By: Brandon J. Wallace
“Football in its purest form.” Words from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger in his time with the media on Wednesday morning regarding the rivalry between the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers are set to face the 5-1 Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore at 1 pm ET.
“When you’ve got an offense as good as Baltimore’s, with a player as dynamic as him [Lamar Jackson], and kind of a lot of guys on offense, you have to try and keep them on the sideline.” – Ben Roethlisberger
When asked about 2019 NFL MVP, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Roethlisberger expressed the importance of keeping the ball out of his hands. He later was asked if this is the Steelers’ wide receivers’ biggest challenge to date with the all-pros that Baltimore has in its secondary.
“Our guys are all going to have to be involved. That’s going to have to be the key, I think. We’re going to have to find the best match up and just kind of see where it goes from there. I’m going to have to be smart and make good decisions. And our guys are going to have to run good routes in order for us to have a chance.”
As for defensive captain Cam Heyward, he emphasized (without giving too much away) what the game plan will have to consist of to utilize Baltimore’s rushing attack from the quarterback postion:
“Going forward, we got to make sure we have a good punting game to put them back, we have to make sure our offense doesn’t turn over the ball, and as a defense, we got to make them settle for three. We understand he’s [Lamar Jackson] a outstanding talent, but we can’t have self-inflicted wounds.”
When asked if there’s any confidence from somewhat containing Jackson in last season’s loss at Heinz Field to the Ravens, with a straight face, Heyward answered, “no, we lost.” This tells me that the Steelers understand that this is a new year, a new team, and they have a focused mindset.
Heyward finished his time with the media expressing one of his favorite quotes from Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin (especially for this week against the Ravens), and he went with “It’s a big man week. Big man gotta run. Little man gotta hit”, which couldn’t be more fitting with how physical this rivalry always seems to be. With a smile on his face, Roethlisberger also noted that “this is one you always want your bye week to be after.”
Do you think the Steelers finally take their first L of the season? Or will Pittsburgh remain as the only unbeaten team in the league!? Sound off in the comment section below!