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Ben Roethlisberger says Steelers can grow from adversity

Joe Rutter
| Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, 10:36 a.m.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the team out of the tunnel after the National Anthem before the Bears Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 at Soldier Field in Chicago Il.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the team out of the tunnel after the National Anthem before the Bears Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 at Soldier Field in Chicago Il.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is done talking about the national anthem controversy from last weekend, but he said Wednesday it is a chance for the Steelers to learn from adversity.

“You will either be divided or brought together,” Roethlisberger said. “This is a group that is a very close-knit group, and I feel strongly that we will be stronger than ever.”

A couple Steelers players, Roethlisberger included, said distractions from the team's national anthem stance contributed to a 23-17 overtime loss to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The players, with the exception of left tackle and former combat veteran Alejandro Villanueva, remained inside a tunnel while the national anthem played as a way to protest President Donald Trump's criticism of players who kneel for the anthem.

The Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in a matchup of 2-1 teams with first place in the AFC North at stake.

Tight end Jesse James said the Steelers can't afford to have distractions disrupt preparations for the game in Baltimore.

“If you let it, you have to toughen up mentally,” he said. “You can't let things going on in the outside world affect how you play the game.”

James said the Steelers have an opportunity to show their mettle against the Ravens.

“We have to come back from where we were last week and we've got to grow,” he said.

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