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Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: "This is a huge test for us"


Photos of the Raiders taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers throughout the years.


Q: It must have been disappointing losing Le'Veon Bell right after getting him back.

Roethlisberger: "Yeah, it's not easy. It's never easy losing a guy, especially a guy like that who's one of the best in the business. We feel for him and everything he has to go through, but we have to have faith that DeAngelo [Williams] will step up and carry the load for us."

Q: Do you feel like DeAngelo can step in and have the same sort of production he had at the beginning of the season?

Roethlisberger:"Yeah. Listen, he's not Le'Veon and he's not going to try to be Le'Veon, but he's DeAngelo and he's done it in this league for a while now and he's done it at a high level. We have that confidence that he could do it, and he did it for us. We have to believe and we do believe that he'll do it again."

Q: Did you feel any rust your first game back?

Roethlisberger:"It wasn't too bad. Obviously I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but I'm not going to say it was because of rust or any other excuse."

Q: Given that when you were out, you guys were still able to win games. Was it nice to come back to the position the other quarterbacks kept you in?

Roethlisberger:"Yeah, I thought the other guys did a great job. We fight every week no matter who's in there. We've had deal with a lot of injuries this year and it's never easy. Got to give guys a lot of credit who step up and fill in for other guys."

Q: What do you think of this Raiders team and their defense?

Roethlisberger:"It's an awesome defense. This is a huge test for us – it's not going to be easy. They're a very physical football team, very physical in the secondary. Their front seven like to get after the quarterback. This is a definite test for us and for our guys because it's a very good defense."

Q: When you go up against a team with two solid edge rushers, does that make thing more difficult?

Roethlisberger:"Absolutely. I'd say they're well better than just average pass rushers. They're very good pass rushers. They get after the quarterback. Like I said, they add to this test that's going to be this weekend."

Q: Charles Woodson leads the league in interceptions and has really taken over that ball hawk role. What do you think about the way a guy that age is playing at that position?

Roethlisberger:"I think it's awesome. Such a credit to him and his work ethic, his determination, the type of player he is. To be able to do it, not just play, but play at that high of a level, speaks volumes for the type of person and competitor he is. I think it's awesome to see."

Q: Derek Carr has shown a good ability to pass against the blitz. For you in your first few years in the league, what was it like trying to adjust to that and how difficult is it to acquire that ability?

Roethlisberger:"It's never easy. I was fortunate or unfortunate, however you want to put it, my young career here to go against coach [Dick] LeBeau and that defense that we had, Joey [Porter] and Clark Haggans and Troy [Polamalu] and all those guys. It threw me right into the fire and I think that he's doing a good job of that too because he has a great defense that likes to bring the pressure and bring the heat. I'm sure he sees it every day in practice."

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