Steelers players: We won't change approach
Steelers linebacker and defensive co-captain James Farrior doesn't want to consider the prospect of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missing games due to a possible suspension. But Farrior said Thursday that Roethlisberger's teammates are confident they can carry on without him.
"We've always had the approach that one person's not going to make or break the team. That's been the Rooney's philosophy since they're had the team,'' said Farrior, who has started 124 of 128 games with the Steelers since 2002.
"Him (maybe) having to miss some games, we've been in those situations before, and we've always been able to treat it like when somebody's hurt and can't play. Everybody just had to do a little bit more, do a little bit better.''
Farrior and wide receiver Hines Ward, an offensive co-captain, are two of the senior members on the team. Ward said the Steelers have high expectations every season.
"It's not going to change the way we approach things,'' said Ward, the franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions. "It's not going to change the expectation level.''
Farrior said he exchanged texts with Roethlisberger in a display of support and encouragement.
"From the get-go, I wanted to let him know we're there for him, and we had his back,'' said Farrior, who plans to speak with Roethlisberger next week during the team's first voluntary practices of the offseason.
Added Ward: "We're a close-knit family. We are going to rally behind each other and support each other.''
Farrior, who considers himself more of a friend than a teammate, said Roethlisberger has to use better judgment away from football.
"I know it's a situation that Ben didn't want to happen. Him being quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, more eyes are watching him,'' Farrior said. "I'm sure he understands that, but he's got to stop putting himself in these situations and doing stuff like that.''