Big Ben briefly held court with reporters after Tuesday's p.m. session. Here's what he had to say:On Tom Brady saying that he might play until age 40; could/would Ben play that long?
"Only God knows. [Brady is] as good as it gets so he can play as long as he wants ... For anybody whose covered this sport or played this sport for long enough, you know you’re one play away. Its too hard to sit and talk about how long you can play when – for me I just focus on one play – obviously we all would love to play for a long time but we just never know when our time is up."
On the new offense:
"It’s going great. We’ve learned a lot, and we’ve learned fast."
[ed. note: think maybe he's tired of that question?]
On unveiling some of the new offense in the first preseason game:
"For me, its different than usual, because normally I wouldn’t be as focused on it, but I am because its something new and I want to really be focused on my plays, however many there are."
Is he excited to see what the new young lineman can do in a game?
"Absolutely. Those are my guys. I think we have a great group of guys who are playing great right now. I think they’re as excited as anybody to get out there and bang against some other competition."
On being told that Todd Haley seems to be pleased with the offense in camp:
"Good. That’s encouraging. I think we’ve made progress every day and we’ve gotten a little better. Its been good."
James Harrison, also spoke at lunchtime, and was typically tight-lipped regarding the status of his football health, saying that he wouldn't be playing in Thursday's preseason opener, and simply said "no" when asked if he had any concerns about playing in the regular season opener. Does he expect to play in that game?
"Hopefully" was all he said.
How might the defense might be more impactful this season vis-a-vis turnovers and sacks:"Hopefully [by] staying healthy. We’ve got a few guys that weren’t there the whole year – me being one of them – and I think with me and Woodley, I think we missed a total together of 12 or so games, so we just gotta try and stay healthy. There’s nothing you can do about that but pray on it and hope you don’t get hurt."
Harrison seemed to scoff at the idea that the Steelers defense needed 'vocal' leaders:
"We don’t need guys yelling and screaming. We’ve got vocal leaders. We’ve got guys that go out there and lead by example. We still have leaders on this team."
A good quote from Valley H.S. alum Toney Clemons on what it's like to play for his hometown Steelers:
"I cant even explain it or describe it. You’re watching some of the best players play for the best organization in one of the best football cities in the country and now, being on the other side of that spectrum – at first ... it was hard to digest that it was reality, but you come out here every day and just remember how blessed and fortunate you are to come and compete to be a part of this organization."
Clemons on playing in his first preseason game:
"I’m extremely excited. It’s good to get back to playing. Camp is one thing -- but there is nothing like going and competing against another team, especially out there in Philadelphia. They play good football out there as well, so to go out there and compete is a dream come true."
Finally, Lawerence Timmons says he's glad for the preseason game, because he'd much rather take a whack at another team than the guys on his own team, as is the case during camp.
"You don’t really want to hit your teammates like that. You’d rather hit the opposite color than your own teammates – we look at each other like brothers and we don’t want to hurt each other."
On the utility of that first preseason game:"It’s a foundation, it’s a start, to see where we’re at. We’ve just been going against each other, now we get to see how we do against other teams. It’s our first test and we’re excited about that."