Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared on The Rich Eisen Podcast, which is available for download on NFL.com and iTunes and aired on NFL Network Thursday, May 10 at 1:30 PM ET.
The following is some of what Roethlisberger had to say.
On how he has changed since he was drafted:"I was a very young man, and now I feel like a very old man even though I'm only 30 now. So much has changed. I was sitting in the locker room today after doing a couple of things there and I was sitting with Willie Colon, who I think is two years younger than me, and I looked around the locker room and told him this is getting crazy, I barely recognize half of these guys. I'm feeling old already and I'm only in my ninth year. It's amazing how things change and how you grow up and you're helping these younger guys out because they're coming in with big eyes and trying to figure out how all of this stuff needs to slow down. I remember when I was there. I just try to help them out because it seems like just the other day I was there doing the exact same thing they are."
On the Steelers offensive under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley:"It's different, it's new. I'm sure I'll pick up on it, but because it is so different – almost everything is completely different and new. Change isn't always bad; it just takes a little while to get used to. That's what I'm doing, trying to put the extra work in."
On the reports that he was not happy with the change in offensive coordinators:"The thing about it is, and I've only been a Pittsburgh Steeler for nine years and all I know are the stories, change doesn't happen a lot in Pittsburgh. Look at how long Coach Noll, Coach Cowher [were in Pittsburgh] – they just don't have a lot of changeover. So anytime you lose a player, you lose a coach – it would be uncomfortable to even lose an equipment guy, a training guy because in Pittsburgh it's family. Everybody is family from top to bottom and that's how the Rooneys treat you and that's how we treat each other. To lose a family member like that, of course it's going to hurt you and of course change is different. People made such a big deal about us being so upset and [having] hissy fits – nothing like that happened. You hate to see anybody that is your family leave, and so that was the tough part."
On how much different the offense will be:"I don't know. I get a little confused at times because I know that so much has been made about us quote-unquote throwing the ball too much or going back to Steelers football and running the ball more. But in these meetings I've had with Coach Haley, he's all about the no-huddle and using our wide receiver weapons and throwing the ball. I'm not sure what is going to happen yet."
On Hines Ward's retirement:"It's going to be weird not seeing [No.] 86 out there, and his smile, his competiveness, his fun nature and him making plays for you. It's going to be that way, but it was the same thing when we didn't have [No.] 36 out there, Jerome Bettis. You lose guys and guys retire and guys move on, and that's the nature of this business, but there will never be another 86 and we're going to miss him."
The entire podcast can be downloaded by clicking on The Rich Eisen Podcast.