Ben: 'I am going to be shaking like a leaf'

Ben Roethlisberger has no problem admitting it.

He is nervous about Monday night's game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.

Now, before you go into panic mode, the nerves are good ones. They are excited jitters, jitters every NFL player has before Week 1 of the season, but it's elevated even more for Roethlisberger after he missed almost all of the 2019 season with an elbow injury that required surgery.

"I was driving in (to practice) today and crossed the Veterans Bridge and was thinking to myself, man, I am already nervous for this season," said Roethlisberger. "You always have a little bit of jitters and nervousness for the first game. The way I feel now is more than how I have felt in a long time. I am sure it's going to intensify as the week goes on, then Monday night I am sure I am going to be shaking like a leaf. It's one of those things you get out there and hopefully it all comes back to me really quick.

"There is going to be rust, no doubt about it. Hopefully we can get it knocked off sooner rather than later. That is what makes it fun. If I wasn't nervous, if I didn't have that anxiousness, you shouldn't be out there. If there is not a love for the game, if you don't have that. Since I have those nerves already it shows I still love this game, I am still passionate for it. I want to go out and win for the fans, the city."

Without a preseason, yes, there definitely will be some rust, but it won't just be Roethlisberger. He will be working with a lot of new faces on offense, including some younger guys he is going to have to manage. But he said the first step is managing himself.

"I am more worried about myself than the other guys," said Roethlisberger. "I have to manage myself as the quarterback, the guy who is handling the ball every play. Making sure we are in the right play. Not trying to do too much. It's going to be on me to get myself under control, then help young guys as we go.

"Just because we have a really good veteran group, I think we can help each other in that area. My comfort is going to come from the guys in front of me. We're all going to help each other out. Guys are going to have to make plays for me. I am going to have to make plays for guys. That is why this is the ultimate team sport."

Roethlisberger isn't the only one who is feeling the excitement about the season being so close to starting. He said it's something you can feel in the locker room, a sense that things are getting real starting now.

"Guys are excited. It's our first in season Wednesday," said Roethlisberger. "My wife asked me this morning when I left if I was excited to start this week. I know we started Monday, but being the first Wednesday, I definitely am. I think other guys are excited. When you get this close, you realize how close playing against another team is and the season really starting. I think everyone in the locker room feels this kind of general excitement."