PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) - With a bye week to rest up his surgically repaired knee, Ben Roethlisberger joined "The Cook and Poni Show" for his weekly "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show" and talked about his progress.
Ben described his knee as "OK" and said he'll "be careful" and addressed the contradicting reports that surfaced over the weekend.
"It's amazing how these reports come out when it's not like we had practiced all week. Nothing has happened. Nothing has changed since last week when I did some individual work. I'm not really sure where the reports come from," he said.
Ben takes as many hits, if not more, than any other quarterback in the league. The one quarterback on par with him is Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. Newton spoke out this week about the hits he has been taking and how he sometimes doesn't feel safe on the field.
Ben shared some advice he'd give Newton about protecting himself.
"The thing I would say to Cam is, he is a big guy. He is a guy that makes plays when he shrugs people off, or he makes people miss. The other thing that when I was talking to some of the guys yesterday at practice, you know, we were discussing this...the thing that I would say to him is, that's their offense. Maybe he should also talk to Coach [Ron] Rivera. Their offense is a read option, they do a lot of running of the quarterback, so he's going to take a lot of hits. The referees, they walk a fine line and a judgement sometimes of, is he a runner? Is he a quarterback? Is he in the pocket? Is he out of the pocket?"
Ben went on to talk about what it's like for the bigger quarterbacks in the NFL.
"It is different when you're a big guy like he is and I've kind of gotten used to it myself. You've just got to deal with it. That's what I've done and he'll be fine. He's a big guy and he still makes a lot of guys, linebackers and lineman included, look small," he said.
After seeing the second tie in the NFL this year, and this one happening within the division, Ben was asked how he feels about the NFL's overtime system and if there should be ties in the NFL.
"I don't think so," Ben said. "I love college overtime. I love the way that they do that. I think that would be awesome to see in the NFL, except start it on like the 40 or 45 so that if a team has to kick a field goal, it's a real long one...To me, ties just make it difficult in terms of, at the end of the season, who won the division? How does a tie play in? Does it help a team? Does it hurt a team? Let's have a winner and a loser. I couldn't imagine flying all the way back from London thinking we just tied a football game."
There was a conversation between Ben and Tom Brady prior to the Steelers' game against the Patriots that got a lot of attention. If you missed it, Ben asked Brady if he could get his jersey after the game.
Ben said this isn't the first time he has asked an opponent for something like a jersey.
"I have Ray Lewis' helmet from the Pro Bowl that he signed personally to me. A Hall of Famer. Another guy that I respect. I remember that there was some flak over that a few years ago of 'how dare you talk to someone from the Ravens or the Bengals or the Browns' or whatever it is. It's respect," Ben said. "When you're between the lines, you go at it like warriors and you're battling each other and you want to do everything you can to beat that guy. But when it's over, there's a mutual respect for someone that has done it a long time, or that you feel is a competitor that you've gone against many times and you respect each other and when you respect each other, I think that's what the game is about."
Ben also talked about the respect he has for Brady and didn't shy away from sharing his opinion and where he stands amongst the all-time greats.
"I think it's very well known how much I respect Tom Brady. I think he's the best in the game. I've thought that for a long time and arguably one of the best of all-time," he said.
Click the audio link below to hear Ben also talk about the team getting healthy, the difference between Ravens week and other weeks in the season and the best and worst moments he has had playing in Baltimore.
KDKA Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette with the Post-Gazette tells the "KDKA Morning News" he doesn't think it's gamesmanship with the Ravens and that they really don't know if Roethlisberger will be able to start.
"I don't think they really know until [Roethlisberger] goes through the week...you practice, you go through it, see how the knee feels that day. Then, the next day is another test to see how it reacts to the practice from the day before," said Bouchette.
Bouchette adds, "There have been two reports by real capable national [reporters], one last week said Ben isn't going to play...one this week says Ben's going to play this week. So, no one really knows."
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