FOXBORO, Mass. — For pass rushers, getting to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is only half the problem. Taking him to the turf is another challenge entirely.
At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Roethlisberger is bigger than many NFL linebackers, and he does not go down easily, as New England Patriots defensive end Michael Bennett can attest
Speaking at his locker ahead of Sunday’s Patriots-Steelers season opener at Gillette Stadium, Bennett said attempting to wrangle Roethlisberger is “kind of like tackling a truck.”
“He’s a big, strong guy,” said Bennett, whose lone career matchup with the jumbo-sized Steelers QB came in 2015. “He’s able to be in the pocket and still throw the ball with guys hanging off of him. Him and Cam Newton are the hardest quarterbacks to tackle. I think quarterbacks are always hard to tackle because they have so much heart and the will of the team on their back. If you look at guys who have that, plus size, they are always hard to tackle.”
The Patriots played against Newton during the preseason, but he exited that game with an injury during the first quarter. New England’s defense was able to generate consistent pressure on the Carolina Panthers signal-caller, though, sacking him twice on eight dropbacks.
“I don’t know how much that’s going to help on Sunday,” Bennett said. “We’ll see.”
The Patriots sacked Roethlisberger twice during their visit to Heinz Field last season — a 17-10 Steelers victory.
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