PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger's status as the hottest quarterback on the planet has also led to national recognition that he is an elite signal-caller – a due he hasn’t always received even though he is one of only three active quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls.
As for Roethlisberger’s reaction to his enhanced national profile after throwing for 862 yards and 12 touchdowns the last two weeks, well, there wasn’t one when the Steelers quarterback was asked about it on Wednesday.
“It didn’t matter to me when I wasn’t. It doesn’t matter to me that I am,” Roethlisberger said of getting classified with elite quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. “I’m just trying to win football games and you guys know me well enough that wins and losses mean more to me than any individual stats.”
The statistics Roethlisberger has put up the last two weeks have been staggering. But he insists he won’t reflect on this current stretch until after the season.
“When I get asked about last week it’s over, the week before that it’s over,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s all about this week right now. We play against a good defense and a good team at their place and so we need to come out and play our best football.”
The Steelers put their three-game winning streak on the line Sunday against the 1-8 New York Jets.
The Jets’ season has spiraled so far out of control after an opening-week win that New York coach Rex Ryan fell back on some gallows humor Wednesday during his conference call with the Pittsburgh media.
When asked what a victory over the Steelers would mean for the Jets, Ryan laughed and said, “I hope I get to find out.”
The Steelers, meanwhile, are on high alert for a letdown at team headquarters.
Coach Mike Tomlin has emphasized the Jets’ miserable turnover ratio – New York is minus-15 – to his players to make the point that the Jets are a good team if they can clean up that aspect of their game.
Roethlisberger said he has not talked to younger players about taking the Jets too lightly but made it clear they he should not have to do that.
“If you have to send that (message), they’re not doing their own work,” he said. “They’ve just got to follow the older guys on the practice field, watch how we get ready, prepare. I’m not going to miss a snap today in practice. That’s the way it’s got to be.”