Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger closing in on 30,000 yards
By Alan Robinson
Published: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 10:51 p.m.
Sometime shortly before or after halftime Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger should become the 35th quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30,000 yards.
Roethlisberger enters the game with 29,844 yards, or nearly 2,000 yards more than any other QB in Steelers history. Terry Bradshaw retired with four Super Bowl rings and 27,898 yards, most of which came after he won his first two rings.
Roethlisberger would be the sixth quarterback to reach the 30,000-yard mark and win two Super Bowls. John Elway, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Eli Manning and Troy Aikman previously did it.
“I've never been about individual goals. It's all about the team for me,” Roethlisberger said. “To me, those are things I'll look back on when I'm done, a little bit after the season, but mostly when I'm done with my career. I'll look back and think about how great it might have been.”
Roethlisberger said at the beginning of training camp he believes he is peaking only now.
Roethlisberger has enjoyed some of his better games against the Titans, throwing for 363 yards against them last season and five touchdowns in 2011.
Tennessee Titans assistant coach Gregg Williams is back in the NFL following a one-season suspension for involvement in the Saints' Bountygate case. It might not necessarily be good news for the Steelers.
Williams was 7-1 against the Steelers as the Oilers/Titans defensive coordinator from 1997-2000. He is 8-3 against them as a coordinator and 8-4 overall, including a loss as the Bills head coach. His official title with Tennessee is senior assistant coach for defense.
“He breeds excitement,” Titans coach Mike Munchak said. “I know the effect he has on players. Guys believe in what his plans are, and he has a way of making guys better than they think they can be. That's a special trait to have.”
The Steelers have been watching tapes of their 20-10 loss to New Orleans in 2010 to identify possible Titans defensive strategies.
“We don't know what to expect, so we're preparing a little bit for everything,” Roethlisberger said. “I would have to expect a lot of what we saw when we played the Saints — a lot of crazy blitzes and different looks.”
Lots of zeros
The Steelers' streak of 10 consecutive home opener wins is the NFL's longest. Mike Tomlin is 6-0 as a head coach in home openers, as is Roethlisberger.
The Steelers' last loss in a home opener was 30-17 to Oakland in 2002, a week after they lost their season opener 30-14 at New England. They are 13-2 in their past 15 home openers.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
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