PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Coming off the Steelers’ hugely disappointing 20-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger joined “The Cook and Poni Show” on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN for “The #1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show.”
Roethlisberger talked about the tough loss and how they never expected to find themselves in this situation.
“It’s tough,” Roethlisberger said. “You go from controlling your own destiny to not. It all starts this weekend with us having to beat Cleveland so that’s our number one focus and priority.”
With the offense putting up their lowest point total since a Nov. 1 loss against the Bengals, Roethlisberger discussed what issues they had and why they weren’t able to come through in such a pivotal game.
“They’re a good defense,” Roethlisberger said. “Playing at their place, and you know, we just never got into a rhythm. You’re going to have those days where you have an off day or a bad day. It wasn’t my best day. It wasn’t the offense’s best day and those things are going to happen. It’s just unfortunate we weren’t able to find a way to win the game. We just didn’t have the ball that much early and when we did have it, we didn’t take advantage.”
Roethlisberger has taken some criticism for going deep late in the game to Martavis Bryant on 3rd-and-15 rather than trying to get a more manageable 4th down. He said that wasn’t necessarily the call, but was what the defense gave them.
“The play call was really designed kind of for AB [Antonio Brown] to work the middle, Markus [Wheaton] on the right side to run like a 12 to 13-yard route and then we were going to send Martavis on a go route just in case they gave us the same look that they had given us earlier in the game. And so they gave us that look…the play wasn’t necessarily to try and get it all, but because of a look they gave us, it gave us an opportunity for it. We expect Martavis to make that play. I’m not telling you guys or the fans anything that we haven’t told him or that the coaches haven’t told him…if he wants to be great, he’s got to make that play.”
With this being such a shocking and disappointing loss, Roethlisberger was asked if he or the team would be dwelling on the game or if they are singularly focused on their big matchup with the Browns in the season finale.
“You got to move on,” Roethlisberger said. “Obviously, Sunday night was bummed, yesterday was pretty bummed, but after you get done watching the film and you have your meetings and you talk about the game, you have to move on. I’ve played this game for a long time and, especially at the quarterback position, you have to have short-term memory both good and bad. So, we move on because this week is the biggest week of the season for us. We have to play great football, we have to bounce back.”
While he has moved on and is focused on the Browns this week, Roethlisberger was asked what the feeling was in the locker room immediately following the loss and what he said to his teammates.
“I would say there was a gamut of emotions. Disbelief, anger, just kind of bewilderment and couldn’t understand that that had just happened. We were all kind of disappointed in each other. I think we were disappointed in ourselves and that was my comment to the guys. I said, ‘It starts with me. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and really start there with how we point the thumb, not the finger.'”
It was just a week ago that the Steelers were being called the one team nobody would want to face in the playoffs. Now, they’re on the outside looking in and Roethlisberger talked about how he believes they will still be a dangerous team if things fall their way this week and they get into the postseason.
“I believe that if we can get in, we’re still a dangerous football team. If you get into the playoffs, anything can happen…The goal is just to get in and we can only can control what we control,” he said.
The loss on the field wasn’t the only disappointing part of Sunday for the Steelers as James Harrison’s name was mentioned in an Al Jazeera report linking him to a substance banned by the league. Roethlisberger described what his reaction was when he heard the news.
“I didn’t know anything about any of it before the game,” Roethlisberger said. “I didn’t even know James’ name got into it until Monday…I asked him, ‘Is your name in this or something?’ and he kind of told me some stuff about like, yeah he doesn’t understand why or whatever, so I don’t know enough about it. All I can say is that I’ll back my guys, because that’s my brother.”
You can hear the full interview here.
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.