Offseason Program

Roethlisberger's OTA takes

For the record, Ben Roethlisberger said he would have had perfect attendance at OTAs had it been requested.

"If Coach (Mike Tomlin) asked me to be here every day, I'd be here every day," Roethlisberger maintained on Wednesday. "They haven't asked me to do that."

Roethlisberger's latest appearance at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex was his second in a three-week sequence of voluntary OTA sessions that concludes today and leads into mandatory veteran minicamp June 12-14.

"It depends on family vacations and things like that that are planned before the OTA schedule comes out," Roethlisberger said of his availability. "Don't want to mess with the wife.

"The time I was gone with my family on vacation was an awesome opportunity for the other quarterbacks to get reps. I know those guys really enjoyed it and they were thanking me for it. It's really just, I think, a person-by-person, team-by-team feel thing.

"You gotta understand, too, that this is football without pads on. This is kind of getting back into it, that's the way I look at OTAs and minicamp. It's just kind of getting back into it, knocking some rust off.

"You start to get a feel of some young guys a little bit but it's all going to change when you get to (training) camp. Once you get to camp, you get pads on and that's when kind of real football begins, and that's when you really start to see how guys are. There are a lot of guys that come out here at this time of year that look spectacular with no pads on and then you get pads on and it's a different ballgame."

Roethlisberger has a new offensive coordinator this season.

But Randy Fichtner had been the Steelers' quarterbacks coach since 2010, so a relationship between the two is already well established.

"I've worked with Randy for eight years now," Roethlisberger said. "It's not like he's a new guy just come in that work is necessary. I know he does his homework and I know he understands the game.

"We're not calling plays out here right now, everything's scripted. It's just going to come down to trust. We communicate so much, and we have in the past on a game-to-game, series-to-series basis. Our communication has always been really good. I anticipate that continuing, and that kind of transitions into play calling a lot, I think.

"I think Randy's a winner. I don't think he cares how it gets done as long as you win a football game."

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