PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Coming off a disappointing loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger joined “The Cook and Poni Show” for the weekly “#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show.”
Today, he talked about the process that led to him getting the start after missing the previous game.
“I was just telling Coach [Tomlin], ‘Hey, here’s how I feel,’ on Saturday morning, and he said, ‘Alright, well we don’t have to make a decision yet, let’s wait until Sunday.’ So, Sunday morning, he sent me a text when I woke up that said ‘Hey, how you feeling? Lets make a decision when I get to the stadium after you kind of do some stuff on it.’ I found out probably about two hours before kickoff that I was going to be the starter.”
After playing on the surgically repaired knee, Ben reported there were no setbacks.
“Obviously, I’m sore, not just my knee. My shoulders are sore, my hips are sore, I mean everything is sore. But no, I don’t believe I had any setbacks by playing,” he said.
Ben talked about his poor performance, but didn’t attribute it to rust. He said a large part of the game plan was to run the ball, which didn’t let him get into a rhythm until late.
“I wasn’t super sharp this game,” Ben admitted. “Our game plan was, whether I was playing or Landry was playing, was to run the ball and run it a lot…We did a lot of running the ball, and that was the game plan going in and I just never got myself into a good rhythm until late.”
Perhaps one of the reasons that the offense struggled was the injury to Maurkice Pouncey. Ben talked about how bad the injury to the center’s thumb was and if he expects him to be back on the field next week.
“It was nasty, he cut it open pretty good and I think the proper term, he dislocated it, I don’t know, like I said, I’m not a doctor. He came back in that game and I expect him to be out there, short of talking to the doctors or anything like that and then telling me anything else, I would expect him to be out there ready to go,” he said.
After the game on Sunday, wide receiver Antonio Brown met with reporters and talked about the need for other players to step up. Ben was asked about those comments.
“He’s right, people need to step up, myself included. We need AB to step up when the time calls for it, we need Le’Veon, everybody needs to step up when called upon. Guys need to make plays. Not just the routine easy ones, but we need guys to step up and make tough ones. And like I said, it starts with me,” Ben said.
Brown wasn’t the only player critical of the team as Bell said the Steelers are making the same mistakes in practice that they’re making in games and they need to correct those issues on the practice field. Ben said he agrees with that assessment.
“I think at times, yes” Ben said about seeing those same issues. “I think everybody needs to be accountable, that’s from being where you need to be when you’re supposed to be there to doing your job and not trying to do everybody else’s job.”
Fans have been critical of both the team and the coaching staff and Ben discussed Tomlin’s messages to the team and how they are still getting through.
“He’s our head coach, we respect him, we respect what he says. There’s no mutiny forming,” he said.
The final message Ben delivered in his weekly show was to the fans and why they should believe everything will be OK this season.
“I could do the Aaron Rodgers, ‘Relax,’ but I’m just going to say, it’s half time. We’re at half time, and we’ve had a lot of great second halves in my career and Pittsburgh Steelers’ season history…it’s not over yet and I’m excited for the second half of the season.”
Click below to hear the full interview as Ben also talked about some interesting interactions he had with Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and head coach John Harbaugh.
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.