After the Pittsburgh Steelers got the greatest regular season performance from a backup quarterback in NFL history Sunday at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns, Ben Roethlisberger took to the air waves for his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh to talk about his injured foot, the scenario which saw him as a backup and even Antonio Brown's incredible flip into the end zone.
One of the biggest questions Steelers fans had on Sunday morning when they learned of Roethlisberger being the team's backup quarterback was, "If he is healthy enough to be the backup, shouldn't he be starting?" Roethlisberger shed some light on how that decision was made.
"I talked to coach on Saturday and he basically said, ‘if we can rest you, we're going to rest you...If you feel comfortable, I feel comfortable with you being the number two in case of emergency.' Obviously seven plays into the game, there was an emergency."
Roethlisberger didn't just come into the game as an emergency quarterback, he quickly showed why he is considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL by throwing for 379 yards and 3 touchdowns in three and a half quarters of work. However, how did his sprained foot react to the rigors associated with a NFL regular season game?
"It's definitely a sore Monday and Tuesday, the adrenaline wears off," Roethlisberger said. "No setbacks, just typical game soreness."
When asked if he would be physically ready to go in two weeks against the Seattle Seahawks, his response was short and concise, "Absolutely". Great news for the Steelers and their fans as they approach a crucial juncture in their schedule with 6 games remaining.
One player the team can not afford to lose is Antonio Brown. Brown already has well over 1,000 yards receiving, and with 6 games remaining is on pace to shatter his previous records held within the Steelers organization. Roethlisberger talked about Brown, and what he means to the team.
"He is special," Roethlisberger said. "It's not always the prettiest thing and that's something that I harp on him about a lot. No improvising until I improvise. Be on your details, be on your P's and Q's and I need to know exactly where you're going to be every single time. And like I said, I stay on him about it because he's not always perfect, but the thing is that even when he's not perfect or I'm not perfect we still seem to make things happen and it's a credit to our chemistry. We work together a lot. We talk a lot and when he's on his P's and Q's and he's in the spot he's supposed to be, there's so much trust."
All the trust in the world doesn't necessarily explain the risk Brown took when doing a flip into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game. It took the Steelers' captain just a few words to help Brown realize what he did was risky.
"You know, he gets caught up in the moment. I said listen, ‘if you get hurt, was it worth it? Whether it's career ending or season ending, was it worth it?' And he is so apologetic about it. He's like, ‘No, I'm so sorry.' I told him, "AB, that was probably one of the most athletic things I've ever seen anybody do...that was so impressive, don't ever do it again."
The Steelers are in a good place with 6 weeks left to play, and if Roethlisberger and company can stay healthy there is no reason to think this team couldn't be a serious contender this season.