Whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens meet you can throw the team records out the window. It’s going to be a battle, its going to be physical,smash mouth football and only the strong survive .
Yes, some of the names have changed ,there is no more Ward, no more Reed, no more James Harrison and no Ray Lewis but a rivalry this strong does not just end.
Over the years they have had some epic show downs and this Sunday should be no different. The Ravens would love nothing more than to drive a stake through the heart of a Steeler team that needs a win badly to stay in the AFC North race.
The Steelers would love to pound the Super Bowl winning Ravens into submission and continue to build on some redemption after their slow start.
Two players that are very familiar with this heated rivalry is Ben Roethlisberger and Terrell Suggs .They both spoke to the media this week about the rivalry. Here is some of what they had to say about the rivalry…
Q: Does it still feel like the old rivalry? Neither team has a winning record for the first time in a long time.
Ben Roethlisberger: “It doesn’t matter. The point was brought up to me by [the] Baltimore [media] that there’s no Ray Lewis, there’s no Ed Reed, is it still the same? It’s still the same rivalry. There just might be different people in it. [Terrell] Suggs is still over there. [Haloti] Ngata is still over there. To us, and I’m sure they’re saying the same thing, it’s still Baltimore-Pittsburgh. “
Q: Do you still feel that the whole league is watching and that this is the marquee rivalry? Is it, for you, bigger than say even the Bengals in your own division right now?
Terrell Suggs: “No, I wouldn’t say that, but I would say it is the biggest rivalry in football. I have a feeling the whole NFL, if they’re not playing, even if they are playing in the Sunday night game, they will catch a glimpse of this game just because of the history of these two teams, the rivalry and style of play that these two teams play. This game is good for not only sports and the NFL, but it’s a good sporting event.”
Q: Do the rookies or the first-year players in your locker room understand what Steelers-Ravens is all about? Do you talk to any of them to emphasize that this is different?
Terrell Suggs: “If they don’t, they’re going to learn pretty fast. [Laughs] I think they’ve got a good grasp on it, though.”
Q: How will they learn? What will happen that will enlighten them?
Terrell Suggs: “Like I said, they’re going to learn pretty fast. As soon as that ball is kicked off, if there’s one guy who is sleeping on just exactly what this game means to both teams and both cities, then they’re going to learn really fast.”
Q: Do you talk to the rookies and guys who have never been in this game about what it’s all about, or do they simply have to experience it?
Ben Roethlisberger: A little bit. Not to just pull every rookie aside and say something, but my locker is next to Markus [Wheaton], and I’ll say something to certain guys just to be ready for a big game.
Q: You’ve played against all the best quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers. Where do you put Ben Roethlisberger within that group?
Terrell Suggs: “This guy won two Super Bowl championships, he played in three. The guy is a winner. I think I like that he has his own style. He’s not like those other guys that you named. He’s Big Ben. You can’t do anything but respect a guy like that and his physical play. “
Q: It seems like the respect there is mutual. Do you get that vibe from Ben, too?
Terrell Suggs: “Definitely. We’ve had some conversations that haven’t been on TV and have been in the field of play. There’s a tremendous amount of mutual respect there, but I think we both know that we are each other’s opponent, but even opponents can show respect.”
Q: What is it with you and Suggs? He compliments you, you compliment him.
Ben Roethlisberger: “For me, and I think if you asked him he’d say the same thing, it’s genuine respect. I respect him. I respect the way he plays the game. He plays it hard, he plays it physical, but he also respects the players. If he hits you and he hits you hard, he’s going to love it but he wants to make sure you’re okay because he wants you to keep playing, because he wants to keep hitting you. He doesn’t have this dirty attitude that a lot of these young guys coming into the league at linebacker and defensive players have. He’s got a respect for the game and the players, and I respect that.”
Steeler Nation, this is still one of the best rivalries in the NFL,so buckle up because the team that plays the most physical will win. Like two heavy weight fighters in a slug-fest for the Heavy weight belt its going to be a case of the last man standing … Lets get ready to RUMBLE!!!