Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger ready for his 1st game vs. Ravens since 2011
Ben Roethlisberger is playing in his first Ravens-Steelers game since 2011; he missed both games last season with his shoulder/upper chest injury. He is 35-11 in his career against AFC North teams and 9-5 against Baltimore.
“It was painful (sitting out),” he said. “I know it sounds crazy, but I enjoy two of the best teams going at it. (But) I don't know if it was as painful as (if) I would've played.”
• Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (head) sat out practice Wednesday. Limited participants were tackle Marcus Gilbert (quadriceps), defensive end Brett Keisel (abdomen), tight end Heath Miller (no injury) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (knee).
• Ravens star running back Ray Rice, apparently troubled by a sore hip, has only 197 yards and a 2.8 yards per carry. Rice and Arizona's Rashard Mendenhall are the only two NFL running backs with at least 70 carries who don't have a 20-yard run. But Steelers safety Ryan Clark expects him to be the Rice of old on Sunday: “Stopping Ray is what you've got to do in order to make Joe Flacco try to beat you and be one-dimensional. We expect him (Rice) to be great.”
• Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski is the older brother of Ravens center Gino Gradkowski. So how come the Seton-La Salle products didn't turn out to be like the Mannings and produce only quarterbacks? Bruce said, “Gino got all the food. Gino ate well growing up, all that pasta my mom and grandmas fed him. He grew into a big boy.” Bruce helped groom Gino for the NFL Combine following his senior season at Delaware.
• Wide receiver Devon Wylie, a fourth-round pick by the Chiefs from Fresno State in 2012, was added to the practice squad.
• Inside linebacker Sean Spence, sidelined with a career-threatening knee injury since the 2012 preseason, is practicing again in a limited role. Asked if he sensed he was close to being ready, he said, “Not really.” But might he play this season? “I'm definitely hoping for it.”
• Clark on what beating the Ravens would mean to the Steelers: “If we win this game, we'll have four losses, the same as the Ravens — and it puts us back in the race with them.”
• The Steelers' slow start is reflected by coach Mike Tomlin's neophyte Twitter account. He has tweeted one message in 1 1⁄2 months, congratulating the Pirates.
• Ravens-Steelers games traditionally are the NFL's nastiest, according to players for both teams, and the run-ups to those games often include plenty of verbal byplay. In 2001, for example, Shannon Sharpe mocked Plaxico Burress by calling him “Plexiglass.” So it was a bit unusual Wednesday as Roethlisberger and Terrell Suggs heaped praise on each other. Said Suggs, the Ravens' elite defensive end: “He's Big Ben. You can't do anything but respect a guy like that and his physical play.” Said Roethlisberger: “It's genuine respect. I respect the way he plays the game. He plays it hard, he plays it physical, but he also respects the players.”
• Many familiar names are absent are missing — Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, James Harrison, Hines Ward — and neither the Ravens (3-3) nor Steelers (1-4) own a winning record. But as Steelers tackle Kelvin Beachum said: “It's still a big rivalry. We hate those guys and they hate us.” And Suggs said, “The whole NFL will be watching because there is not a rivalry in football like this.” Even this season? “(It's) the history of those two teams, the rivalry and the style of play. This game is good for not only the NFL, it's a good sporting event.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers restructure Gilbert, Mitchell contracts; Pouncey close
- Steelers’ decision for NFL Draft: Pass rusher or cornerback?
- Steelers’ Harrison announces desire to play one more year
- Steelers GM Colbert prepared to look at all options before draft
- Depth a concern for Steelers’ Colbert
- Time running out for Steelers’ third-string quarterback Jones?
- Steelers GM Colbert looks at NFL Combine as important piece of puzzle