While the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fans seem to be pleased about their quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, talking openly about areas of the game in which he feels that he has struggled to control his impulses over the course of the first three games of the season, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is not buying it. He’s known Roethlisberger for too long.
Earlier this week, when reporters asked the Steelers’ passer what the issues were with the offense, and how it could be improved, he stated pretty simply that “the quarterback needs to play better”. He went on to note that he zeroes in on Antonio Brown too frequently and tends to pass up shallower targets for deeper ones.
Suggs—the defender who no doubt know Roethlisberger better than anyone—was asked about his comments this week, and he smiled. “Oh Ben…he’s setting things up”, he told The Baltimore Sun. “He’s playing mind games. Rat bastard. He’s setting us up. Tell Ben, I’m on to his tricks. I know what he’s doing. I’m not going to let him fool me with trickery and Jedi-mind trick me”.
While the Steelers fan base is quick to admonish the offense for underperforming, the Ravens’ defenders are not buying into the theme that they are easy to handle. “No, man, they start out a little slow every year, but they’re fine”, Eric Weddle said of his upcoming opponent.
“They’ve got weapons everywhere, matchups. So we expect them to play great, and we’ve got to play an amazing game as a team for us to get this win”.
Roethlisberger and the offense are certainly hoping that they are right, and that they give the Ravens as big a challenge as they are preparing for, but they know that they have work to do in order to justify that reputation.
As I noted yesterday in an article, the Steelers have only managed to score at least 20 points in eight of 31 games, historically, in Baltimore, and have failed to do so in their previous three attempts. The offense has been held under 20 points twice in three games so far this year already.
Nobody has gotten to Roethlisberger more in their career, with Suggs bringing down the 14-year veteran 17.5 times. This season, he already has recorded three sacks. At the age of 34, he remains productive in his 15th NFL season.
Suggs has also forced two fumbles and recorded nine total tackles. He recorded eight sacks last season after coming back from missing all but a few snaps of the 2015 season due to an injury. He had 12 sacks the year before that.