The Steelers went back to work on Tuesday, a short week to prepare for Thursday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field.
And to add to the difficulty of preparing on a short week, the team is coming off a physical game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
“That is probably the toughest part, is the physicality of the game before. Playing Baltimore,” said Ben Roethlisberger. “Everyone knows that is going to be one of the most physical games of the year. We have a couple of days to get ready for another physical team.”
And the best way to prepare, allow your body to recover as much as possible.
“Rest,” said Roethlisberger. “Just try to do what you can to get as healthy as you can.”
Another issue the short week presents is game-planning. Normally there are three full days and the Saturday walk-through to go over everything. This week, it’s two days.
“We’ll be able to throw some new stuff, some new things in there, but not like a typical work week or game plan week where you have a lot of things,” said Roethlisberger. “We’ll have to rely on the no-huddle and some things we have done over the weeks and years.”
Roethlisberger loves to run the no-huddle, something the offense has done with a lot of success, including last week against the Ravens. And it can be the perfect solution for this week because it’s something they have a comfort level with.
“The familiarity of it,” said Roethlisberger. “We have been doing no-huddle stuff and those plays for a long time. Not throwing something new, just the understanding of it. We have been doing it for a while. We know it pretty well. We did it last week in Baltimore well. Just being able to pick up the pace and the tempo and the familiarity of it.”
More from Ben:
On if Carolina is a big zone defense team?
Yeah so far. Seeing some of that and some man stuff but really starting with their two linebackers Luke [Kuechly] and [Thomas] Davis, they’re so good.
On if they are among the best pair of linebackers that he’s seen:
Absolutely. Coach Tomlin compared them to [Brian] Urlacher and [Lance] Briggs from Chicago. They are something else.
On if he is comfortable with James Washington in the situation now, or is that a work in progress:
Yeah. I thought he played well last week, well enough. That is not my call, whoever is in there at that position will be ready to go.
On if he sees more teams taking away the deep ball:
Yeah, there was last week there weren’t a lot of big plays in it, and its teams playing that kind of deep coverage type things. The bend, don’t break kind of defenses whatever you want to call it I guess.
On if he sees chemistry on the team building and also on defense:
We’re just taking it one week at a time. I don’t really like to speak on the defense but offensively we’ve had a lot of the same guys here for a long time so there was no panic in this room early in the season. That’s why we got a good chuckle out of you guys panicking and the outside world panicking but for us it was just a matter of playing the next week.
On what James Washington has been going through:
It gets real. Like training camp, you aren’t really getting tackled, you are but you’re not. You are going against different defenders and I think for him the toughest part is playing one side. In college he played one side of the ball. If you watch college football I feel like offenses are being simplified in a sense that they are all looking to the sideline, it seems to be screens, they aren’t running the whole route tree, it doesn’t appear to be that way. I think the quarterbacks and receivers come in with a disadvantage in the NFL level so it’s different. But I think he’s learning and he is not asking questions, which is a good thing.
On if he finds himself tougher on James Washington or tougher on the rookies in general:
I don’t know. Maybe. When you see the potential but he’s a really good kid. He’s a guy that works hard. You don’t really have to get on him, I think he gets on himself enough. I think it would be one thing if he came in here with a different attitude but that’s not who he is so that is really beneficial for him and all of us.
On what advice he would give Cam Newton to pro long his career:
I don’t need to give him advice. He’s Superman.
On what he thinks of his game:
Like Superman. Pretty spectacular.
On the rule changes and quarterbacks are throwing for more yardage:
I think that is one of the big ones. I think everyone has to keep up with everyone else. You are going up and scoring points, 30’s isn’t even a number anymore in a lot of these games. I think the rules are one of the big games yes.
On if 5,000 yards as big a deal anymore:
It is still a pretty big deal. I’ve never gotten there, and a lot guy haven’t. It’s probably still a pretty big number but it seems like there might be a few guys on pace to get it this year.
On if it would be a big deal to him to get 5,000 yards:
As long as we are winning football games. That’s all that matters to me.