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Inside the Locker Room: Ben Roethlisberger


Are there any thoughts that you want to share regarding everything that is happening in Baltimore?No, we're in Pittsburgh. We're getting ready for a game. Thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. But we're going to control what we control and that's the game (and) what we can do on Thursday night.How does a team go about keeping the outside distractions outside and staying focused?It's just about your guys in the locker room. There are distractions and a lot of it comes from media, family, friends outside, but if you keep it tight in your locker room that's the best way that I feel you go about it.Do you notice any new tweaks with Baltimore's defense this year?They're a real good defense. They've got a lot of the same faces that are great players and some new ones. This is not going to be easy for us, especially on a short week. Preparation is quick. It's going to be a physical game we anticipate and not an easy one for our offense.What was the difference between the first half and the second half against Cleveland? Was it them or is there something that you can improve on?A little bit of both I think. They're a good team (and) a good defense. And we maybe weren't as aggressive in the second half as we were in the first half. You learn from it.What do you mean when you say you weren't as aggressive?We weren't as aggressive. It means a lot of things.What's the biggest challenge in playing in a short week?Getting prepared, both mentally and physically I know for myself. A lot of guys are beat up, just typical soreness after a football game and then turning it around to a couple days later to play probably one of the most physical games you'll play all year. Just mentally being able to get your body as ready to play as your mind is.Is this the best rivalry in football?I think so but I'm playing in it so it's different as I'm sure a lot of other teams will say that theirs is. But for a football fan I think you have to love it because it's usually close, it's usually low scoring. It's two very like-minded teams and it's physical as anything I've ever played in.

The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Did field position affect play-calling in the second half?Possibly. I know there are times that if you're backed up or you want to run the ball, you want to use clock, whatever it might be. There are lots of different factors that can contribute to play-calling, both my play-calling and Coach Haley's.How much do they move DT Haloti Ngata around and how difficult is it to identify where players are?Yeah, we've only got to see one game this season, obviously the Bengals. That's what they're known for. They're known for confusion, moving around (and) making it tough on us. That's what we're anticipating. We're anticipating a lot of confusion, moving around. If they just line up in a regular defense I don't know if we'll be as prepared because we're not preparing for it this week (laughing). But we're going to try to prepare for the toughest thing we can see.Re: His last throw to Markus Wheaton and if he was the first option on that route after cheking to that play:After we checked to it, no. It's all about the coverage. They give you the right coverage (and) he can be the first or the second. Depending on different coverage, he can be the third. I checked to it as if he was going to be the first or second.Does that play speak to the strides he's made?I don't know. I expect it from him and I'm sure he expects if from himself. I'm not going to sit here and say, 'Gosh, I'm so proud of the way (he played).' I expect it from him. I think he's a great football player. I think he's shown great things this offseason, great confidence in himself and in me and in the offense. So it wasn't like it was some miraculous play on his part. I just think it was him being him.Is the no-huddle more difficult to run on the road?Yeah it definitely can be.Re: Cincinnati having good success running the no-huddle on the road:Yeah, (that's) a 1 o'clock game. It's not quite the same rivalry. But being a night game it's going to be loud. We'll have to use a lot of hand signals. We might have to huddle all the time. We might not be able to go no-huddle so we'll see.Will you be more aggressive in your play-calling?It depends on the situation. You have to be smart, you have to know what's going on situationally around you to score down and distance, players (and) things like that.Re: Possibly starting the season 2-0 and be able to set them back to 0-2:**No, we're just trying to get one win. I know that the record would be 2-0 but the slate is kind of wiped clean if you will. We're trying to get our first win and it's an AFC North game so it means that much more. It's at their place, first game on the road, so it's going to be a mighty test for us.

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