Steelers QB says he's ready to prove his worth to team
After chewing his fingernails for the past month, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will try to chew up defenses.
Disciplined for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Roethlisberger said yesterday that he is confident he will be ready Oct. 17 when the Steelers play the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
"My arm is ready," Roethlisberger said, adding that he threw more during his four-game suspension than he would have while practicing with the Steelers.
"I think the biggest thing is just refreshing my mind with the offense and getting my timing down with the guys."
Roethlisberger, who worked with personal quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. at Hampton High School, will get extra practice time with his teammates.
The Steelers are off this week because of the bye.
They are scheduled to practice today through Thursday and then follow a regular practice schedule next week.
Roethlisberger's workout today will be his first with the Steelers since Sept. 1.
The seven-year veteran started the process of re-acclimating with the Steelers yesterday.
Roethlisberger ate lunch at team headquarters, took part in players meetings and talked with coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
During the suspension, Roethlisberger was not allowed to have contact with coaches and was barred from team facilities.
"Obviously, I love football and miss that more than anything, but to be away from the guys, my family, that was one of the hardest parts and that's what made coming here so great," he said.
"I think every single one of the guys gave me a big hug, and I was just so happy to see them, and I think they were happy to see me, as well."
Roethlisberger is hopeful he gets a similar reception when he plays a regular season game at Heinz Field for the first time since December.
"If I've seen people out in public, it's been a lot of warm embraces, a lot of 'can't wait to get you back, keep your head up,' " Roethlisberger said.
"There's been a lot of positive feedback from the fans, so I would hope there are going to be some encouraging things and some good things."
Roethlisberger talked publicly for the first time since the end of August. He disclosed, among other things, the beating his fingers took while having to watch the Steelers play on TV.
"I have no fingernails left," Roethlisberger said while holding up his hands during a six-minute interview with reporters. "It was tough, but it was fun watching them win."
The Steelers went 3-1 in Roethlisberger's absence.
The players elected team captains while he was suspended, and Roethlisberger was not voted one after serving as an offensive co-captain the previous two seasons.
"Obviously, that's an awesome honor to be voted a captain of this team, but that's something you have to earn, and I'll come out and give them the best I can," Roethlisberger said.
"Just because you're (not) a captain doesn't mean you can't give this team all you've got."
Yesterday, Roethlisberger said, did not bring an end to a saga that started in March when a 20-year-old college student accused the two-time Super Bowl winner of sexually assaulting her in a nightclub bathroom in Milledgeville, Ga.
Roethlisberger said closure will come at Heinz Field on Oct. 17.
"For me, getting back on the field will be the big test. That's what I'm most excited for because I think the people of Pittsburgh and Steelers fans around the world know that football's my passion, and I want to get out there and show them that."
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.
- Kentucky coach Stoops praises Steelers’ Dupree
- Steelers’ fourth-round pick Grant relies on smarts to get job done
- Steelers are banking on linebackers to improve strength of defense
- Steelers get their corner with Mississippi’s Golson
- Steelers mock drafts: Beat writers give their picks
- Bucs draft PSU tackle Smith with second-round pick
- Kaboly: Steelers fill biggest needs by drafting defensive players
- Bud Dupree first-round capsule
- West Virginia WR White selected by Bears
- Penn State tight end James, a South Allegheny grad, goes to Steelers in 5th round
- Steelers notebook: Harrison will play fewer snaps this season