s not like, ‘Hey, welcome back, line up behind me every single play, let’s play football,’ you know? We motioned him out, we motioned him across, we lined him up at wide receiver, we lined him up two backs in the backfield, we asked him to run, to block, to catch, to do everything and I thought he did just what we expected him to do, to be one of the best all-around backs in the game, and he showed that.”
The Steelers’ offense certainly showed their high-powered nature. Part of that was due to being aggressive early by going deep on the first play of the game.
Roethlisberger said that was scripted days earlier.
“I think it was maybe Thursday or something I said…’L-Bell (Le’Veon Bell) is coming back, everybody in the world thinks we’re going to give him the ball…lets bring an extra tight end in, maybe an extra lineman, two tight ends, and just fake the play action to Le’Veon,’ because we saw on film they were giving us a man coverage look, and just take a shot the first play of the game.”
Part of that aggressive nature was going for a two-point conversion after that touchdown.
“We basically had a play called where it was an empty package and we basically called signals where I signal every single guy what to do and Markus (Wheaton) was about the third read and he got to the second window and was over the ball and threw him the ball and he made a play,” Roethlisberger said.
Making the offense’s performance all the more impressive is the fact that they were able to dominate despite another injury, this time to right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
Roethlisberger discussed those injuries and what a great job they’ve done in following Mike Tomlin’s mantra, “next man up.”
“We always talk about staying healthy and it seems like that’s the hardest thing for us to do, especially the guys up front who are the most valuable guys on the team. I’m hoping that the (Marcus) Gilbert thing isn’t as serious as we thought after the game..but you know what, this is why we signed Ryan Harris too. A guy that has been in the league, started and won a Super Bowl and came in and played great in the game for us. And we have faith he’ll get it done for however long it may be. And whether Ramon’s (Foster) back or if B.J. (Finney) is going again, B.J. played a great game. He’s one of the guys that I talked about that really stepped up and did some good things for us,” he said.
Aside from being a prime time Sunday night game in front of a national audience, this week’s game was special for another reason as well, the team’s honoring of Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene.
Ben discussed the pregame speech Greene delivered to the team.
“It wasn’t a ‘win one for the Gipper,’ but it was a ‘win one for each other’ and that’s what I took out of it. You could see the intensity that he always played with kind of start to come out the more he was talking. The more he was talking about playing for your brothers and that’s the selflessness that we talk about,” he said.
Click the link below to hear the full interview. Ben also talked about the defense coming up big this last week and a play that stood out in his mind where Maurkice Pouncey showed his dominance.
“The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show” is heard exclusively every Tuesday at 11 a.m. during the Steelers’ season on “The Cook and Poni Show” on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.