Ben likes what he is seeing from the line

Going into the season, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't know what he fully had in his offensive line. With five new starters from the 2020 season, including two rookies in center Kendrick Green and left tackle Dan Moore Jr., there were plenty of question marks.

Today though, seven games into the season, the questions are being answered and Roethlisberger likes what he is seeing.

"I think we're understanding each other," said Roethlisberger. "We're understanding the offense. Having the same group of guys in front for a while now and  knowing each other. They're taking pride. Watching that game again, they're moving guys off the ball. You look at Myles' (Garrett) sack and the other one where he got pressure, it was strictly him getting a jump. He timed it perfectly. It's a lot to ask a young tackle, any tackle to be able to stop a guy that's that good. Going back and watching what they did, it's amazing. I was proud of the way they're playing."

Moore definitely stepped up against Garrett, one of the best defensive ends in the NFL, something that can definitely be a confidence booster for a young player.

"I would think it would continue to increase his confidence," said Roethlisberger. "I think he still takes pride in the sack and then maybe thinking, 'Oh shoot, I wish I would have done this, or I wish I could have even been better.' And I think I think that's awesome to see a young guy who went against one of the best in the business to still be disappointed with the way he played."

In addition to Moore, Roethlisberger said Green has come 'a long way' since the start of the season. There is still some fine-tuning happening, but that is completely expected. 

"When we were working on under center snaps in OTAs, my hand is kind of off to the side and we were having issues, so I was like, 'Alright, if you hit this spot every time, we'll be good.' And it wasn't always pretty. We're still working. Some of the shotgun snaps you can see are a little high and whatnot. When he turns around, I just give that little look, lower it down, and he will be like, 'I gotcha.'

"He's still learning. He's still growing. I'm not sure how many games he's played at center in his life, but it's not very many. I'm just proud of him. I told him that after the game that night, sent him a text of just how proud I was of his play, and just keep doing it."

One of the things that really stands out for Roethlisberger is how fast the group has come together. And they are doing it without that one true veteran who has taken charge of the group like there has been in the past, instead them coming together as a unit. 

"I think the fact they've done it in such a short time against some really good defenders," said Roethlisberger. "I don't want to say there's not a leader, but it's there's not like your (Maurkice) Pouncey, Ramon (Foster), (David) DeCastro, Al (Villanueva). Guys that have been there. That staple.

"You look at where it is, it's either rookies, new guys that have come in, Chuks (Okorafor), Banner, are the only guys that have been here, and Zach's been hurt. For them to see their cohesion, to see the way they work together without that kind of one guy that's like a follow me kind of guy. I just think they're having fun and they're learning about each other at a really fast rate. It's shown itself and manifested on the field."

More from Ben:

On Najee Harris' blocking:
"He wants to do more than just be a great runner. Being a running back is about more than just being a good runner. Pass pro, even down the field. I think on one of the reverses as well, he got in the way and created a block. I think he takes pride in wanting to be great, and we're seeing a lot of growth."

On Zach Gentry stepping up:
"Zach reminds me a lot of Matt Spaeth, a guy that takes pride in his work. Kind of an unsung hero. Maybe didn't catch a lot of balls, a lot of touchdowns. Doesn't have big stats. But will always put the team first. Does the dirty work. You watch Zach getting his nose dirty in some of the blocks and you reward him with some catches. He's just a team first guy. That's fun to see."

On if he still enjoys playing on Monday Night Football:
"It's still pretty cool. It's just another game, but it's something special. I remember as a kid there wasn't all these games. Monday Night Football was all you had and if I was nice, if I didn't ask too many times, my dad might let me watch the first quarter. But most of the time I had to go to bed. Now I get to be on the field and there's some kids somewhere and they're going to watch the game, so that makes it pretty cool."

Related Content