PENGUINS WIN IN WASHINGTON
‘As you can see, I’m not real shaken by last week and nervous or worried’
Three days after throwing a career-high five interceptions in a lopsided home loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stood before reporters Wednesday morning at the Steelers practice facility and suggested media and fans are more worried about his — and the team’s — performance than he is.
The loss dropped the Steelers to 3-2 as they head to Kansas City to face the undefeated Chiefs, the lone remaining unbeaten team in the NFL.
“We’re still atop the AFC North,” Roethlisberger said before the team took the field for its first practice of the week. “We’re right there in the hunt in the AFC. I think you guys are much more panicked than we are. As you can see, I’m not real shaken by last week and nervous or worried. We’ll be ready to go play football this week.”
Two of Roethlisberger’s interceptions were returned for touchdowns. The first one gave the Jaguars a 13-9 lead. The second one, a short time later, gave them a 20-9 advantage.
One reporter asked him how he remained confident after such a poor outing.
“Two Super Bowls, 100 and some wins,” he said. “I’ve been playing this game probably longer than you’ve been covering it.”
Roethlisberger’s play has been the subject of many segments on national networks early this week. Stephen A. Smith of ESPN opined Roethlisberger should retire on “First Take.” Others have piled on and suggested he is no longer one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
“That’s fine,” Roethlisberger said. “They can question me. I don’t question myself. No offense to you guys. It doesn’t matter to me how you guys question me or quote unquote professional talking heads on other sports networks who are supposed experts and things like that.”
Gilbert expects to play
Right tackle Marcus Gilbert had some setbacks with his injured hamstring the past two weeks, but he said after practice Wednesday he expects to play Sunday when the Steelers travel to Kansas City to play the undefeated Chiefs.
“I’m excited to be out there with my guys,” said Gilbert, who has missed the past three games. “It’s been a while. It’s going to be a work in progress, but I feel great.”
Gilbert went through a full practice each Wednesday the past two weeks, but was either limited or did not practice Thursday and Friday last week. He doesn’t expect that to happen this week. His plan is to practice Thursday and believes he is on course to play against the Chiefs.
Left guard Ramon Foster did not practice Wednesday due to a back injury and center Maurkice Pouncey did not practice due to a chest injury.
Game time moved
The Steelers’ Oct. 22 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals was moved to 4:25 p.m., the NFL announced. The game was originally scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The move is a part of the NFL’s “flexible scheduling.”