Posted September 24, 2008 5 :23 PM
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The best way to stop defenses from blitzing as often as the Eagles did against the Steelers –- and as often as the Ravens figure to do Monday night when they visit Heinz Field –- is to burn them with a couple of big plays early.
So said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger today during his weekly chat with reporters.
“If you can beat a team once or twice,” Roethlisberger said, “usually it will take them out of it.”
That, obviously, is easier said than done. Otherwise the Steelers wouldn’t be lugging a somewhat dubious streak into their game against the archrival Ravens.
They haven’t scored a touchdown in the last six quarters, and while fans are quick to fault the line for the way the offense has sputtered it has truly been a team effort.
At least it was in Philadelphia where nobody played well on the offensive side of the ball.
Roethlisberger played arguably his worst game since 2006, even when mitigating circumstances such as his getting hit more than Rocky Balboa are taken into account.
As well as the Eagles played, could what happened in Philadelphia also have been a case of one of those days where everyone on the offense, for whatever reason, was just a little bit off?
Not making excuses just throwing that out there for those angst-ridden Steelers fans that are waiting for the sky is to fall on them.
“The biggest thing it came down to is communication,” Roethlisberger said. “We just didn’t communicate well.”
One thing Steelers fans do not have to fret about is how Roethlisberger is feeling after getting sacked eight times by the Eagles.
“I think people made a lot out of it,” Roethlisberger said of the beating he took last Sunday. “You know what? I’m standing here and we’re all good to go.”
Roethlisberger, for the record, practiced today.
Here are some other items of note from practice and the two open locker room sessions today:
-- As physical as the Ravens game figures to be, Travis Kirschke said the Steelers will only dress five defensive linemen for the game. The Steelers dressed six defensive linemen for each of their first two games but they will be without nose tackle Casey Hampton (groin) and defensive end Brett Keisel (calf) against Baltimore.
“They’d like to go with six but (five) is what we have and we’ll make it work,” said Kirschke, who will start in place of Keisel at right defensive end.
Hampton said he hurt his groin against the Browns and that he shut himself down after feeling a “pop” last Sunday against the Eagles.
Hampton said he doesn’t know when he will play again.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Hampton is “week to week.”
“Whenever I start feeling good I’m going to play,” Hampton said. “I’m not going to go out there and hurt myself but I don’t think I’ve got to be 100 percent (to return to action).”
-- Willie Parker, who won’t play Monday night because of a sprained left knee, did not offer much when asked about his expected return to action.
He referred questions of that nature to Tomlin, who, for obvious reasons, is as vague as can be when it comes to discussing injuries.
Parker was in high spirits and didn’t appear to be walking with any kind of a limp so that is potentially good news for the Steelers.
“I ain’t in discomfort,” Parker said. “I’m about to go work out right now.”
-- Kendall Simmons’ wife delivered the couple’s third child late Tuesday night at a Pittsburgh hospital. The couple has three daughters and Simmons said they are finished following the arrival of Olivia Pearl Simmons.
When asked about having three daughter, Simmons said, “I’ve got a lot of weddings to pay for.”