Roethlisberger happy to take the field
Friday, April 20, 2007
By Teresa Varley
The Steelers held their first mini-camp practice under new head coach Mike Tomlin on Friday morning and for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger it felt good to get back into the swing of things after spending the past month mainly on conditioning drills.
"It's good to be back out there," said Roethlisberger. "There are some new things, new faces all around. It was good to get back out on the field."
One of the new things that Roethlisberger was faced with was the terminology installed by offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. While the plays are remaining relatively the same, what they are called is changing and it's an early challenge for Roethlisberger and the offense.
"It's a little different with some of the calls," said Roethlisberger. "I almost feel like I am a rookie again with a little more knowledge than I had the first time around. All of us, all of the quarterbacks, are working together at this point, talking and asking each other what we see and if we did anything right or wrong."
Roethlisberger is going to have a little more freedom with the offense this year, being able to make some of his own calls. It is something he will have to adjust to as time goes on, and mini-camp is the perfect time for him to give it a try.
"It makes it tougher right now," he said. "Initially it makes it a lot harder because there are a lot more things. You break the huddle and you forget what you called it on. You forget what the protections are. Right now it's tough, but once we get the hang of it, it will make it a lot easier and better."
While it will give him more freedom, it also gives him a lot more responsibility and that is something he welcomes.
"It makes it easier because there won't be as many complications," he said. "There still will be complications. I'm still going to screw up. We're not going to be 100 percent clicking on every single play, but hopefully we can on most plays."
Like all of his teammates Roethlisberger entered the Steelers first mini-camp with a little bit of uncertainty of how Tomlin would approach things. He was happy with what he saw from the new coach on the field.
"He's a great guy," said Roethlisberger. "He didn't try to do too much, which was one of the questions, is he going to come in and yell and scream at everybody? What is he going to do? He came in and was as calm, cool and collected as he seems."
Roethlisberger and Tomlin have already started to form a bond and the fact that Tomlin is new is something the quarterback feels will benefit their relationship.
"It will definitely be different because Coach (Bill) Cowher was here before I got here," explained Roethlisberger. "Our relationship wasn't great because he was here before I got here and I was just a young kid. Coach Tomlin and I are rookies together in a sense so I think we will have a better relationship."
The Steelers were permitted to have this early mini-camp because they have a new head coach and they want to come out strong and lay the foundation for what they hope will be a successful season for the team, and for Tomlin.
"It's important because we want to improve," said Roethlisberger. "We want to do good for him. We want to do good for all of the players, coaches and the fans. It's important we come out and play better and it starts now."