Notebook: Roethlisberger passes run test
By Joe Bendel
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came out smoking during his run test, consistently finishing in front of the pack.
"It was tougher than I thought," Roethlisberger said. "I thought I'd have trouble, but I guess all the running preparation I did got me through it."
Roethlisberger missed the run test last year while holding out.
After a season in which he went 13-0 as a starter in the regular season and set two rookie passing records, expectations will be high for Roethlisberger . He was not thrilled when asked to give his thoughts on the dreaded "Sophomore Jinx." "Well, all you guys (the media) say I'm going to have it, so I'm not going to."
Over the past month, Roethlisberger has spent a lot of time with former Pitt and Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. The two met at the Mario Lemieux Invitational, where Roethlisberger and Marino's sons became friends. "Dan and I actually spent a lot of time together the last month, hanging out and just spending some time and picking his brain."
Roethlisberger referred to Marino as a mentor.
The 15-1 record from 2004 no longer matters. Ditto for the AFC title-game appearance and any other remnants from a memorable year for the Steelers. Training camp begins in earnest today at St. Vincent College and coach Bill Cowher is looking to reinvigorating his team.
"We're starting over, and it's about coming up here and building that camaraderie and that sense of team. You can't do it talking in an air-conditioned room. You can't do it running around in shorts. (The field) is where the foundation is laid. We're going to be pushing each other. That's the one thing we've been able to come out of these camps with. We haven't scrimmaged people the past few years because I feel like we've been very competitive with the offense versus defense. And that can't change."
Cowher said he expects Roethlisberger to adjust to the free-agent loss of wide receiver Plaxico Burress and the holdout of Hines Ward.
"Ben will be fine," said Cowher. "I think the bottom line is the comfort level he has with this offense. A year ago, when he was calling the plays, I don't even know if he looked up in the huddle. He didn't even know who was in the huddle because he was reading the wrist band the whole time. I think his comfort level (this year) is very evident."
39 The number of consecutive years the Steelers have held training camp at St. Vincent College.
14 The number of years coach Bill Cowher has been conducting those camps