It will be a battle of the Pennsylvania undefeated teams this weekend when the Steelers and Eagles face off at Lincoln Financial Field.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger knows it's going to be a battle, as the Eagles defense will present a huge challenge, especially up front.
"They are very good," said Roethlisberger. "Fletcher (Cox) and the rest of those guys, they get speed on the outside getting around the edges and then Fletcher and the other guys get push up the middle. That is where it starts for them, getting pressure on the quarterback. Maybe not blitzing all of the time, but counting on those four, five, six man rushes to get it done."
While the season is still young, the Eagles defense ranks fourth overall in the NFL and Roethlisberger can see why.
"They put you behind the chains," said Roethlisberger. "First and second down, making you in second-and-long, third-and-long situations so then their zones, they can sit back and rush the passer. Then how good they are in the red zone, not allowing any points."
The defense isn't the only area where the Eagles are dangerous. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has come out of the gates strong, and is making the necessary adjustments a young quarterback needs to.
"The speed of everything that happens. Reading a defense, understanding your offense, all have to happen really fast," said Roethlisberger. "I think he is doing a really good job of that now, just letting the game come to him. Not forcing it. You see him throwing balls away, not trying to make too many crazy throws down the field, and then using his legs when needed.
"He is a really smart guy, smart player, physically gifted. His preparation is very good."
It wasn't just the Eagles that Roethlisberger talked about, as having a healthy group of receivers back at his disposal with the return of Markus Wheaton is definitely a positive for the offense.
"(He is) a guy that has been here, knows the offense, good speed," said Roethlisberger. "Someone I have trust and faith in as well."
With Wheaton back, and having Antonio Brown, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Eli Rogers, Roethlisberger has a good problem on his hands with such an arsenal.
"It's competition," said Roethlisberger. "If they can play well enough to keep the other guys off the field that should be their goal."
One player who won't be kept off the field is Brown. Even though he had only four receptions for 39 yards last week against the Bengals, he made contributions other ways and his numbers will definitely be on the rise.
"He is the best in the world," said Roethlisberger. "We won the game, that is most important and I think that is most important to him too. He will get his catches. He will get his yards. He will help us win football games. He is helping us even when he is catching three or four balls because he is taking a lot of attention away from other guys. That is the reason the tight ends were open across the middle, because he is attracting two or three sets of eyes. He is helping us win even when he is not catching balls."
A little more from Ben:
On if he was surprised the Browns passed on Carson Wentz:
"Yes. I thought he was AFC North all the way."On if the offense was made simpler for him when he was a rookie:
"I don't know. I was blessed with a great defense, and you weren't afraid to make mistakes because you knew they were either going to get the ball back for you, or stop them. (We had) A great running game with Jerome (Bettis), and Willie (Parker), and Duece (Staley) and those guys. They didn't ask me to do too much, we didn't ask our offense to do too much. I think (Bill) Cowher's stats when leading at half time—I threw the ball three time in the second half so many times because we were leading. That's just the team we were, the team we were dictated the offense, I think."On how he determined whether to wear a glove last week:
"I don't like to wear it when it's raining. I want to feel the ball with my own skin. Really windy or really cold, I'll consider it. But for the most part, I've kind of gotten away from wearing one on my right hand."On the scramble when he connected with Coates last week:
"We try to practice things like that in practice, when I try to scramble, scramble drill-type of things. I thought he did a great job. There was no hesitation, I kind of pointed for him to go deep and he took off right away and made a great play. That's some really good positive stuff you see from a young guy who hasn't had a lot of experience and playing time with me."On how to keep a rhythm when the receivers are rotating:
"We rotate in practice. I'm throwing to every one of them every day, multiple times. For me, when they're out there I should know who's out there. It should just be a constant flow of whose going. I have faith in all them and they have faith in me that we can get it done."