Roethlisberger Complimentary Of Steelers Defense

The Steelers quarterback says the defense is coming together well

Shelby Cassesse
August 12, 2018 - 6:24 pm
Ben Roethlisberger drops back to pass

LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - Ben Roethlisberger has certainly seen enough of the Steelers defense to get a handle on how the unit looks ahead of the team's second preseason game. 

The Steelers quarterback had positive reviews. 

"Really good," he said with a laugh when asked how the defense looks. "It's fun to see it. I think they've got a really good combination of some young guys that are stepping up and some veteran guys. They're really coming together."

The defense underwent significant changes during the offseason, including the release of veterans Mike Mitchell, William Gay, Robert Golden and Arthur Moats. To replenish the defense, the team signed linebacker Jon Bostic, as well as safeties Morgan Burnett and Nat Burhee. In addition, they drafted safeties Terrell Edmunds in the first round and Marcus Allen in the fifth. 

Despite the changes, Roethlisberger said there wasn't one particular aspect of the defense that looked better than the other. 

"All of it, truthfully," he said when asked which part of the defense looked the best. "They're rushing coverage works together. Even if you've got time to throw it doesn't mean you're going to win. So, I like all parts of it."

The Steelers have experimented extensively with using the dollar package on defense throughout camp which includes seven defensive backs. It's a package almost exclusively used for pass defense.

Roethlisberger said he's seen the package frequently from other NFL teams, and there's not always one way to solve it. 

"It's kind of game plan oriented. Sometimes you go into it, no matter if they're in seven DBs you cannot run the ball, like nothing you can do. Sometimes you want to exploit one guy."

He added that cornerback Mike Hilton has handled the roll of that seventh defensive back exceptionally well. 

Other Camp Notes:

According to Head Coach Mike Tomlin, center Maurkice Pouncey, offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert and offensive tackle B.J. Finney practiced in a partial capacity Sunday. 

Running backs James Conner and Stevan Ridley ended practice early. Tomlin said they were shut down so he could see some younger players in certain situations.