Just a little while after Ben Roethlisberger was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, he was focused on the next opponent on the Steelers schedule. The Baltimore Ravens.
"It's AFC North football," said Roethlisberger. "It still has a little something special."
The teams will meet on Sunday Night Football, a game that the NFL knows will always draw a big television audience
"This game always seems to be primetime," said Roethlisberger. "Thursday night, Sunday night, Monday night, whatever it is. Nothing new for either one of these teams to play each other in primetime. It's exciting. You know the whole world is watching and you want to give it everything you have."
Roethlisberger joked that he hasn't heard from Ravens' linebacker Terrell Suggs yet this week, but he expects to.
"I anticipate hearing a lot from him on Sunday," said Roethlisberger.
The two have faced each other over the last 14 years, and a lot of respect has been developed throughout the years. So much that Roethlisberger said Suggs should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection when his time comes.
"Absolutely," said Roethlisberger. "Playing against him for 14 years, this will be 15, if I was a voter it would be a no brainer."
Flag football: The Steelers have been penalized 37 times for 361 yards through three games, a statistic Coach Mike Tomlin has made it clear needs cleaned up.
Roethlisberger agrees, especially when it comes to penalties after the play.
"There is only so much you can control within a play," said Roethlisberger. "There might be a false start, which we call a p-snap penalty, which is a lack of concentration. Sometimes as a lineman you might get beat, and rather than have your quarterback get hit, you hold. There are certain times you can't control things or you can, but you are doing smarter things. To me it's the post-play stuff. Hitting out of bounds. The penalties that are unnecessary. Those are the things that lack discipline in my opinion."
Getting rough: One of the hottest topics in the NFL right now is frequency that roughing the passer is being called. While it's been a point of emphasis by the NFL to protect the quarterback further, many think it's gone too far.
Roethlisberger has been the recipient of multiple roughing the passer calls this season already, something that hasn't been the norm in his career.
"I have been reading and hearing they are going to meet and try and figure something," said Roethlisberger. "Every year we get new rules and points of emphasis and sometimes even the officials have a hard time explaining it. I don't think they even can fully understand when to call it, when to not to. Kind of discretion, kind of not.
"I know for me to get three calls in a season of roughing the passer is out of this world, let alone through three games. You guys know me, I don't complain or talk about, so to actually get a couple is kind of crazy."
More from Ben
On the Ravens secondary:
"Their secondary is very good. It's led by (Eric) Weddle, who leads that charge, he is calling the defense with C.J. (Mosley) not out there (injured). That speaks volumes about what kind of football player he is, his knowledge of the game. I also think your pass rush helps your secondary. You can be a great secondary, you look at numbers, pass breakups, interceptions, whatever it might be. A lot of times that has to do with the pressure on the quarterback. They're just a really good defense all the way around."
On not having to force passes to Antonio Brown:
"Other guys stepping up and playing well. When other guys are making plays, and catches and being in the right spot, you don't feel like you have to give the ball to AB every time. I think it's the most contributions we have had by a great number of people."
On the offense after three games:
"We only have one win and to me, the offense and Randy (Fichtner), it's not about stats. It's about winning and losing. We didn't put up any goals this year in terms of points or yards or where we wanted to rank. We just want to win football games. To only have one win, I would say offensively we aren't doing our job."