Nearly seven weeks after a motorcycle accident that nearly killed him, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plans to take the field today with the Steelers first offense and put the pedal to the metal.
He cleared his first hurdle by effortlessly running a series of 14 40-yard dashes with his teammates on the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe yesterday afternoon. Today, they will gather for their first practice at 1 p.m.
"I feel ready to go out there," Roethlisberger said after running yesterday. "Now if I get out there and I feel lightheaded, I feel dizzy - which would be news to me - then obviously we'll have something to talk about.
"But as of right now, I plan on going out there and being with the first group and going strong."
Coach Bill Cowher said he wants to see how Roethlisberger does and let that determine how he uses him in training camp.
Cowher said he will consider playing him in the first preseason game, Aug. 12.
"We're just going to go and keep monitoring things as we go, I think that's the best way to approach this," Cowher said. "I think there's a little more apprehension and the only way you can relieve that is to just get out there and play."
The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ed Bouchette is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.