PITTSBURGH – The Steelers practiced at Heinz Field on Tuesday so that Ben Roethlisberger wouldn’t have to race down Second Avenue to get to practice.
Not really, but yesterday did mark the one-year anniversary of Roethlisberger’s motorcycle wreck.
“I’m blessed, I truly am, to be out here,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day to be on this football field with my teammates.”
Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of the wreck. He marked it on his calendar. Wednesday, he said, is also special day.
“I marked it down today on the calendar as one year, and then tomorrow I had: ‘Hopefully no more talking about it.’”
Ah, but the group of reporters surrounding Roethlisberger -- after yet another outstanding practice performance -- didn’t care about tomorrow. So the questions reigned down on him this June 12:
Have you reflected on the accident?
“No, I haven’t reflected on it.”
Why did you mark it on the calendar?
“This is the day last year that I almost lost my life.”
Has it changed your life?
“I’m not riding.”
You’re not riding at all?
“No, I ride my ten-speed.”
Did you get calls from family?
“No. Like I said, everyone’s forgotten about it except the media.”
How do you feel?
“I feel great. I feel great right now. I feel like I’m in great shape.”
Roethlisberger looked the part yesterday. When the special teams allowed the offense and defense to take the field, the quarterback was the star of the show, particularly in the red-zone drill.
On the first play, Roethlisberger lofted a pretty pass to tight end Heath Miller in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown over Arnold Harrison. On the next play, Roethlisberger went to the other side, to the other tight end, Jerame Tuman, who beat Clark Haggans for a score.
Going for three touchdown passes in a row, Roethlisberger threw just a bit wide to Cedrick Wilson in the end zone and the ball bounced off Wilson’s hands to the ground.
Roethlisberger did make one awful pass later, and that’s only because it was a left-footed punt out of bounds. He scrambled right but couldn’t find a receiver, so he scrambled all the way back to the left with Brett Keisel in pursuit. Before Roethlisberger could be run out of bounds he punted it away as Keisel taunted him.
The play proved Roethlisberger still has the quick feet. In fact, he may have more mobility than ever, since he’s kept the weight off from the accident while regaining his strength.
“My weight’s right where I want it to be,” he said. “I feel healthier than I’ve ever felt.”
(To read the entire transcript of Ben Roethlisberger’s interview, click here.)