The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to play an unfamiliar foe on Sunday as they host the Seattle Seahawks for their first home game of the 2019 regular season. The last time these two teams locked horns it was the Steelers traveling to the great northwest to play in Seattle, but with the Seahawks making the cross country trek for a 1 p.m. ET game things could be different this time around.
Head coach Pete Carroll recently spoke with Pittsburgh media to discuss the upcoming matchup, and he had rave reviews for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. As Carroll says, there is nobody like Roethlisberger in the NFL.
“We’ve all studied him forever and he’s such a unique talent. There’s nobody like him. He’s so resourceful and so competitive and so talented too and just so unique that we know what we are up against. We know what we’re playing against. It’s trying to find a way to stop him. What he’s done remarkable for years and years is to get out of trouble and find a receiver or find the second or third choice and make something happen and really just break your back with big plays in that fashion. He’s an unusual guy, he’s hard to sack, he’s hard to get off his feet. He just has a great confidence and presence in the sense that just makes him Big Ben.”
This is coming from a coach’s perspective, but players, especially defenders, have a different take on facing Roethlisberger. You always hear about how hard it is to bring him down, and even his signature pump fakes which drive defensive backs crazy. Nonetheless, linebacker Bobby Wagner had this to say about No. 7.
“Definitely extending plays is the thing that sticks out, and he’s really hard to get down. I think a lot of it is, they don’t really give up too many sacks. That’s because their o-line is so good, and the other part is because he’s really big. I don’t know how tall he is but, probably six seven or something. I don’t know. It’s really hard to get him down so, we have to make sure we don’t allow him to just sit back there and find the open receivers. We have to do a good job of pressuring him, do a good job of [when we have him] bringing him down. That’s why we do push-ups.”
Looking at games between inter-conference opponents is always difficult. You look at matchups on paper, but since the Steelers only face Russell Wilson once every 4 years, and vice versa regarding facing Roethlisberger, it tends to take some time to settle into the game. Either way, Carroll knows his team will have to bring their best to walk away with a win on Sunday.
“We know this is a loaded team on both sides of the football. They can do all kinds of great stuff, causing problems with your offense. They can sack you, they can stop you up front. They can cause all kinds of problems there. There is nobody that has more style than Ben does as an offensive weapon. He is one of the most unique players to play in this game ever. They have all of the firepower they need. We are expecting them to be great, play great, the crowd, the fans, it’s a very difficult setting.”
After the Steelers suffered a deflating 33-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 1, the fan base is extremely concerned about this upcoming game. If the Steelers could put together a solid performance, and advance their record to 1-1, it would go a long to way to easing some of the sting lingering from Week 1. But a loss at home would be debilitating for the fans who desperately needing a big win.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the Seahawks at Heinz Field this Sunday in Week 2.