Steelers' offensive supporting cast draws raves from Roethlisberger

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger sees the 2015 Steelers as "arguably" the best offensive supporting cast he has had since entering the league in 2004, the Pittsburgh quarterback said in an interview Wednesday.

The Steelers have the league's leading receiver in Antonio Brown, who has 239 catches and 3,197 yards since 2013. They have Le'Veon Bell, the league's second-leading rusher with 1,361 yards who also caught 83 passes last season. They have talented young receivers such as Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, along with an offensive line that's started together the past two years. Tight end Heath Miller is still reliable.

"I hate to say yes or no, because I don't want to offend anybody else that's been here," said Roethlisberger after an organized team activity session. "But you look at stats from the NFL, we had the No. 1 wide receiver and the No. 1 overall back. Kind of hard to argue with those numbers."

Roethlisberger has played with four of the Steelers' top 10 all-time receivers -- Brown and Miller from the current team, Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress from past teams.

Bell was second in the NFL in offensive playmaking yards last season with 2,215, behind former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (2,261).

Roethlisberger is coming off his best statistical season at 4,952 passing yards with 32 touchdowns and nine interceptions, looking comfortable in offensive coordinator Todd Haley's quick passing game.

With 11 years of NFL experience, Roethlisberger knows what a quality roster looks like. This is one. He also knows the Steelers are young at several positions on offense and defense, which is why he believes this team must do a few things to become a contender.

"If we can stay healthy and believe in each other and play the best football when we need to and have each other's back, [then yes]," Roethlisberger said. "We need to be a selfless football team. That's one of the key ingredients to being a championship football team is being selfless and being there for one another."

Haley has noticed Roethlisberger assuming a teaching role with younger players during OTAs. Haley wanted to see the 33-year-old Roethlisberger "get better with age," and he's doing that, learning when to get rid of the ball and when to improvise.

"He did a good job of picking spots of when to make the Ben-like play," Haley said. "He's the best in the world at that."