There is nothing like having a short week to prepare not just for a game against a team that is in a first-place tie in their division, but throw on top of that a team with a defensive coordinator who knows a little bit about your offense, and will throw everything including the kitchen sink at you. That will be the case on Thursday night when the Steelers take on the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field, and face defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
"This isn't just a defense, this is a Dick LeBeau defense," said Ben Roethlisberger.
LeBeau served as the Steelers defensive coordinator for 13 seasons, spanning two different stints, and Roethlisberger has seen first-hand what he can do to an opposing quarterback.
What does he expect from LeBeau's defense on Thursday night?
"Everything, and I don't know," said Roethlisberger. "That is what makes him so special. Probably one of the best defensive coordinators and even better person I have been around and met. It was so much fun to be on his team to watch what he did to other quarterbacks. I don't think it's going to be as much fun to go against him.
"He is going to get the best out of his personnel. He is going to do what is best for his team. What he has in terms of secondary, linebackers, defensive line, things like that. Does it surprise me, not really because he is the best at what he does and he will find ways to get his team in the best situation possible with the players he has."
Ironically one weapon the Steelers might have to fight not just a short week, but what a defense can bring, is the no-huddle. Roethlisberger said anyone new to the offense is comfortable with the signals and play-calling in the no-huddle, and it might provide them some familiarity in a short week.
"It's easier because that is something you have, it's been in since day one," said Roethlisberger. "Rather than install a bunch of new plays, you go with what you know and have been doing for a long time. Those are the guys you have the biggest questions about, I haven't seen one iota of doubt, question or anything from them.
More from Ben:
On his thoughts on Thursday Night Football:
"It's tough. It is what it is. I know the players voted on it, even though we were the only team to unanimously vote against the CBA. We have to do it. It's tough to turn around physically because it's such a demanding sport, a demanding game. We are a pretty beat up football team and to turn around in two days and go out play another physical football team is tough. They have to go through it too. They played last Sunday too."
On Antonio Brown being on pace for his 5th straight 100-catch season, something that has never been done in the NFL:
"As long as we are winning football games, that is all that matters. I would hope he would say the same thing. That is an awesome accomplishment, he is an awesome football player. He is consistent. He goes out and works, beats double teams, triple teams, he is patient. Last week I know wasn't one of his biggest games, but he comes up with his biggest play when we need it most."
On scoring at the end of the half:
"I don't know why. A little bit (of urgency). Sometimes going in you want to try and put the points on the board. Being able to have that last taste in your mouth be a score, or against the opponent them knowing you scored. Whether it's three or seven, it's a really good feeling to be able to do that just for a confidence builder. You are going in there, you know you just put points on the board. You know you are able to do it and at halftime you can regroup and get yourself ready to go."