Michael Irvin sat down with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to talk about Pittsburgh’s road to Super Bowl XLV, his quarterbacking style and what it will take for him to be considered an elite quarterback.
Part I of the interview is in the video above. Click here to watch Part II.
On his third-and-19 play to win the divisional round against the Ravens:
“I got in the huddle and said ‘Hey listen, I’m going to score, who’s coming with me? You guys want to come?’”
On how often he has said that in the huddle:
“I’ve only done it a few times. There’s something about (the moment) and you’ve got to go, so I told them and they all looked at me like, ‘Okay, let’s go do it’ and I was like, ‘You know what, let’s just send them all deep. I’ll just take a shot and if it gets picked off, hopefully it gets picked off inside the 20, just as good, if not better, than a punt.’ I don’t know if they weren’t anticipating A.B. (Antonio Brown), a young guy, just going. But he just ran by the guy and just let it go, and he made a heck of a play.”
On what happened that allowed the Jets to come back in the AFC Championship Game:
“In the first half, we did a lot of things offensively. I don’t want to say we had our way with them, but we kind of did a lot of things we wanted to do. In the second half, all of a sudden we started seeing different things. They started getting pressure, they started stopping the run, they got more physical — so I give them credit, and we did just enough. That’s literally what it was. We’d do it in an unorthodox way again. It happens.”
On how he feels about not always being considered an elite quarterback alongside Tom Brady or Peyton Manning:
“(It feels) okay. I just want to win championships.”
On why he thinks his name isn’t in that group, despite his Super Bowl success:
“I don’t think it’s about that all the time. I think we live in a fantasy (football) league.”
On his playing style:
“I don’t play quarterback for the Steelers in a glamorous way, by any means. I’m probably the ugliest guy to play it, especially when my nose is bent up, and I’m not much prettier now. But I don’t care. I’ve always said from day one that I would go 1 for 30, with 30 yards and a touchdown, or no touchdowns and, as long as we win the game, I don’t care. If I can help my team win a game, and not hurt us, then I’m fine with it.”
On what it means to him to join the Super Bowl-winning ranks of Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman and Joe Montana:
“It would be an awesome blessing. To think of the greats that have never made it, or made it and not won it, I feel blessed to have made one of them and to get that one. And the opportunity for two, and now three. We’ll see what happens. I’m just going to give it my all and I hope it’s to hold that trophy for the third time. If it’s not, then you know what? I’ll bust my butt to get back here for a fourth time.”
On how the emotion of being in Super Bowl XLV compares to having to watch from the sidelines for the first four weeks of the regular season:
“It’s crazy because I don’t even go back and think about those things. I was always with those guys, even at the beginning of the year. They knew I was with them, because we’re a family, we’re brothers around here. I’m also happy and proud for the quarterbacks — Dennis Dixon, Charlie (Batch), Byron (Leftwich) — I was just so happy for those guys and the way the team stepped up and played. There was never a doubt in my mind that they were going to play great.”
On how he was effected by trade rumors early in the season:
“They crushed me. Killed me. Until I found out they weren’t from reliable sources. They weren’t from the top, and that meant a lot me — that the Rooneys, I don’t think ever wavered in their trust and faith in me.”
On the process of getting back on track:
“Just go back to who I am — my core values, my beliefs, my family. I want to be a role model. I want to be someone that kids are wearing my jersey and the parents are proud of it. I know that I made some mistakes in my life — we all have made mistakes and I’m no different than anyone else — but all I’ve asked for is a chance and I think a lot of people have given me that chance. I’m going to continue to work and bust my butt just as hard as I do on the field, off the field, to earn back the trust and the belief and the love of the fans that haven’t come back around.”
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