Ben: 'The biggest stat is 3-0'

There is one stat, and one stat only, Steelers players are looking at right now.

3-0.

Individual numbers have taken a backseat to the team goal, and reaching that goal is only at its infancy stage. 

And yes, while starting off the 2020 season with a 3-0 record is something to be happy about, it's not something Steelers players are hanging their hat on.

"I have been doing this a long time, started different ways," said Ben Roethlisberger. "I couldn't tell you how I have started seasons in the past, what's our best, our worst was. I just know where we are now. Obviously, guys, coaches, the whole building feels better when you are 3-0 compared to 0-3. This is a professional group. We aren't riding that high right now.

"We know this is a big week and we have another really good football team we have to go on the road to play. It definitely feels better but we are taking it like professionals and taking it week by week."

That 3-0 record has come courtesy of an overall team effort. On offense, contributions have come from all over, and the same thing can be said for defense and special teams. In the passing game, Roethlisberger has completions to 10 different players through three games, keeping the numbers low for some who are accustomed to putting up the bigger numbers, but again, those aren't the stats that matter.

"I would say the biggest stat is 3-0," said Roethlisberger. "I don't think anybody cares about their stats right now. No one is complaining. No one is coming to me. I am not exactly playing lights out. Their stats are directly reflective of the way I play. If I am not playing well, their stats aren't going to be very good. Obviously, some of their numbers are down because I am not playing as well as I should be and need to be playing.

"They are all contributing. There are a lot of guys who have their hand in the pile. They are making plays for us. It seems like it's someone different every week. We have some guys we can depend on all of the time, some new guys are making plays. The ball is getting spread around and I think that's what makes it fun. Everybody is involved and everybody is involved in winning a football game and at the end of the day that is our only priority."

Roethlisberger said the one thing he has to be cautious of is not intentionally trying to spread the ball around to keep everyone happy. He said it happening naturally is the most important thing, because when you think about it too much, mistakes can happen.

"You have to be careful because if you get caught in that game you will try and force someone the ball," said Roethlisberger. "I've done it in the past and sometimes it leads to some bad things. I don't predetermine going into it. The biggest thing that shows is I trust and believe in each guy. Each guy can make a play for this team. Depending on the situation, that is how it unfolds."

A prime example of spreading it around was on the final touchdown drive against the Texans. Roethlisberger hit six different receivers in a 12-play drive that sealed a 28-21 win, something he said he gets more satisfaction from than throwing a long bomb for a quick score.

"As a quarterback when we throw a big touchdown pass, that is what you are paid to do, what you grew up doing. We throw passes for a living," said Roethlisberger. "When we are able to finish games on big drives like that, and a lot of it is running, that means more to me in the sense that we are winning the football game. I will always be more about winning than individual stats. At the end of the day that is more important to me."

* * *

The Steelers are preparing to take on the Tennessee Titans, who also sit at 3-0, in an odd week. Multiple members of the Titans organization have tested positive for COVID-19 and aren't permitted to meet or hold practices at their team facility.

In the meantime, the Steelers are preparing for the game in as normal a manner as possible and knew that this could happen this season.

"We were told during training camp that this could happen if you're not diligent, if you're not careful," said Roethlisberger, prior to the NFL announcing the game would be rescheduled. "I don't know what's going on down there, so I'm not going to speak on them. I'm telling you what we were told. We were told there might be a situation if you weren't careful and there were COVID issues here in Pittsburgh, we might not be able to practice until Friday or Saturday. It's why they made the rule with more practice squad guys this year. We were made aware of those possibilities.

"I don't want to say it is what it is, but that's why the plan was put in place, to be prepared and why so many people here and down in Tennessee, too, in not going out and being reckless."

Roethlisberger said he is taking all the precautions he can personally to protect himself, his family and the team from anything happening.

"I'm home-schooling my kids," said Roethlisberger. "We're not having guests over at the house. You have to do those things if you want to play the game on Sunday. We're preparing to play a game on Sunday, like we should be. They need to prepare however they need to do it."

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