In the National Football League, it starts with the quarterback. The Pittsburgh Steelers know they have one in Ben Roethlisberger. Roethisberger is entering his 10th season in the league and is having an excellent training camp as he is now the real face of the franchise. With that comes leadership and responsibilities that Roethlisberger understands.
Each year the league gets more competitive. It is truly about making yourself a better player year after year. Roethlisberger has been chomping at the bit to improve his game so that the Steelers can be a competitor in 2013.
When the press spoke to the 31-year old quarterback on Friday, Roethlisberger told the media that his arm feels a lot stronger. Coach Mike Tomlin and players have told Roethlisberger the same thing.
“My arm feels a lot stronger. I can get the ball down the field better to the receivers and Coach Tomlin had said the same thing. To me, that is what I thought was most important. My arm got strong and stayed strong.”
Roethlisberger noted that he did different types of exercises during the offseason to get into better shape. Exercises that made his arm stronger along with the rest of his body. For example, Roethlisberger said kayaking was one exercise he did along with lifting weights.
“For me, it is just about – obviously with the injury last year, the shoulder and chest area, I wanted to get my arm strength up and just get stronger. I lifted weights, I was out kayaking and just doing different things like that, which are untraditional as to which you would expect. Receivers and coaches have said the velocity on my passes has gone up, so I guess that is a good thing.”
As far as Roethlisberger’s relationship with second year offensive coordinator Todd Haley, Roethlisberger says things are as good as they have been between the two.
“Yes, and it’s not much different than it was last year, except the reports are a lot different than they were. It is as good as it has been, and I think that anyone that watches can see that.”
More important than the relationship, it seems that the All-Pro quarterback is picking up what his offensive coordinator is setting down for him. Roethlisberger commented about the game plan when the Steelers faced the Giants last Saturday.
“That is the hope, and running the ball sets up the play action. That is the game of football. There are so many things that set up other things and that is why it is a game of chess between coordinators, usually, and then the players have to execute it. Whether it is coverages or blitzes, you have to be prepared to makes adjustments on the run and try to fool the other team.”
All together, it seems that the Steelers have a happy quarterback who is ready to be a leader by challenging the rest of his team. Roethlisberger told the press his knee is healthy and looking good. Looks like the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback is focused and ready to roll as camp comes to a close in Latrobe.