Roethlisberger optimistic about Baltimore

ARROW POINTING UP: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said today he's optimistic about playing on Sunday in Baltimore but acknowledged it won't be his call.

The Steelers prepare for the Week 9 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

That'll ultimately be head coach Mike Tomlin's decision.

"Always," Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger (knee) was officially listed as having had limited participation in practice.

Roethlisberger, who missed the Steelers' 27-16 loss to New England on Oct. 23 and is coming off meniscus surgery, said he hadn't experienced any setbacks after practicing on Monday, Wednesday and today, and that his performance in practice this week has been "good."

All of that might be interpreted as encouraging regarding Roethlisberger's potential availability against the Ravens.

"I hope," he said.

Roethlisberger said he and Tomlin would "absolutely" talk on Friday.

GREEN ON HOLD: Tight end Ladarius Green said he doesn't know the Steelers' intentions in terms of when he might be activated from the P.U.P. list.

"No clue, you gotta ask 'Coach T,'" Green said. "I haven't asked him. I haven't brought it up so I don't really know."

Green began practicing on Oct. 25.

The Steelers have 21 days from then to activate Green or place him on the reserve/injured list.

"They just told me to go out there and do what I can do and keep getting better," Green said.


RUNNING ON THE RAVENS:** Baltimore is No. 4 in the NFL in rushing defense (81.9 yards per game) but the Jets were able to gain 155 yards on the ground and score a rushing touchdown in  a 24-16 victory over the Ravens on Oct. 23.

New York ran the ball 39 times, including one scramble by quarterback Geno Smith and one game-ending kneel-down.

"They kind of chipped away at them," Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell said. "You run at a defense a certain amount of times, everybody's going to break down eventually.

"They're going to try to discourage the run early. We have to do our best to have our gameplan set and go in and continue to run the ball whether we're getting 1 or 2 (yards) at the time. We'll have our 15- and 20-yard runs near the end of the game. We just ave to stick to the run to keep it going."

SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR AWAY: The Steelers' loss to New England included linebacker Arthur Moats almost getting to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on what became a 36-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, and linebacker Anthony Chickillo almost getting to Brady on what became a 37-yard completion to Gronkowski to the Steelers' 5-yard line.

Moats had a clear path to the pocket after cutting behind defensive end Stephon Tuitt.

Chickillo beat tight end Martellus Bennett's block on the edge.

Both arrived a step late.

Coming as close as they did to sacks on those two occasions tells Moats the Steelers have the capability to amp up their pass rush.

"I definitely feel like we do," he said. "At the same time, close doesn't get you wins. When you're talking about being close but you've dropped two in a row it's still a nagging issue."

The Steelers have eight sacks through their first seven games.

Moats maintains they can generate more pressure in their remaining nine games but also understands talking about it and doing so are two different things.

"I personally feel like we can but you can only say so much," he acknowledged. "You have to go out there and prove it. When you see guys coming free like how we were doing, you make those plays, one was a touchdown and one set up the next play being a touchdown, you take that out it makes it a totally different climate.

"Going into Baltimore we definitely have to make sure we're making those plays."

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