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Inside the locker room: Ben Roethlisberger

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger talks about this Sunday's game against the Browns.

Re: AFC Offensive Player of the Week Award being a team award:
Offensive award, yeah. That goes to everybody because so many guys were involved in that. But that was last week’s award. We’re working for this week now.

Re: Confidence from last week carrying over:
I hope so. We put up some points. We did some pretty good things offensively, so we’d like to keep it rolling. We know this is going to be a tough test on the road against a really good defense.

What sticks out about Cleveland’s defense?
Everything. From the front to the back, it’s great defensive line, good linebackers and maybe one of the best cornerbacks in the league. They’ve got an all-around good defense. No holes that we can find right now.

As bad as that game went last year, do you even look at that tape?
They have a different coordinator and stuff. We looked at some [Arizona] Cardinals stuff from a couple years ago. We’ll do the preparations needed.

What do you remember from that game, other than the football being on the ground a lot?
I remember, unfortunately, not being in there, not being able to help the guys. It was a tough one to watch.

Re: The Browns being favored:
It’s an AFC North game. It’s a big game for both teams. It’s not easy to going in there and playing, and they’re playing pretty good, especially on defense. We’re going to have to be on our game.

What is about that environment that sticks out to you?
The weather is usually crazy. The wind is blowing through, and the dog pound. Not much else needs to be said.

Re: Being 15-1 against the Browns:
We’ve put some good games together when we’ve played them. It’s an AFC North rival, so any time you play them you want to step your game up a little bit. It doesn’t hurt that it’s from kind of the hometown where I grew up a little bit, so you get a little extra motivation.

You have been scoring more lately. What has been the difference between now and what went on at the beginning of the season?
We’ve done a little better in the red zone. If you ask me, we still have a long way to go in that area of our offense, but we’ve gotten better. We’ve scored a couple times when we’ve got down there. We just feel that we still left a lot out there so we still have a long way to go.

The latest report out is about your contract. Are you happy with your contract?
[Laughs] I love being in Pittsburgh. I’m extremely happy. These are all, obviously, new. Every week it’s something fun. [Jerricho Cotchery] asked me today, “What is the new rumor this week?” We’re always excited to see what Ian [Rapoport] is going to make up this week.

Was the ball coming out faster against Detroit?
In certain situations, yeah, because that was the intent. The game plan was to call a play and just get it out. We called some screens, some quick passes, because we saw that some of their coverage was a little soft and they gave up some underneath passes, some flats. That was my intention, especially early on and on early downs to just get it out and get it to the guys quick.

How did you feel about getting rid of it quick?
It worked out for us. We won the game. I feel like we moved the ball. We were averaging I think 7.5 yards on first down, so that’s always good when you’re staying ahead of the chains.

If it came to it, would you take less money to stay in Pittsburgh than you may get somewhere else?
You know what – obviously I would do whatever I needed to do, but that’s something that can be discussed when the time comes. That’s not really my thing. I play football. I have people that deal with all that stuff. I’ll do whatever it takes to stay here and to be a part of this team, and help this team out.

Is it hard to sustain the no-huddle over an entire game or multiple games because the defense adjusts?
It can be tricky. At times you start running out of calls. We have a lot of calls, but you start – certain things look good and you call them a couple times. Even late in that game, I called a run play and they sniffed it out. They started yelling, “Watch the run over here.” You have to have some alternatives and some different quick throws off of the run. It definitely can be tricky to do too much of it.

Do you notice teams catching onto your calls?
Not yet. Like I said, at the end of that game, just the one call in particular, but it’s kind of a common call that we’ve used quite a bit in the past.

Can you switch the hand signals up?
Yeah, we can switch some different things. I’m not going to sit here and breakdown my whole no-huddle for you guys. It doesn’t make any sense.

Coach Tomlin brought up the parabolic microphones and the camera that goes over the field during games. You even want to shut cameras down in practice sometimes.
Certain things, yeah.

Have you thought about that camera before?
I always make, and this is not bullying, but I have Landry [Jones] check out the game tape. I watch the game tape, but I have him watch and Bruce [Gradkowski] does it too, but we all watch it and see what we can pick up to see if there’s anything that can help us so we know what’s on film and what’s not on film.

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