Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Q: You’re used to it, but is there anything to playing on prime time?
A: No. It’s just another game. That’s the approach we have to take.
Q: You guys came out with real urgency in the playoffs against them and gashed them in the running game. Is it time to bring back that sense of urgency?
A: I feel we’ve been playing real well on offense. The last two games we came down the field the opening drive and moved the ball. We just have to continue doing that on both sides of the ball, come out and play Steeler football.
Q: Mike Wallace, for a rookie, is playing well at wide receiver. What’s made the difference for him?
A: I think he wants to learn, he wants to be good, he puts the time in, he takes criticism and encouragement well and doesn’t he let it go to his head. That’s good.
Q: Do you still have to be conscious of his speed and get it off quicker?
A: Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah, you don’t want to underthrow him, so you’ve got to get it out and let him run under it. If you overthrow him, it’s a rarity but it’s better than underthrowing him.
Q: Would you have had him in Chicago if you weren’t hit on the throw?
A: I think so. I saw him getting by him and I thought it was a good play. We gave him at least a shot and I think it would’ve been good.
Q: Do you think Rashard Mendenhall can respond positively this week?
A: I would expect him to step up and respond as a professional.
Q: What did you say to Limas Sweed?
A: I told him to keep his head up and stay encouraged. I talked to him on the sideline. I told him, ‘Listen, I’m not going to be discouraged from coming back to you. If the play calls for it and you’re open, I’m coming, so make the play.’
Q: Is this basically the same Chargers team as last year?
A: In a way. I think they’re a little bit better. They’re a year together more. They’re playing good football now.
Q: Who do you know at WWE? How did this wrestling exhibition next Monday come to pass?
A: I got asked to do it. Vince McMahon asked me to do it, and I said, ‘Sure. Why not?’
Q: Are you a big wrestling fan?
A: Back in the day I was. I used to watch it all the time. Of course. Everybody was. When they come here to Pittsburgh I’ve come to watch it and become friends with some of those guys. It’ll be fun.
Q: Who are some of the guys you liked?
A: I was a Hulk Hogan guy, the Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake. Some of those guys.
Q: Is LaMarr Woodley going with you?
A: No. I’m taking my linemen, offensive linemen.
Q: Do you follow Al Sharpton’s act?
A: I don’t watch it, so I don’t know. I heard he was on there. I haven’t gotten to see it.
Q: What do you do?
A: I can’t tell.
Q: Do you get a script in advance?
A: I’m getting one on Friday.
Q: Do you have to memorize stuff?
A: I don’t know yet. I haven’t talked to them. Honestly, I don’t know.
Q: Did you have to run this by Coach Tomlin?
A: It’s our off day. I talked to him about it, but I didn’t really ask for permission. I kind of went and talked to him and got a feel for if he was going to have a big problem with it. I figured he would tell me. But like I said, it’s our off day. I want to let everyone know: I’m not coming off any top ropes or anything. People are freaking out that I’m going to be doing something. I’m not going to be doing anything crazy, so relax.
Q: If you had a finishing move, what would it be?
A: I was trying to work on it with Chris Kemoeatu. Me and Juicy, I was going to come off the side rope, jump, and he was going to catch me and spin me around. We were going to call it the Helicopter Kick and I was going to take everybody out. We’ve been practicing at Chris’s house, right Chris? (No response; asleep on floor.)
Q: Who would win a Battle Royale of the offensive linemen?
A: I’d take me and my five guys over anybody.
Q: Ben, the fourth-quarter offense is so much better when you’re behind. Could you use those same principles and apply them when you have a short lead?
A: I guess you could. When we’re behind we’re pressing the issue, we’re passing, we’re really hurrying things up, and when you get the lead you tend to slow things down and run the ball and try to use up as much clock as you can. So, I guess you could, but the smart play is to use the clock and count on your defense.
Q: But it hasn’t been working lately, has it?
A: Two games.
Q: This week is the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and some of you guys are wearing pink shoes with the throwbacks. What are your thoughts on what the whole thing means?
A: I’m not afraid to get made fun of for wearing pink, especially when it’s for a good cause like this. To raise awareness for such a vicious disease, I’m all for it and I will have some pink shoes on most likely.