SI Vault
October 25, 2004
Steelers Quarterback
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October 25, 2004

Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers Quarterback

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? ROETHLISBERGER ON HOW HIS LIFE HAS CHANGED FROM A YEAR AGO I've moved into a house by myself, I'm playing football in the NFL and living the dream.

?ON BEING THROWN INTO THE FIRE ONE GAME INTO HIS CAREER I don't think expectations were too high, and that helped. There are a lot of doubters who say you can't win with a rookie quarterback. You want to prove them wrong.

?ON HIS TEAMMATES They help me on and off the field. Protecting me, making catches, running backs opening up the passing game. And guys mentor me. Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress, Jerome [Bettis]--they're great leaders. I listen to everything they say.

?ON STEELERS GUARD ALAN FANECA SAYING, LAST MONTH, THAT HE DIDN'T LIKE "GOING TO WORK WITH SOME LITTLE YOUNG KID THAT JUST GOT OUT OF COLLEGE" What he said was true--nobody wants to go to play for a rookie, a quarterback especially. He had every right to say what he did. I'm just trying to go out and win, and hopefully the more you win the more your teammates will respect you.

?ON THE SUDDEN COMPARISONS WITH ANOTHER STEELERS GREAT It's an honor to be compared with Terry Bradshaw. If I could do half of what he did, I'd be extremely happy.

?ON WEARING NUMBER 7 It's because of John Elway. He and Joe Montana were my idols growing up in Findlay, Ohio. The way they won, how good they were and just the way they played the game really stuck out to me.

?ON WHAT GOES INTO HIS 6'5", 241POUND BODYI've never been a watch-what-I-eat guy, but I've been trying to eat better. I haven't gone to a fast-food place in a month. l love P.F. Chang's spicy chicken. Chang's is one of my favorite restaurants in the world, the one on the waterfront in Pittsburgh.

?ON HIS NICKNAME, BIG BEN That got started my sophomore year at Miami ( Ohio). I threw a 73-yard Hail Mary to win a game, and the actual play was called Big Ben, though not because of me. The name stuck after that.

?ON THE SOURCE OF HIS CONFIDENCE The Lord has blessed me tremendously, and when I have talented offensive linemen, running backs, tight ends, receivers around me, it helps a lot. --As told to Amanda Cherrin