The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville and it should be a great game between the two 5-0 teams. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel is certainly familiar with the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as not only did he play for the organization during his first four seasons in the NFL as a player, he also played against them multiple times as well as a member of the New England Patriots. Vrabel is also the only current or former NFL head coach that has intercepted Roethlisberger.
On Wednesday, Roethlisberger was asked to comment on Vrabel during his weekly press conference and specifically what he remembers about him as a player.
“Yeah, he was a great football player,” Roethlisberger said of Vrabel. “Smart, athletic. I think he tipped a screen pass of mine once and intercepted it. He was a good football player and transitioned obviously into a great coach.”
Vrabel’s interception of a Roethlisberger pass took place during the 2008 season during the Steelers Week 13 road game against the Patriots. That interception, which you can see below, happened early in the game and during the Steelers first offensive possession. The Patriots quickly converted that Vrabel into a touchdown to put them up 7-0. However, it would be the only touchdown the Patriots would score in that game and the Steelers went on to win 33-10.
During his Wednesday press conference, Vrabel was asked if he remembers intercepting Roethlisberger in that 2008 game.
“I remember the interception,” Vrabel said. “I only had 11 of them (in my career]. So, he’s in elite company there.”
Interesting enough, all 11 of Vrabel’s career NFL interceptions came with him being a member of the Patriots. Two of them came against the Steelers as he also intercepted quarterback Kordell Stewart early in a 2002 game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots went on to win that game 30-14.
For his career against the Titans, Roethlisberger is 5-3. Against them on the road, however, he is 1-2. In those three games against the titans on the road, Roethlisberger has four touchdown passes and four interceptions and had been sacked 11 times in total. He tried to recall his past road games against the Titans on Wednesday.
“I remember playing Tennessee in Tennessee,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s always so tough. I’ve never really played well there. It’s going to be different, obviously, to go back on the road since Week 1. I’m not sure how many fans they’re allowing in. I know there’s some there, but that was always a big part of playing there. It always felt like it was cold. It always felt like the fans were really rowdy. It’s going to be different this time. They’re always a good team at home for sure.”