Ben Roethlisberger on Deflategate: I don't care how the football feels


PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger is well-known for his ability to make something out of nothing on the field, improvising in and out of the pocket to gain yardage.

Apparently the Steelers quarterback takes the same approach with the pounds per square inch of NFL footballs -- he simply works with what he's given.

The Deflategate controversy, which sparked an NFL investigation, a four-game suspension for Tom Brady and a $1 million fine for the Patriots, has shifted more focus than normal to how quarterbacks prefer to hold and throw their footballs. Baltimore's Joe Flacco, for example, asks the the Ravens' football staff to "rub the balls down in a certain way."

Roethlisberger said he makes no requests for football alteration.

"People ask me all the time what our PSI is," he said. "I have no idea. Whatever they put it at, I play with it."

Roethlisberger said the footballs always feel great when staffers hand them to him. For all Roethlisberger knows, those footballs could have been dropped from 30,000 feet before they reach his hands.

"I am not even one that messes with the balls before the games to see which ones I like," he said. "I just go play."

This seems like a unique approach (or non-approach?) for a quarterback who's played 11 NFL seasons. Perhaps Roethlisberger's 6-foot-5, 241-pound frame plays into his impartiality. He's used to overpowering the ball with size.

Roethlisberger's comment about the Steelers/Patriots matchup in Week 1 being "not the same" without Brady applies to more than on-field matchups. It applies to each quarterback's stance on football size.