Arthur Jones: 'I thought we had that one'
After his outstanding performance in the Steelers’ 37-27 victory over the Lions on Sunday, maybe Ben Roethlisberger should have played it cool and just acted above it all regarding reports that he wanted to be traded out of Pittsburgh and that the club was concerned about his work ethic. But he couldn’t resist a little digging.
"Maybe I made myself more tradeable," he said (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) of his 367-yard, four-touchdown effort.
Talking about leading a fourth-quarter comeback, Big Ben said: "During the week, I try to do my best to prepare myself for that situation."
Those comments, particularly the second one, were fairly subtle. But he was also more pointed in his post-game remarks. Directly addressing the part of the reports that said he didn’t do enough homework away from the Steelers facility to ready himself each week, Roethlisberger said: "How do they know what I do at home? Do they have cameras in my house?"
And all the talk wasn’t an issue with his Steelers teammates, he said. Collectively, they just reacted by saying, “No biggie.”
"I really wasn't worried about being a distraction," Roethlisberger said. “They know how I feel about them and this team. They know I don't want to go anywhere. A lot of guys came up to me and said, 'Ben, don't worry about it. It's ridiculous. Just play your game.'"
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His game was greatly aided by breakdowns in the Lions secondary. On touchdowns to Jerricho Cotchery and Will Johnson in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger’s receivers broke wide open. On catch-and-run scores by Antonio Brown, he took short passes and ran through Detroit tacklers to find the end zone.
Maybe this week we’ll hear reports that the Lions defensive backs need to do more prep work away from the club facility.