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Ben Roethlisberger: “It’s Baltimore Week…”

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Ben Roethlisberger: “It’s Baltimore Week…”

We’ve officially made it to the first ever regular-season Week 18 in the NFL.  This week feels especially different for Steeler Nation and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  After an incredible 26-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns last Monday night, the Steelers are set to travel to Baltimore for their last “Ravens Week” of the 2021 season.

I do not think I need to detail how spectacular Monday night was at Heinz Field.  For those who were in attendance, the cold was definitely worth it.  For those who watched on ESPN, it was like watching an ideal closing scene in ballad that was 18 years in the making.  Yes, I am talking about Ben Roethlisberger’s final game at Heinz Field.  That was definitely a night no one wanted to end, unless you were Baker Mayfield and the Browns.

 

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After taking some time to come down from his Monday night high, Roethlisberger returned to the practice field to begin preparation for the Baltimore Ravens in a(nother) must-win game.  For easy reference, the Steelers must win this week, combined with a Jacksonville Jaguars win over the Indianapolis Colts and a non-tie result of the Las Vegas Raiders versus Los Angeles Chargers in order to sneak into the playoffs as a 7-seed.  Although this is a longshot, it is not impossible.  Plus, how ironic would it be for Roethlisberger and the Steelers to be a 7-seed in Roethlisberger’s final season?

As he does every mid-week, Roethlisberger took some time with the media to talk about this week’s matchup, the historic Monday night, and some retrospective thoughts about his career.  But of course, he started by describing himself coming down from the high earlier this week.  When asked about when he came down, Roethlisberger said:

“You don’t until today probably,” he said with a smile.  “Tuesday was still pretty special and then you get up and you realize what this week is.  It’s Baltimore week and it makes it fun.”

Monday night was special for Roethlisberger and all of Pittsburgh.  Roethlisberger simply described his night as being “surreal” and said he could feel the love from all of Steeler Nation:

“My family and I just felt so much love and we’re so thankful from the fans, former teammates, all the many, many notes that were written on social media, texts we got, calls. It’s really hard to put it into words,” he said. “Like I said after the game, I wish I could bottle it up and kind of keep it forever.”

 

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Roethlisberger shared some unique perspective of the final minutes of the game.  Rookie running back Najee Harris had his own historic game and scored in the waning minutes of the contest.  Roethlisberger saw this a bit differently than most fans:

“I think about this last game and what it means in terms of old guys and young guys. I think 18 years ago a young first round quarterback came in and helped an old running back win one of the most important games and now you flip it around. Last week, a young first round running back helped an old quarterback win one of the most important games of his career. So, it’s kind of cool how this football thing comes full circle.”

 

That perspective just adds another layer onto the nostalgia fans felt on Monday.  But looking towards the future, Roethlisberger was asked about any possible desire to return and when that’d hit.  He simply said that it may hit in July when training camp rolls around, but that he’d be so busy being a dad and husband it will quickly diminish.  However, we may still see him walking around the Steelers’ facility:

“I’ve got some friendships in here that will last, just like some of the guys that are still texting me.  I got so many messages in the last couple of days from former teammates.  So I’m sure I’ll do it (keep in touch with players); I’ll probably pop in here and there to see guys and see how everything is going.  But I love to send things to guys to encourage, to congratulate, to build-up, whatever it may be.  So until they tell me to stop, I’ll keep doing it.”

 

The Steelers are set to take on the Ravens on Sunday in what will be Roethlisberger’s final NFL regular season game.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who is pulling for one last playoff game for Big Ben.

 

What did you think of Monday night?  Do you think the Steelers will win in Baltimore?  Let us know in the comments!

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Growing up in Pennsylvania, the Steelers played a major role in my life. I have watched every game since 2001 and have an entire closet solely dedicated to Steelers jerseys. You can find me on Twitter at @TheBenSauce_ and Instragram at @benmic_alien. I now live in the Charlotte branch of Steeler Nation. I can't wait to share my passion for all things Steelers with you!

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