When the Steelers and Eagles meet on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, it will be a matchup of one of the top quarterbacks in the game in Ben Roethlisberger against a rookie quarterback loaded with potential in Carson Wentz. And comparisons are being drawn between Roethlisberger as a rookie and Wentz.
“Just the physical aspect, the stature, size, arm strength, and athletic ability,” said Eagles coach Doug Pederson. “Smart individuals. Guys that once they got into the season had success and led their teams. There are a lot of things I see in Carson when I compare him to Big Ben.
“Carson has the ability to extend plays with his legs. Ben is big, strong, physical in the pocket, hard to bring down and continues to have great vision down the field. I think that's one thing with Carson's strength is he continues to have that vision down the field when things begin to break down. There are a lot of similarities there. The fact that they're both very good throwers outside the pocket is a tribute to both of them.”
Pederson and Wentz had more to say about the Steelers, including Wentz weighing in on the comparison to Roethlisberger.
Wentz on the comparison to Roethlisberger:
“I think a lot of people really respect his game. I kind of look up to him. I have always thought he is fun to watch. He came in as a young quarterback and succeeded right away. That was always encouraging. The way he makes plays, he can extend plays. He is not afraid to take some chances deep. I respect his game a ton. To be mentioned in the same category as him, I have a lot to prove but that means a lot.”
Wentz on if he thinks the Steelers will blitz more on Sunday:
“We are not sure. We don’t expect a big change in their game plan, in their scheme. We are preparing for everything. You never know how they are going to want to come out and play. If they do we will be ready for it. We will see what happens.”
Pederson on the Steelers wide receivers:
“This is probably the most talented group of receivers that we will see all year long. These guys are very explosive. We know what Antonio (Brown) can do. He brings a whole set of circumstances, a tremendous athlete. Markus Wheaton if he is available, Sammie Coates, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. These guys are explosive with speed. You have to play sound, fundamental football. It’s something we have to pay attention to the details, coverage, rush, blitz. Whatever coach (Jim) Schwartz has dialed up, you have to pay attention to your job, do your job, and focus on your man.
“They are going to get their yards. They are too good not to and Ben is too good not to get them the football. What you have seen the first couple of weeks is him utilizing a lot of those guys. He is getting the ball out of his hands fast. The run game with Le'Veon Bell has really taken off. That is a great formula to have and something special they have going on there.”