Having a deep threat, a guy with speed to get open downfield, is something Ben Roethlisberger has been fortunate to have in the offense over the years. In recent history it's been players like Mike Wallace and Martavis Bryant. Now it's Sammie Coates who is his weapon, and Roethlisberger said it's a combination of speed and playmaking ability that makes them effective.
"Being fast helps," said Roethlisberger. "Throw it far and let them make the pay. There are some things we work on and we do it every day in practice. Most of it goes on them. I just throw it."
Some of those passes Roethlisberger threw to Coates last week against the Jets ended up right on target, and while Coates made a few big grabs, including a 72-yard touchdown, he also dropped a few. That doesn't mean for one second, though, that Roethlisberger has lost confidence in him as his go-to guy down field and he shared that with him on the sidelines during the game.
"This isn't the first time I have said something to him," said Roethlisberger. "What was encouraging this week is he almost sought me out to let me know to come back and believe in him. I said you don't have to tell me that. I believe in you and I am going to come back to you. It was good to see that growth.
"You have seen that the last couple of weeks, the growth, improvement and short term memory. That is what you have to have in this sport, for good or bad, short term memory. Things are going to happen constantly. After every play you have to put it behind you and move on. I think he has continued to do that and will continue. I think if I can show him I have faith and belief and a short term memory in him, he will have it."
More from Ben:
On if Coates is being used in the slot at times:
"We have before. You have to move guys around. Just like we move Antonio Brown around, Le'Veon (Bell). Everybody's got to be able to move around. If you keep somebody stagnant it's easier to defend them."
On if the plays downfield early are scripted or based on looks from defense:
"The first play of the game a couple of weeks ago was scripted. This one it was a third down so we have our 15 scripted plays and we have our third down calls. It was one of our first third down calls. So that is why it came up."
On the passing offense:"We're pretty good. We have room for improvement. We have to keep getting better."
On if Coates can't play because of his hand, will Darrius Heyward-Bey step in:"Hey Bey is a guy that has been around, knows what he is doing. He is a guy we all have faith and trust in to get it done."
On if the notion teams play up or down to their opponent is true:
"I don't know. I think every week everyone is trying to beat everybody. Certain teams have bullseyes on their chest, whether that's Super Bowl champions, divisional champions. You just have to go out every week and play your best."
On the Dolphins defense:
"They have very good defensive line. A little different than last week. Last week was a power group. This group has power in the middle and speed on the outside. Playing in their place is always more difficult for our line. This will be a different test than last week."
On what he remembers from his first NFL start vs. Miami in 2004:"Very wet. Just how much it rained. I remember the night before the meetings we didn't have power. We had to use a flashlight. Just all kinds of craziness."
On how you keep yourself from looking ahead to the next opponent:
"It's this week. I don't care who you are playing this week or next week. It's all about right now. You have to play each opponent like they are the best opponent in the world. That is how we approach it. We are going out there to try and win one game. We are going in with a 0-0 record trying to get our first. That is how we approach it. Every week is the biggest week of the season for us."