Ready to turn it around
Thursday, September 28, 2006
By Teresa Varley
The Steelers returned to practice on Wednesday, taking advantage of some extra time to get work done during their bye week.
For quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this week is a chance to look back at his performance so far this season and see what he needs to do to get things rolling for the long haul ahead.
One of those things – run the ball more.
Roethlisberger and head coach Bill Cowher talked this week and one thing that was encouraged was for the quarterback to take off running more when the opportunity arises, something that has been a strength his first two seasons.
"I talked to coach about it; we decided that maybe I need to get out a little more, run a little more," said Roethlisberger. "I've kind of gotten away from running the ball. He said, 'Yeah, take your 6 yards and slide.'
"We'll see. I'm not going to go out and try to change anything. I'm just going to continue to play the way that I play and just try to make smarter decisions."
Roethlisberger's rushing stats so far this season are listed as two carries for a loss of one yard. He isn't going to be going out on the field looking to run, but rather make sure he has it available as an option.
"When it comes to scrambling, it's kind of the fine line," said Roethlisberger. "It's not necessarily something you design, but it's not something you want to do too soon. We went back and looked at the film. There's probably a couple of plays where I got out of the pocket and maybe I tried to stay a passer too long rather than just take the yardage and get down. It's a fine line to walk, but we'll find a way to just get back to playing my style of football."
One thing that might help Roethlisberger running is putting on more weight. He lost around 15 pounds after his motorcycle accident in June and Cowher has encouraged him to put a few pounds back on.
"We've talked about it," said Cowher. "I am encouraging him to make sure he eats snacks at night."
Roethlisberger knows that the Steelers are better than their 1-2 record. He knows that it isn't time to panic, that things can and will turn around.
"People look at it like we're sliding backwards and I don't think so," said Roethlisberger. "We've got some ways to go, but I think we're making progress. Offensively, we will come around, because our defense is playing great right now. I feel that we let them down. We won't let that happen again."