Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took part in the Hoge Starks Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday, put on by former Steelers Merril Hoge and Max Starks, and he talked to the media for a little while prior to the event.
Roethlisberger was asked if the OTA sessions that get underway on Tuesday are the most critical that he can remember because of the hiring of new offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Roethlisberger replied, “It is. In a way I feel like a rookie again in a veteran\’s body. It\’s kind of anxious, excited. I don\’t know of a time that I\’ve been more focused on an offense because last year it was ours, me and B.A. (Bruce Arians) were tweaking things and making stuff our own, but now I\’m just trying to learn something new.” Roethlisberber also added, “I\’m thankful to have Charlie (Charlie Batch) and Byron (Byron Leftwich) back because not only are they great players, but we coach ourselves, we help each other out. So we\’re all in this together and Coach Randy (Randy Fichtner), my quarterback coach, has just been tremendous. So just super excited to get out there tomorrow and get going.”
Roethlisberger was also asked how he is feeling health wise right now and if he has lost any weight to which the Steelers quarterback replied, “Good. I feel really well. I have lost quite a few pounds just to help get that ankle healed up quick and the shoulder feels good and we\’ll get out there and see, hopefully I\’m not going to get hit any time soon, so we\’re going to be alright.”
With wide receiver Mike Wallace still unsigned, Roethlisberger was asked about how critical of situation it is that his receiver will not be present this week and if it is just part of the business. Roethlisberger defended both sides of the situation when he said, “Well its definitely part of the business. I want Mike there because for one, Mike\’s a great friend and he\’s a great player and we need him and we want him. But he\’s got to do what\’s best for him. There\’s no point in just jumping in to just take the first offer out there. He needs to get his fair market value and I think that it will get done and I think Mike is doing it the right way and the Rooneys and the Steelers are doing it their way.”
Roethlisberger, as you can imagine, was asked about his relationship with Haley and how the two are getting along. Roethlisberger answered, “Yeah, we\’re great. People blew it way out of proportion. Its just something new that we\’re getting to know each other.” Roethlisberger added, “There\’s no trouble between us at all.”
As far as the appearance he has given that he does not like the new playbook, Roethlisberger said, “Its just something new. It\’s change, it\’s different. Doesn\’t mean that it is good or bad. We\’re just learning something new. You know when you get a comfort level of like eight years in the same thing and then you change it, its just something different. I\’m not saying I don\’t like the playbook or anything like that. Some of the stuff, the concepts are awesome, it\’s just getting an understanding of something new.”
After being asked about the linemen the Steelers drafted last month Roethlisberger was asked how it feels to be a college graduate now to which he quickly shot back, “I feel so smart right now.” He later added that it is not helping in the classroom right now though as far as learning the new offense.