After two Pittsburgh Steelers preseason games passed with Ben Roethlisberger standing on the sidelines, the quarterback will make his debut Saturday against the Detroit Lions.
Pittsburgh hasn’t said how much play-time Big Ben will receive this week. However, in his first game action in Matt Canada’s offense, the veteran QB petitioned for a significant amount.
“I would love to get as many reps as I can,” Roethlisberger said on Thursday, via the Associated Press. “It’s been how many months since I stepped on a football field to take a hit or play any meaningful type of reps. With the newness of it, I definitely want to get as much as I can.”
Coach Mike Tomlin has been tight-lipped regarding how many reps he’ll give Big Ben in a meaningless preseason game. The coach noted that if it weren’t for the club installing a new offense, the 39-year-old wouldn’t have come off the sideline this preseason at all.
“If he was in the same system of offense that he’d been in, he probably wouldn’t play,” Tomlin said. “We’ve taken that approach in the past. But we think it’s good for him to get in the stadium, and communicate with Matt, and do some of the things that the quarterback has to do from a dry run perspective before we step into the regular season.”
As we’ve seen with the Steelers through two preseason games, Canada’s offense offers much more pre-snap motion and different formations than the previous iteration in Pittsburgh. As such, Big Ben getting some of the timing aspects down during exhibition games is vital as we approach the regular season.
“There’s a lot of newness, and I think it’s prudent to get as much time in as I can under those circumstances,” Roethlisberger said.
Roethlisberger and the Steelers will kick off against Detroit Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.
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