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Cotchery on Ben: "He's on fire"

Posted Dec 12, 2013

Teammates talk about the play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The numbers definitely tell the story when it comes to the way Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing right now. Roethlisberger, who was the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Month in November, has continued with the hot hand, completing 102 passes for 1,190 yards in the last four games.

“He is taking on the challenge of getting the offense better week in and week out and is flourishing right now,” said receiver Antonio Brown. “He has been spot on. Anytime he is on it everyone benefits.”

Through 13 games Roethlisberger has thrown 24 touchdown passes, with 11 of them coming in the last four games and no interceptions during that four game stretch.
 
“You don’t want to talk about that stuff,” said quarterback Bruce Gradkowski of a quarterback’s mentality during such a good streak. “You just want to continue playing. You just have to stay consistent and keep making plays and that is one thing he just continues to do.

“It’s great when you find the nice rhythm with your guys on the field, the receivers, the offensive line, the play caller. To be in the zone, you are having fun playing and making plays. That is one thing he has always done, make plays. It’s cool to see, he is doing a great job. He is running the show. He does a great job doing that, getting guys lined up, making the right calls, and he has been doing a great job this year.”

Gradkowski said he enjoys watching Roethlisberger, and is one of the biggest cheerleaders for the offense when he is on the sidelines.

“To watch the way he works, makes plays and makes the guys around him better, it’s cool to see,” said Gradkowski. “It’s what you like to see. That’s what your quarterback has to do. That is what he has been doing for years and makes him so special.”

Receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who has been a dependable target for Roethlisberger, marvels at the way his quarterback is playing.

“We use the saying ‘he’s on fire’ and that is exactly what he is right now,” said Cotchery. “He is throwing the ball really well, he sets the tempo when he gets in the huddle, and he is putting guys in the right mindset.

“From a leadership standpoint he has been great. That has helped us a lot even with guys being hurt and other guys playing. He has set the tempo for the younger guys.”

* * *

The Steelers will hold their annual Toys for Tots drive when they host the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 15 at Heinz Field.
 
Uniformed Marines will be on hand collecting new toys at all gates to be given to needy kids in the Pittsburgh area. Toys should not be wrapped, and they ask that there be no weapon toys. The Marines will be set up outside the Heinz Field security perimeter to collect the toys.

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