Jaguars Are Talking About Sacking Big Ben, Growing Up a Steelers Fan
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are days away from taking flight and heading down to Florida to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
They've spent the week preparing on and off the field for their 1-8 AFC South opponent, and Jacksonville has done the same. The only difference, the Jaguars are trying to pull out an upset.
Everyone's heard what the Steelers have said throughout the week. Ben Roethlisberger scratched any compliment of starting undefeated, the defense is focused on rookie running back James Robinson, and so far, players have adapted well to working virtually for a second-straight week.
So, what are the Jaguars saying about the Steelers? We'll go inside Jacksonville's facility to find the best quotes of the week from down south.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash on Ben Roethlisberger:
"You know, what he’s doing better than he’s ever done, is he’s getting the ball out fast. He’s one of the fastest ones in the league with his release time. You see a lot of the balls that he’s throwing, they’re actually called runs, but they’re not necessarily RPOs [run-pass options], they’re pick screens and stuff like that—or excuse me, rub screens. And so, he’s doing a great job at that, but he’s still a very big, big guy. He’s bigger than probably a couple of our defensive linemen. But he’s just so consistent and he’s got a really good feel for the offense. He’s been in the same offense for a long time, so it’s hard to rattle him if you hit him or if you don’t hit him, because he knows what he’s doing with the ball so fast. He’s just an exceptional quarterback and he’s playing as [well] as he did when we’ve played him the last couple of times in 2017 and 2018.”
Defensive End Josh Allen Grew Up a Steelers Fan
"I grew up a Steelers fan. I was a Steelers fan right up to when I became a Jaguar, so I’m excited about this week and I finally get to play against the man that I grew up loving. That’s definitely a big accomplishment that I can write on my check list."
Which Steelers Allen Pretended to be as a Kid
"It was [former Steelers safety] Troy Polamalu. It was Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes. Who else? James Harrison. I wasn’t the quarterback."
What Allen Learned From T.J. Watt at 2019 Pro Bowl
"There was a couple guys, but being around him, he was just telling me about how hard you have to work to get here, how hard you have to be to take that next level, it’s good that you’re here, everybody’s on the same level right now, but to take it from this level to that level, it’s going to take a lot more extra work and a lot more dedication. Just going over that and his routine and how he trains his body, how he trains his mind and stuff going out on the field and just learning about that. That definitely opened my mind to how I want to prepare myself moving forward because I definitely do want to be Defensive Player of the Year or up there or all that, which he’s striving for [too]. I have a long ways to go, but one day I’m going to get there."
Linebacker Joe Schobert Wants to Sack Big Ben
"I never sacked or tackled Ben Roethlisberger when I was playing. I got a sack on (Steelers QB) Mason Rudolph, but not Ben Roethlisberger. But when we were playing with the Browns, we had some big d-linemen, like what we have here. You have Myles Garrett and those guys who were able to bring him down and we were able to get after him pretty good in a couple games, which hopefully we’ll be able to replicate here. We have the talent and the guys we have upfront here are physical specimens as well, so I think they’ll be the ones handling the job. If I’m able to get in there and get my hands on Big Ben, I’ll do my best to get him down as quick as possible."
Head Coach Doug Marrone on Jags-Steelers History
"It’s hard for me to go and look at the past and all that, different teams, different players, different coaches, all the different dynamics. But I’m going to admit, you’re right about that and sometimes I think in the past we’ve matched up pretty good. I think that we have probably the largest difference in the matchup for us going against them and I’m only speaking of the teams I’ve been a part of here going against them. It’s always tough, [Steelers Head Coach] Mike Tomlin has done a really good job.
"The one thing that shows out on film is not only do they have really good players, it’s just the effort that they’re playing with is outstanding. It’s unbelievable. Hopefully, that plays into it. There’s no one that wishes it more than that and trying to get this game in the fourth quarter and try to find a way to win the game or try to get takeaways and things like that. But they’ll come down there, they’ll be ready to go.
"They have a lot at stake, 9-0. They watched us play last week where we played a tough game, we have turnovers, we have a special teams play, so they’ll be ready to go. You’re not going to catch them or anything like that. It’s not an issue of weather. The weather will be fine. It’s not going to be 98 degrees and hot as hell, which is sometimes an advantage when you have those teams coming from up north coming down here. I just think that sporadically it’s been fortunate that the games have been tight, but we have a lot of challenges this week in all three phases that we play."
Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden Credits Mike Tomlin
"You have to credit [Steelers Head Coach] Coach Tomlin, number one. He’s done a great job at keeping that thing together and obviously Big Ben [Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger] has a lot to do with that. He’s the calming influence back there at quarterback. You have stability at quarterback, you have a head coach, you have a system in place that you build your system around and throughout the draft and free agency and everything works well.
"They’ve been fortunate they’ve had some different pieces, but the main parts are still there. Coach Tomlin obviously, Big Ben, and some of these other guys that have been there for a while. Hats off to them. It’s something that every franchise strives to be, consistent, a winner, somebody who’s always in the mix at the end of the year, and that’s something we’re trying to get to with our young football team."
The Steelers will kick off with the Jaguars on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.