Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger: ‘It’s Prudent’ For Me to Play vs. Lions

Ben Roethlisberger Matt Canada

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers with offensive coordinator Matt Canada during training camp at Heinz Field.

On Thursday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reiterated that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will play in Saturday evening’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field.

After practice on Thursday, Roethlisberger went on to explain why he’ll be seeing time in the contest.

It’s “because we’ve got a new system,” he told the assembled media. “There’s a new coach, player communication in terms of a new guy, the offense is different. He’s up in the box as compared to on the field.

“There’s a lot of newness. I think it’s prudent to get as much time as I can in under those circumstances,” added Roethlisberger, who at age 39 is entering his 18th NFL season.

It sounds as if Big Ben would actually like to play more than just a series or two.

“I would love to get as many reps as I can,” he added. “It’s been how many months since I’ve stepped on a football field to take a hit or play? I know it’s preseason, but just meaningful types of reps. With the newness of it, I’d like to get as much as I can.”

He went on to say that the newness—to borrow a word—is in some ways a good thing for him, considering how long he has been in the league.

“I was telling my wife the other night that I think maybe it’s even better that there’s some new stuff because it almost refocuses you in a way, if that makes sense…. If this was still the same stuff, I’d probably go home, watch the film and be ready to move on.

Jordan Berry vs. Pressley Harvin III

On Thursday, Mike Tomlin also addressed the plan for playing Jordan Berry and rookie seventh-round pick Pressley Harvin, who are competing for Pittsburgh’s punting job.

“We intend to utilize both guys in this game,” offered Tomlin, which contrasts the approach he took in the team’s first two preseason tilts, when Harvin starred against the Dallas Cowboys and Berry played against the Eagles.

“How we do that is yet to be determined,” he added, “but we are going to use both guys in this football game … not only in terms of punting but holding as well.”

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Antonio Brown Kicked Out of Buccaneers-Titans Practice

Also on Thursday, former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was kicked out of a joint practice between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans after he was involved in an altercation with Titans cornerback Chris Jackson.

According to Rick Stroud, who covers the Buccaneers for the Tampa Bay Times, Brown was ejected after he ripped off Jackson’s helmet.

He was permitted to return to practice after a 10- or 15-minute cool down period.

Brown is back with the Buccaneers for another season after he signed a one-year deal worth $6.25 million, with $3.1 million guaranteed. He played in eight games for Tampa Bay last year, catching 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns en route to winning his first Super Bowl.

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