Harbaugh on the run game: 'It can be fixed'
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed both games against the Ravens last year due to injury. That makes Roethlisberger particularly eager to face the Ravens again this Sunday.
“I enjoy this rivalry,” Roethlisberger said during a Wednesday conference call. “I know people think I’m crazy, but you enjoy playing against the best – personnel-wise, defensively and as a team. I enjoy it, and it was really painful not to play this game last year. I don’t think it was as painful as if I would have played, but it was still pretty painful not to play.”
Roethlisberger’s 2013 season has been painful for other reasons, with the Steelers (1-4) struggling. Coach Mike Tomlin banned ping pong and all other games from the Steelers locker room. At first, the ban was for players with less than four years experience, but Tomlin expanded it to the entire team.
“Coach has got to do what he’s got to do,” Roethlisberger said. “Us older guys, we just go along with it.”
The Steelers hope getting their first victory against the Jets on Sunday is the beginning of a turnaround. Does Roethlisberger think Pittsburgh will be back in AFC North contention with a win Sunday against the Ravens?
“We’re not worried about contention,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re just trying to win one game and that’s this week, that’s our focus.”
Roethlisberger is often most dangerous when extending plays, and the Ravens know that even when they grab Roethlisberger, he will be tough to bring down.
“He’s gifted,” said Ravens linebacker Elvis Dumervil. “He can run around. Proven winner and a champion. “The worst thing you can do as a pass rusher is miss quarterbacks. That’s the emphasis for any quarterback. Obviously, with Ben, he’s big and he’s mobile. We have our hands full, so we have to make sure we come to play.”
And unlike last season, Roethlisberger will be playing against the Ravens.