Ben Roethlisberger: ‘We’re All Excited’ About Ladarius Green

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a veteran. It takes him a little while to really warm up to people stepping into new roles. He had the same issue with the veterans when he first came on board more than a dozen years ago.

You can tell in his comments that he has made over the years the way he veils his reservations. He did so when talking about Le’Veon Bell during his rookie training camp. With the exception, perhaps, of offensive linemen, he always takes the wait and see approach.

Which is the approach that he took with this year’s “Ferrari”, free agent tight end Ladarius Green, whom the Steelers didn’t see on the field, at all, until a few weeks ago. Green, of course, spent the first half of the season in the Physically Unable to Perform List.

But he has been active for the past three weeks and has played a limited role since then. He caught three passes for 30 yards in his first game. On Thursday, he had two big catches for 32 and 35 yards, respectively, which more than tripled his total yardage on the season. And it got Roethlisberger excited to see.

He talked about it during his radio spot yesterday on 93.7 The Fan. He talked about Green “stretching the defense”, and how “we were making fun of him” following the first reception, joking that it was a great play, but they wanted to see him score. “We want to see even more”, he said.

“Maybe we’re being a little greedy”, he continued, “but just for him to come back to us and really start doing some awesome things, we’ll all excited about that”. The Steelers brought in Green this year because of his potential big play ability from the tight end position.

He was asked about his thoughts on Green’s journey and how he has been questioned every step of the way, even to the point of people saying that he shouldn’t have been signed, and wondering if he would even play.

“You see every week, almost every day”, he said, “different growth things. Even yesterday, him and I were talking about plays in the game. ‘Hey what do you think about this?’”, Green would ask him, as he went on to talk about a route being run and how his seventh step is so fast that Roethlisberger’s timing is off.

“If we would have had that time in training camp, that wouldn’t have been an issue”, he said. “I wouldn’t call it an issue now, but it’s something that we’re working through as we’re moving through a season. He’s such a hard worker and a guy that wants to learn and wants to be great”.

Roethlisberger concluded his comments about Green talking about how he is excited about their growing relationship on the field and what element that is going to bring to the offense. Clearly, he and Green’s teammates are expecting this to be just the beginning.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • walter

    I admit i was scared, on his first attempted catch in the end zone, when his head bounced off the turf. But this guy got up and kept playing. Its a lot to ask of him to save our season but we dont have anybody else to come to the rescue. He looks like he has great hands and he appears to be getting over his nervousness/jinx fear so i wish him the best and go steelers!!

  • srdan

    Green has two things going against him in the fans eyes. He has one of those personalities that gives the perception that he doesn’t care(think eli manning). The second is this injury that none of us know much about. We all have ideas of what it was and that he was hiding something during and after teh contract. So the fans inability to get behind this guy is understanding.

    But man, the positive spin is huge. Ben hasn’t had such a target since Plax. And if he can develop chemistry with this guy over the next 4 games (plenty of time), it’s going to catapult this offense.

  • nutty32

    Love Ladarius. Had him on my fantasy team the last 2 years. He’s very talented, but ALWAYS hurt. Please stay healthy for once.

  • Michael James

    Man, I also questioned him after all those reports came up, but if he stays healthy he will be worth every penny.

  • Bill

    I hope that Green avoids injury and turns out to be the great threat that every body thinks he’s capable of being. If so, we are in business. He’s really one of those hybrid wide receiver/tight end types that proliferate in the pass oriented NFL. We still need a real tight end and along those lines, I believe the coaching staff should put an increased effort into Jesse James. He’s not a gazelle but he can catch, he is quite strong, has surprising speed and he’s big; but he needs to improve his route running and blocking. If he were to develop along those lines, maybe, just maybe, the Steelers could have a real two tight end offense!

  • pittsburghjoe

    Jeeeze, just a month ago we were calling for Colberts head on this deal.

  • Rotten Sircus

    Jesse James is the bigger red zone target. Green is really only faster & the better blocker so it’s the Win Win ( IMO )

  • FATCAT716

    Since Plax? Really so what about Matavis Bryant

  • srdan

    He is certainly not somebody that goes up the seam and catches the ball on the regular.

    Also in the redzone for a fade, I thnk green is closer to plax than martavios.

  • FATCAT716

    Ok gotcha

  • WreckIess

    I’m with Ben. I’ve been excited to see what he can do since we signed him and now that I’ve seen some flashes I want to see how he looks when he puts it all together.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Also that the team and fans were looking for a replacement, if you can even use that word, for Heeeeeath.

    His athletic ability was exciting to think about. But then… nothing, for a long time.


    Those feelings are true…of me anyway, but since he’s taken the field, I’m seeing some of what my west coast friends were talking about with this guy…he’s getting more comfortable in the OFC as well as Ben being more comfortable with him which was always going to take a few games…I expect him to be near a 100 yds every game.

  • srdan


    I wouldn’t be surprised if you hear a few of those this weekend but for green this time

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Ready for more! I believe he’s locked and loaded and ready to go!

  • Douglas Andrews

    I remember when Ben was a rookie and they asked Alan Faneca about working with the Rookie BB. Classic sacarsm from Alan Faneca….Question Alan are you excited to work with the rookie? Alan’s response….”Excited? would you be excited to work with a kid just out of college?” lol, Getting back to Green it would be awesome to have Green round back into that SD Charger form. We need more weapons on this offense for sure.

  • nutty32

    Green is a terrible blocker.

  • SouthernSteel

    No reason for him to block…just line him up as WR

  • MC

    I think the success of Jesse James as a receiver is rather important also. With Bryant out, Green can fill that void as a fast big target out wide if needed. Split Green our in the 3 wr set and have Jesse as the TE, I like the idea of that.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Plus he hurt his knee on that play.

  • Matthew Marczi

    No worse than James.

  • Matthew Marczi

    That Faneca anecdote was the exact thing I had in mind.

  • Jaybird

    I never thought the guy was going to play , and he has that Donovan Mcnab laid back attitude that can rub you the wrong way. But I will be rooting for him big time this week and gladly say how wrong I was when he begins to jumpstart this offense.

  • walter

    How bad would that have looked if he couldnt continue playing and missed a few more weeks or the rest of the season? I dont want to think about it.

  • walter

    me too. I thought he would re-injure himself or have reoccurring concussion symptoms in his first game. Glad to see i was wrong.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Haha, no kidding…

  • Applebite

    I’m going to miss that stock photo of Tomlin looking at Green like: ” Dude! You still ain’t ready to go?!?”

  • Steeler83

    What do you think exactly about his blocking abilities ? Because I didn’t notice real bad showings in this part of his game.

  • Xclewsive

    The Steelers need a viable target for Ben and Green can provide that. The biggest question for me is Haley good enough to schematically get Green the ball. Watching all the other TEs on teams that don’t have ABs or Bells get open has me wondering. Green should see mismatches every week and it’s up to the Haley along with Ben to exploit that coverage.

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Greens best game to date, now in his fifth year, was in last year’s opener against DET.

    5 rec 74 yds 1 td

  • Disqussant

    Gotta wonder what makes a guy a terrible blocker. Don’t you just get in position and push your weight around? But what do I know. Yikes!

  • Disqussant

    I’ll steel would like his head!

  • RickM

    The Steelers knew the guy couldn’t block well after 4 NFL seasons, so that part of it won’t change. But it was great to see the downfield ability. Now let’s build on it.

  • Bryan Ischo

    I feel the same way. How hard can it be to line a guy up in front of you and push him?

  • Disqussant

    Yeah, maybe quickness matters, but Green is no slouch.

  • Matthew Marczi

    The thing that most stands out to me about James’ blocking is that he overruns on the move way too often. His lack of overall functional strength is an issue when he is asked to block defensive ends one-on-one, but he usually is able to do enough to get the job done, even if it isn’t pretty. He’s not a terrible blocker (neither is Green), but he’s certainly not all there yet. It would be nice to see him make a similar improvement as Matt Spaeth in the blocking department.

  • Steeler83

    Sorry Matthew that didn’t seem very clear but I asked your point about Green’s blocking but thanks for your answer anyway ^^

  • Matthew Marczi

    Ah, I wasn’t sure, so I just took a stab at it. Honestly, the Steelers have barely had him blocking at all yet, so I wouldn’t have anything to add beyond what Alex wrote in his scouting report after he was first signed. Maybe we’ll see more on Sunday.