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fordfixer
09-18-2008, 12:49 AM
Roethlisberger: Sore, but OK
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 18, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 88794.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_588794.html)

Ben Roethlisberger said the condition of his throwing shoulder has improved and won't prevent him from facing the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

"It's good," the Steelers quarterback said Wednesday. "It's not even worth talking about."

Asked if he feels better than he did a week ago, when he missed the first two days of practices, Roethlisberger replied, "Yeah, I do. I was just sore. Who in here isn't sore that plays this game? Definitely better and making progress."

Roethlisberger participated fully in yesterday's practice. Most of his passes were to receivers running short and intermediate routes.

"Last week, I didn't really practice until Friday," Roethlisberger said. "Thursday, I actually took all of the snaps. Instead of throwing, I just went through all the motions and pointed to the guy I would have thrown to. It's a way to see the play, as coach says, in the helmet."

Roethlisberger's injury, which he suffered in the Sept. 7 opener against Houston at Heinz Field, was diagnosed as a sprain of the AC joint in his right shoulder. He started the second game of the season against the Cleveland Browns and completed 12 of 19 passes for 186 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 10-6 win.

Center Justin Hartwig spoke for most of his teammates when he said that Roethlisberger's performance against the Browns inspired the offense.

"It's a morale booster when a guy's playing through pain," Hartwig said. "You lean on that guy a little more."

Roethlisberger said defenses are probing the Steelers' offensive line, which yielded 47 sacks in 2007, looking for ways to get him on the ground. So far this year, Roethlisberger has been sacked five times and is on pace for 40.

"We gave up a lot of sacks last year, so teams are really trying to exploit that," Roethlisberger said. "But I think my guys up front have done a pretty good job of shutting people down.

"If I happen to get hit, it seems like they're right there to pick me up. They've got my back, and I've got theirs."

Roethlisberger, who attempted a total of 33 passes in the Steelers' first two games, expects the offense to lean on him more in the coming weeks, perhaps beginning Sunday in Philadelphia.

"If you look at the way we played the first game, we didn't have to throw the ball much because we were winning," he said. "We were just running the clock out. Last week, the elements just kind of kept us from throwing too much. I think our true offense will start showing itself very soon."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.