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Ben to offensive line: 'Be tough, be nasty'

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Roethlisberger continues his candid approach with the media, this time, sending words of violent encouragement to his offensive linemen.

Gregory Shamus

ESPN's Scott Brown has a revealing article Wednesday, further pushing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger into the spotlight for comments he's made recently.

He sounded off on his thoughts regarding the rehabilitation efforts of rookie running back Le'Veon Bell earlier. Now, as the Steelers begin practice before travelling to London to take on the Minnesota Vikings, he's presenting a challenge to the Steelers' offensive line.

"Be tough, be nasty," Roethlisberger said, as quoted by Brown.

"If you have to get a penalty because you're going to be nasty, a holding penalty or you're going to choke someone out on a run play ... I don't always think that's a bad thing if you get a penalty every once in awhile because you're playing tough and nasty compared to not getting any penalties and just playing passive," he continued.

It's unclear how being nasty or tough necessarily would result in a holding penalty. Perhaps unnecessary roughness would be more (or less) appropriate.

"I know the O-line coach [Jack Bicknell Jr.] probably didn't want to hear me say that but I just want them to have the confidence to go out and play the way that I know they can."

There's little doubt Bicknell would prefer his linemen avoid drawing the ire of officials, and in today's ultra-sensitive environment in which players can say little about rough play without drawing bounty suspicions, it's probably a topic on which the entire Steelers coaching staff would refuse to elaborate. If they don't get caught, though, then so be it.

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