Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown have a chemistry that makes the Steelers' quarterback think of some of the best duos ever to play the game.
When he thinks of their chemistry, he thinks of the likes of the 49ers' Joe Montana and Jerry Rice, the Cowboys' Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, and the Steelers' Terry Bradshaw and John Stallworth and Lynn Swann.
"We have amazing chemistry," said Roethlisberger. "I would like to think we may go down as one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos of all time. That would be an awesome honor because of the guys that I consider that are up there."
But even the best relationships can cause some frustration, something that played out on Sunday against the Ravens. Brown was upset that he was open, and Roethlisberger didn't throw his way. He showed his frustration by tossing a Gatorade cooler on the sideline, and further displaying his displeasure when approached by others.
"He got upset because he was open, which I can understand, sometimes that happens. It's not like I intentionally missed him, it's not like I intentionally didn't throw it to him," said Roethlisberger on his Tuesday radio show. "It's just unfortunate that it happened, and it's unfortunate that he acted and reacted that way."
On Wednesday, though, that was all in the rearview mirror for Roethlisberger.
"We are over it now," said Roethlisberger. "We have moved on to Jacksonville. It's Wednesday, it's Jacksonville week. This is a really good defense. We don't have time to think about anything else other than that right now."
Yes, it is a good Jacksonville defense the Steelers will face on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Jaguars have the NFL's top-ranked pass defense, allowing just 147 yards passing per game. They also have 18 sacks, through just four games, and five interceptions. This is a defense not to be messed with.
"They have a million and a half sacks, forced fumbles," said Roethlisberger. "Their secondary, they paid a lot of money to. They lock people down. Right now we aren't sure what we are going to do. It's that good of a defense. Luckily we aren't playing today or tomorrow. We have time to get into the film room and figure things out. This will be a very good test for us."
It will be a test with an offense that is starting to find their rhythm. The first quarter of the season is over, the time when a team feels things out. Now is the time an offense gels, and Roethlisberger expects to see more of that.
"It's a feeling out, especially when you have Le'Veon (Bell) coming back, not being there early. Martavis (Bryant) not here all last year, and new guys, JuJu (Smith-Schuster), stuff like that," said Roethlisberger. "September is a feeling out process. You use the boxing analogy you are kind of jabbing around, dancing around, feeling your opponent out, and feeling your team out. Now you have an understanding of where you are and where you want to get to. Now it's time to start playing some really good football."
More from Ben:
On the balance trying to keep all of the weapons on offense happy:
"As a captain and a quarterback you have to take all of those things into account. You have to be careful, because we have so many weapons, not trying to just make people happy. You have to be able to go out and win football games. That is our first priority. We have enough weapons, whether that is running the ball, throwing the ball, and up front in the line. We have a chance to be really good, we just need to keep putting it together and I need to play better."
On handling the situation when things happen like they did with Brown:
"Fourteen years, being a captain for quite a few, what I would like to think as a leader of this team it's kind of my job. You have to be able to talk to people, you have to be able to communicate in different ways. I have been doing this a long time. I feel like being voted a captain that is one of the roles of being a captain."
On if Brown will get the message:
"I'm sure. He is a professional. He is one of the best wide receivers in the game now, maybe to ever play."
On finding a rhythm:
"Rhythm is within yourself and within the context of an offense and other guys. There are 10 other guys on the field you have to be in rhythm with. If we can just win football games now and then you have to play your best football late in the season."