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Ben: 'We need to step up'

The weather forecast for Sunday's game against the Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland isn't a pretty one, with a 70 percent chance of a rain/snow mix, winds around 30 miles an hour, and the high temperature expected to be around 37 degrees.

Ben Roethlisberger has played in those conditions in Cleveland before, and will prepare for it starting in practice this week. Roethlisberger said the key to throwing in windy conditions is to get a spin on the ball, and wearing a glove will help him with that.

"You have to spin the ball," said Roethlisberger. "I am not a guy that when I throw the ball I spin it a lot. I will wear a glove this week in practice. If it's going to be 30-mile an hour wind, I am going to have to wear a glove on Sunday. The preparation will be to wear a glove to help you spin the ball more."

The Steelers will be searching for their first win in five games, and also want to turn around their road record where they are only 1-3 this season. Roethlisberger said there are differences playing on the road, but no excuses for not winning.

"It's the comfort level of being at home, using the cadence," he said. "When we get on the road it's a lot louder. You have to use the silent count and that means head bobs from under center. Timing can be off a little bit.

"There is no real excuse. We need to step up. We pride ourselves in years past here being a great road football team. We need to do that and we are going to have to start this week."

Despite the fact that the Browns are 0-10, Roethlisberger knows their defense is going to be coming at them.

"It's basically like playing us with (defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton) over there, the 3-4," said Roethlisberger. "Throwing different defenses, different blitzes, and different looks. Being able to identify who to block will be the key."

One player to keep a particular eye on will be linebacker Jamie Collins, who was traded from the New England Patriots to the Browns three games ago.  

"We expect and anticipate them to move him around, inside, outside, rushing, and covering," said Roethlisberger. "To me that's a big addition for them."

More from Ben: On losing Cameron Heyward:
"It's hard to lose a guy like that. You know, a leader both on and off the field. A physical, dominant presence on the defensive side of the ball. But we all know Cam. And we know Cam will be back around here as much as he can being the leader we expect him to be. On the sideline, I'm sure as soon as he can be. In this locker room, as soon as he can be. So it stinks to lose a guy like that, but we're going to have to keep playing."On being able to lean on other defenders as leaders:
"It's hard to lose a guy like your captain and stuff like that. But other guys have to step up. I mean, it's that time of year. It's that sport where you lose guys and other guys have to be ready to step up. So we'll count on some leadership from some other guys and hopefully, if it's three or four different guys stepping up, then that's awesome."

On the final play last week vs. Dallas and Antonio Brown going out of bounds:
"I can't give you the play call in case it gets called again. But, you know, they had eight, nine guys way back. There's no real play call designed for that, other than a Hail Mary, but I couldn't throw it that far, I don't think. You kind of just get the ball to someone and then you just, really, just whatever happens happens. It turns into a free-for-all and sometimes good things happens, sometimes bad things happen. If you look at the film, he's (Antonio Brown) running down the left side and he was just on the single side by himself. All the guys, the other receivers, were to the right. As soon as we got him the ball, if you watch it, myself and the other linemen are sprinting down the field for that free-for-all. And as you're watching him go to the left, he kind of gets surrounded by a lot of Cowboys really quick. He got down the field pretty far, but I mean, no one in here's ever been in a situation when you've got six or seven grown men who are some of the most-physical people in the world coming after you. And no offense to A.B., he's not the biggest guy in the world, but I don't know what he's supposed to do. I mean, throw it over his head, kick it backward. You know, it's easy to say watching today, or people who've watched the game, it's easy to say, 'Why didn't he do this?' 'Why didn't he do that?' Well, until you're in that situation, you don't know what you have to do."On if he think using a fullback would help the run game more:
"I think it depends on what your game plan is. You've got to use a guy within the game plan. You're not just going to put a guy out there—put a fullback in just to run the ball every single time, because sometimes our best runs are when we spread them out. That's when you're in "Kings" and you've got four wide receivers on the field, or three and a tight end, running the ball like that is very effective now. We carry Rosie (Roosevelt Nix) because Rosie does some pretty good things at fullback when we need him to do stuff. He, in my opinion, helped get Le'Veon in the end zone more than anybody. He cleared out that hole, Le'Veon split it. So we'll continue to use him as we see fit and I think we'll even use him more in the pass game, because he's a really good receiver as well."On what the team expects from Coach Tomlin during a time of adversity:'Nothing new. Him to be him. You know, all his 'Tomlinisms.' "The expectation is this." So we just expect the same."

On if he would like to use the no-huddle earlier in games:
"We'll do whatever we need to do. Whatever is best for the team. We'll formulate a game plan, which we've already started. And we'll continue to tweak it, move some things around and change some things throughout the week. And then, whenever Saturday night comes, we'll kind of hammer it down and finalize what our game plan is going to be. With the obvious ability to change in the middle of a game, depending on what's going on. I assume weather will be a factor. I saw 30-mph winds, so I don't think there will be too many deep balls unless you're going with the wind."On if finding a No. 2 receiver has been tough on the offense:
"It can be tricky, but I think guys have stepped up. Eli's (Rogers) really done a great job. Was doing some good things and then got hurt, like we've talked about, and has come back. I know Sammie (Coates) started out really strong and is dealing with some injuries now. For a wide receiver to have two broken fingers, that's not a good thing to have, obviously. I think Cobi's (Hamilton) stepped up and has done some really good things. So guys just continue to keep getting better. And we're putting guys in, we're using tight ends more, we're using Le'Veon (Bell) at wide receiver, so guys just need to keep performing the best they can. And we'll keep finding ways to get them the ball and hope for the best."On Hamilton:
"A big, physical guy. You saw the catch—he maybe had one catch in the game, but it was a big one. You know, going up, making a play. I underthrew it a little bit. It was double-move. We talked about it right there as we broke the huddle. As he was breaking the huddle and walking by me I told him, 'Hey, run it out-and-up.' He did it on the fly, didn't think about it, and didn't have to ask the tape. And went up and made a big play for us. So just the growth. He's constantly gaining confidence and that's what we need from him."

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