PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is accepting blame for Pittsburgh’s 1-3 start but reiterated his confidence in the team turning things around.
“I need to be better,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “I need to fight through and figure out how to make better decisions, how to make better throws, how to be a better football player. That’s why I just said I’m not going to quit. I’m going to keep doing that.
“I’m not giving up on this season. No one in this building is. It’s still early, and there’s still a lot of fight left in us.”
After Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, Roethlisberger said he dropped his elbow on some passes, leading to inconsistent throws and missed connections with his receivers.
But on Tuesday, coach Mike Tomlin revealed Roethlisberger was dealing with a “hip issue.” The quarterback said it happened during the game and affected his performance but that he expects to play Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
“It’s pretty sore,” Roethlisberger said. “If I showed you the picture, you might not be too well to your stomach. It’s a little black and blue.
“… As a quarterback, there’s so much involved in your lower body. People probably think as a quarterback or as a thrower, it’s ‘how’s your arm doing?’ Your arm is honestly a small part compared to the whole package. It’s your core. It’s your lower body. I’ve got to find ways to be better with my lower body. Going back and watching the game, a few times, a lot of throws I missed, were missed because my lower body wasn’t in sync.”
The hip issue is the second in-game injury Roethlisberger has suffered through two weeks, along with a left pec injury against the Las Vegas Raiders, but he downplayed concerns about his health.
“We’re all dealing with them,” he said. “We’re all dealing with injuries. It’s a violent game.”
Through four games, Roethlisberger has thrown four touchdowns and four interceptions with a 64.1 completion percentage. His QBR is just 36.3.
But like his coach said Tuesday, Roethlisberger affirmed that the problems contributing to his up-and-down performance are fixable.
“I know that I can play better football,” Roethlisberger said. “I believe in myself. I know that no matter what’s going on, I’m going to fight my butt off to get a win, and if that’s the way I need to lead right now, by showing these guys that I’m going to do everything I can to win a football game, I’ll keep doing that.”