PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to get sacked almost 58 times, which would set a new season record for a quarterback who gets hit more than a blackjack table.
But of the many things that may keep coach Mike Tomlin awake at night, the blows that Big Ben absorbs on a weekly basis apparently isn’t one of them.
“I’m concerned but no more concerned than I usually am,” Tomlin said. “Quarterbacks get hit, that’s the nature of the game. That’s why people rush people. That’s why they employ people like [Terrell] Suggs and [Elvis] Dumervil. It’s our job to minimize that.”
Roethlisberger will get re-acquainted with both Sunday when the Ravens visit Heinz Field for a 4:25 p.m. game.
The Ravens are struggling on a number of fronts. Getting pressure from their outside linebackers is one problem they haven’t had.
Suggs and Dumervil have combined for 12 of the Ravens’ 22 sacks, and they are the biggest reason Baltimore is second in the NFL in quarterback takedowns.
“They provide some unique challenges, schematically who and how you help and some of the poisons that you pick situationally,” Tomlin said.
Suggs, who has seven sacks, always seems to tap into an extra gear when he plays against the Steelers. Dumervil, who signed with the Ravens after a fax machine snafu ushered him out of Denver, forces teams to double Suggs at their own risk.
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who will make his second career start at the position on Sunday, will have to prepare for both Suggs and Dumervil.
The same goes for right tackle Marcus Gilbert since Suggs and Dumervil each have the ability to play on both sides of the field.
“They can and will flip from time to time,” Tomlin said. “That’s shown up in just about every tape you look at. They’re going to make sure that both tackles are prepared to block both men.”