Ben Roethlisberger's message for Steelers' second half: 'Follow me'

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger is setting the tone for the Pittsburgh Steelers' second half with two simple words.

"Follow me," said Roethlisberger after being asked how the team strikes the balance between urgency and calmness after a 4-4 start.

Aaron Rodgers had "R-E-L-A-X." Big Ben has this.

After a brief pause, Roethlisberger -- whose Steelers face the 7-1 Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in Heinz Field -- added that "guys that have been here that know, no time or reason to panic."

Roethlisberger's words could mark a turning point for the Steelers, who have been uncharacteristically lackluster on offense in the last month.

Coming off a 21-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in which the offense managed 69 yards of offense through three quarters, Roethlisberger is placing the onus on himself to get things right. Through the first five games, Roethlisberger had 15 touchdown passes and the Steelers were 4-1. His torn left meniscus during an Oct. 16 loss to the Miami Dolphins contributed to the recent struggles, although the quarterback expects to undergo his first full practices in nearly a month.

So how does he set an example for his teammates?

"Just watch me," he said. "Talking to guys like you and just being calm like this. It's easy."

The demeanor might be calm, but the Steelers' game plan could be more aggressive. Coach Mike Tomlin admitted to a conservative, run-first approach Sunday in Baltimore, in part to protect Roethlisberger's knee. The offense came alive in the fourth quarter while using the no-huddle.

When asked about that game plan, Roethlisberger said he's focused on the Cowboys.

"Whatever the coaches call for -- I play the game, they coach," Roethlisberger said.

Here's betting Roethlisberger will have plenty of chances to back up his words.

Related Video