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Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger knows the challenges the Patriots' defense provides.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he's always had to be aware of where Vince Wilfork is on the field, but with two interceptions to his credit this season, now he's forced to worry about where the Pro Bowl defensive tackle might be lurking in the passing game as well.
"The big guy in the middle, he never seems to leave the field," Roethlisberger said Wednesday during a conference call with the New England media. "But he makes plays in the run game and [chuckling] he's even making plays in the passing game now.
"You definitely have to be aware [of where Wilfork is]. He's a heck of a job for our center and guard, but he seems to move around. I even saw him rush off the edge one time, I think against Oakland... he rushed on the tackle. So, whoever is against him, he's one of the premier guys in this league. I gotta be aware of where is in the passing game as well now."
Talking about his health, Roethlisberger said he's fine and that "everything came out with positive results from tests" on his knee after Sunday's win in Arizona. Asked how he feels near the midway point of the 2011 season, Roethlisberger noted he's got the "typical Week 7 body" and stressed that it's "nothing that's going to stop me or hinder my play."
As for what the Patriots have been able to do to hinder his play, Roethlisberger said it's an ability to mix up their defenses.
"They do a good job, switching from 3-4 up front to 4-3 or 3-3, and mixing it up on you," he said. "If you get into certain type of situations, they like to bring linebackers from the outside, bring them from both sides. For me, it's just being able to identify them and pick up those blitzes. If you can't, you’re not going to be able to get the ball off."
Roethlisberger was 30-of-49 passing for 387 yards with three touchdowns and an interception against New England last season, but also got sacked five times as the Patriots emerged from Heinz Field with a 39-26 triumph.