By Teresa Varley
Ben Roethlisberger liked what he saw in the Steelers running game against the Bears as opposed to week one against the Titans when they rushed for just 36 yards, but that doesn't mean he thinks the team's offense is where it needs to be.
"It was better than week one," said Roethlisberger. "We keep making improvements. We need to improve as a total offense, though. We need to keep doing that in the passing game. We need to be more versatile, we need to be more deadly if you will. Put up points and get better all around."
Scoring more points is definitely something that is a high priority for Roethlisberger. So far this season the black and gold have put up 27 points in two games, something they are hoping to turn around this week.
"We need to try and score on every possession," said Roethlisberger. "We need to take big plays, little plays. We drive the ball up and down the field and we can't score. We've got to find ways to be an offense that teams fear."
The Steelers have won the last five games against the Bengals and have come away victorious in their last eight trips to Cincinnati. But this year they face a different Bengals team, one that is 1-1 but could easily be 2-0.
"They are a different football team," said Roethlisberger. "If you look at them on paper they are better than us because they beat the Packers, who beat the Bears, who we lost to. We need to bring our 'A' game because we know that they are a great football team."
One player who is helping to make a big difference this year is defensive end Antwan Odom. Odom had five sacks in the Bengals 31-24 win over Packers at Lambeau Field, earning him AFC defensive player of the week honors.
"They have a great group up front," said Roethlisberger. "One guy had five sacks last week. We have to be aware and get the ball out of my hands and utilize every aspect of my game."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Carson Palmer both took part in conference calls with the Pittsburgh media and were reminded that they have never been part of a winning effort against the Steelers in Cincinnati.
"You had to bring that to my attention, huh?" joked Lewis, who preferred to not talk about it any more until after the game. "You didn't think I knew that did you?"
Palmer, who was drafted by the Bengals in 2003, said that the Steelers game at Paul Brown Stadium is one that he anticipates each year.
"It is one of those things where you look forward to that game so much that next year because you want to stop that streak they have going," said Palmer. "They have come in here and played very well, carried a lot of fans in with them and had a lot of support. We want to keep their fans quiet and come in and execute our game plan."
Free safety Ryan Clark shared what he feels the differences are playing with Tyrone Carter as opposed to Troy Polamalu, who is out with an MCL injury.
"They both bring their own attributes to the game," said Carter. "I think Ty's toughness and his willingness to stick his face in there in any situation is great. You gotta look at Troy's big play ability. They are two different players."