‘As you can see, I’m not real shaken by last week and nervous or wor­ried’

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Front page - By Ray Fit­ti­paldo Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

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.”

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