Roethlisberger back in the swing of things

He had waited four weeks to get on the practice field with his teammates so it came as no surprise that Ben Roethlisberger was one of the first players out there on Tuesday when the team held practice in their indoor facility.

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"It was good," said Roethlisberger. "I was one of the first ones over there, waiting for the horn to go. It was good to get out there with the guys."

Roethlisberger returned to the Steelers on Monday having served his four-game league suspension, and practiced for the first time Tuesday. He worked out on his own during the suspension, and it showed when he aired things out on the first pass in 11-on-11 drills to wide receiver Mike Wallace.

"I wanted to get it up there early for Mike and he made a good catch," said Roethlisberger. "It felt good. You would have to ask the receivers how it went, but I thought it went well. I haven't watched the practice yet, but from first impressions I thought it went well."

Wallace was definitely impressed, but not at all surprised as that is what he expected from his starting quarterback.

"I know he was warming up his arm. He wanted to see if it was loose," said Wallace of the pass. "I knew he was going to throw it out there. He always throws good passes. I am not worried about his timing or anything. I am just ready to get back out there. I am excited to get back out there again.

"I don't think he was off point one time. I knew once he came back he would be in stride like he never left. He throws the ball perfect every time."

And while Hines Ward didn't practice on Tuesday, he liked what he saw and was happy to have Roethlisberger back.

"He was out there firing it left and right," said Ward. "We are going to hand it over to him and let him do his thing and help him win ball games.

"He said it was like the first day of school. He was the first one out there. It's great to have him back. No discredit to the other guys, they did a phenomenal job, they are why we are 3-1. This whole team came together. But we have our main guy back and we are excited about it. Having him on the field we are a better ball club."

Having the bye this week allows Roethlisberger an extra week to work with the receivers, and getting the timing back will be a primary focus.

"I knew my arm would be strong and good," said Roethlisberger. "It's just a matter of hitting the guys and timing. That's why we had a 30 minute individual time. I told the receivers sorry I made you run, but I wanted to get back on the timing. That is the biggest key. I think it was a good step. It won't take as long as I thought.

"It's like riding a bike. You get back out there with those guys, seeing them run routes, I know how Mike runs a route and I know how (Antwaan Randle) El runs a route. It was good to see them out there doing it to get a feel for it. As for actual game speed we won't feel that for a couple of weeks."

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