Ben Roethlisberger celebrated the opening of minicamp by saying the words Steelers fans were probably longing to hear.
“Absolutely, I’ll be ready to go for training camp.”
Such a development had been anticipated by the Steelers in the wake of the arthroscopic surgery Roethlisberger recently had performed on his right knee.
Still, the confirmation from Big Ben was comforting well in advance of the Steelers’ July 26 reporting date to St. Vincent College.
“It feels great,” Roethlisberger said. “I saw Doc Bradley (Steelers orthopedist Dr. James) this morning. He was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and
where we’re at and the swelling. It feels great. I’m off crutches for a couple days now and moving around good.
“I think I could play Sunday if I had to.”
Roethlisberger described the procedure, the second of his career on his right knee, as a “clean up” rather than a “repair.
“It had been bothering me a little bit last year,” he said. “We wanted to see if we could manage. I’d come in on Tuesday (during OTAs) and practice and it’d feel good
and by Thursday it was almost like a tire that was slowly losing air. We figured it was time to get it done.”
Roethlisberger also commented on the adjustments made to the offense heading into Todd Haley’s second year as coordinator, specifically Roethlisberger’s contributions to that process.
“It’s more than just me,” Roethlisberger said. “I think it’s everybody. But just the simple fact of him coming to me and asking, ‘What do you think about this?’ and kind of changing the names of things that make more sense to all of us. I usually talk to a lot of the guys and ask tight ends or wide receivers, ‘Does this hit you? Does this make sense to you when we call it this?’ If it doesn’t then we’ll go try to change it because we want everything to make as much sense as possible.
“Certain things, when Todd came in, it was the exact same play we’ve had for the last couple of years but it was called something completely different. It was just hard for us to make sense of something completely new so we’ve gone back to what’s familiar to a lot of guys. Some things, obviously, we kept the same. But we’ve moved some terminology around just to make it simpler for a lot of the young guys and even some of us old guys.”
Roethlisberger won’t participate in minicamp, but he’ll get over that.
“Yeah, it’s killing me actually,” he said, surpressing a laugh. “Just tears me up.”