Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger confident he'll be ready for Jets
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, 7:42 p.m.
• Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a partial dislocation of his index finger on his throwing hand in the Steelers' 34-27 loss to Minnesota on Sunday. He said Tuesday he expects to play when the Steelers play at the Jets on Oct. 13. “It was kind of uncomfortable,” he said. Roethlisberger said he doesn't anticipate the injury will cause any lingering effects.
• In an effort to protect Roethlisberger's blind side, the Steelers may consider finding ways to give left tackle Mike Adams help. “I don't know what they are going to do,” Roethlisberger said. The quarterback was sacked five times by Minnesota, including on third-and-goal with the Steelers in position to force overtime. “(Roethlisberger) is a guy we can't afford to lose,” tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “So, we have to do a better job of keeping people off of him.”
• Receiver Jerricho Cotchery said the Steelers have time to step back and evaluate more clearly where to proceed offensively. “I think bye weeks are great for times like these,” he said. “A lot of times you don't have time to reflect on ways to get better and help the team to develop. Now, we can take a deep breath and go from here.”
• Roethlisberger acknowledged he asked the officials to penalize the Vikings for a horse collar when he was sacked on third down at the Minnesota 8. But the rules specify that the penalty is called only if the quarterback is outside the pocket.
• The Steelers continue to be haunted by turnovers and the lack of takeaways. Roethlisberger has committed six turnovers the last two games — three interceptions, three fumbles. “Obviously, turning the ball over hurts,” Roethlisberger said. “The interception was a mishap between me and Emmanuel (Sanders). It happened, but you can't let it happen. We'll never be perfect, but we can strive for it.”
• Roethlisberger has no answers for how he can get better protection from an offensive line that's allowed him to be hit, hurried, pressured and sacked for the better part of four games.
Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times and hit another 16 times with a large portion of those coming from left tackle Mike Adams' direction.
“Is it adding another blocker?” Roethlisberger said. “Is it changing the protection altogether? Is it putting a running back there to chip?”
The Steelers apparently plan to make some sort of adjustments when it comes to the offensive line and have two weeks to figure out what.
“I've heard talks about it this morning but I just don't know yet what the thought is,” Roethlisberger said. “I don't know if we even know what the final product is yet.”
• The Steelers took the practice field looking a little different only 36 hours after returning from London.
The Steelers were forced to wear new helmets that were all black and without any numbering, striping or logo because of their equipment had to yet to return from overseas.
The team anticipated that the equipment would not make it back in time for Tuesday's practice and fitted the players with new helmets. The team practiced in shells on Tuesday.
The regular equipment is scheduled to arrive at the practice facility in time for Wednesday's practice.
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