STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER
(on what to expect from the Titans’ defense this year)
Well, I think they’ve done a good job of disguising. Are they going to be an old Saints type defense? Are they going to be the Titans defense from last year? Are they going to be what we saw in the preseason? Are they disguising things in the preseason? I’m not quite sure what to expect, but we’re kind of anticipating a little bit of everything.
(on impressions of
I’ve played against him for quite a few years now. Good player, heady, smart, always seems to be around the ball making a lot of plays. Obviously, I know about him being a hard hitter and a physical player. He definitely brings a dimension to the defense that I’m going to keep an eye on.
(on whether Pollard talks trash)
He doesn’t talk too much to me. We’re pretty far apart. He had enough guys on his old team that talked up close.
(on rebounding from last season)
I’ve been around here long enough, I’ve been around the league long enough to know you’re going to have some years where you’re disappointed in the way the season turned out, and that was one last year. You know, the level of expectation in this building and this city is winning, so that’s what we have to get back to. We have a good group of older guys, young guys and the older guys are going to have to teach the young guys what it’s all about.
(on characteristics of a Gregg Williams defense)
That’s kind of why I said I don’t know what to expect because you don’t know who’s going to be calling the defense, who was calling it in the preseason. If you look at Coach Williams’ defenses of the past, it was a lot of confusing, a lot of blitzing, a lot of cover zeros and just trying to get after the quarterback, get after the pass game. So, that’s kind of what we’re expecting to see.
(on whether last year’s matchup served as preparation)
Yeah, I mean with personnel guys. You have to be prepared like I said for what defense are we going to see. We’re just going to have to prepare for all of them. But, we kind of expect to see a New Orleans-style where coach (Williams) was last, kind of heavy blitz. That’s what we’re expecting to see. If we’re looking at film from last year, which we’ve done a lot of, it’s looking at personnel and seeing what they did.
(on re-establishing the team’s offensive line)
Well, you’re talking to a quarterback, so I’ll tell you that group’s real important. You know, and that’s what it is because everything goes through your offensive line. It’s not just the passing game, it’s the run game. Having smart guys up there that can see the blitzes and pick up stunts and twists and games. I always tell them before every game, they’re the game to our success. We’re going to go where they go, and I’m sure the Titans and (Jake) Locker are feeling the same way.
(on having David DeCastro back)
You know, we’re glad to have him back. Real smart player, physical. Last year having that injury, he got to get a lot of mental reps. It’s good to have him back out there because we expect big things from him.
(on making up for Mike Wallace’s departure and Heath Miller’s injury)
Well, you can never replace those guys. You just need guys to fill in to be the best player they can be. With Mike (Wallace), obviously you lose a whole lot of speed and with Heath (Miller), you lose that security blanket comfort guy. Safeties had to pay attention going down the middle and he worked linebackers underneath. We just need the guys that are here to fill in and step up and do the best they can.
(on the offense’s performance during preseason)
I felt like we were doing some good things. Obviously, you don’t game plan during the preseason and do things like that. We wanted to establish the run, and I thought we did a good job doing that.
(on opening up the season at Heinz Field)
Well, it’ll be crazy. We feel that Heinz Field and our fans are the best in all of sports, so we expect it to be crazy, and I know the fans are excited to have football back.
(on how the run game looks)
I’ve always been a fan of (Isaac) Redman. He’s been here long enough. People, outsiders, sit there and talk about our run game and who’s going to run the ball. You know, Redman’s been here for a number of years now, and he’s a good ball carrier. Obviously, with the addition of Felix (Jones) and LaRod (Stephen’s-Howling) we’ll see where it goes. I’m excited to see what they can do.
(on who stands out on the Titans’ defense)
Well, for me, it’s going to be the guys in the secondary. Obviously, I know about Bernard (Pollard) and what he can do. We feel like their front seven are a very fast group, just high motor guys that like to get after the pass and get after the quarterback. In the secondary it’s about finding where (Pollard) is and then up front it’s about knowing these guys have high motors and they’re getting after it.
(on whether this matchup feels like a division rivalry)
Yeah, it seems like we have played every year, and it’s always going to be a good game. I think these two teams are very similar when it comes to running the ball and being physical, good defenses. I could see how guys would think that.
(on the types of problems bunch sets provide for opposing defensive backs)
We run quite a bit out of there. We’ve always liked that package because it feels like it creates issues. You can throw out of it. You can run out of it. You can run inside, outside. It puts little corners sometimes it tough positions when you’ve got big guys pulling from the inside on sweep plays.
(on his ability to extend plays)
Well, you know, you see a lot of different looks, and I think that my emphasis this week is just understanding that the front seven for the Titans are all guys, like I said before, have high motors and like to get after it. They never give up. For me, if it does come time to extend the play, I have to know they also are going to be extended and they’re going to come after me. So, I have to have my antennas up to know they’re not slowing down and they’re not stopping.
(on whether the preparation process looks different now than it did in the earlier stages of his career)
No. Not really. Just making sure I’m healthy and ready to go.