Steelers Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians met the press again this week to discuss issues prior to the San Francisco game. Here is the transcript:

How's Ben Roethlisberger?

"Well, he's still in the boot. Making a little progress, slowly but surely. Wait and see. We hope, got our fingers crossed. Got a lot of time left. It'd be different if it was the first game of the year but we've played sixteen of these with preseason and everything. If he's ready, he'll be ready to go."

Does he need to practice at some point to play?

"Yeah, I think so, we'd like to see that. But still, 48-hours where that thing can keep getting better and better and we'll wait and see."

How do you choose between Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon?

"We've won with both of them. Next man in line, that's always been the motto whether it's quarterback, right tackle, left tackle, next guy up play and play good. We won't change anything that we do or the way that we play the game."

Who's the next man?


Any chance Dixon plays if Ben can't go?

"Only if Charlie gets hurt."

On Ben's history dealing with injuries:

"This is a little different. The lack of mobility with a high-ankle sprain is more than he's had to deal with in the past. We've got to be careful with it. He'll let us know."

Ben was talking about the difficulty dropping back to throw…

"That would be a chore, that would be impossible today. It'd be a straight shotgun game. Today it would be no chance. But I've seen him recover in the past and we hope that he makes that kind of progress in the next three or four days. [If] he's not going to be able to run around that would just lend to itself that he would do what he's capable of doing for us to win and not hurt the football team."

Any chance Ben could play if he doesn't practice at all?

"You could watch him out at warm ups. Adrenaline does funny things sometimes. He doesn't need a hole lot of snaps, the gameplan doesn't change. We've played 3-4 defenses in the past. You'd like to see him practice just to know that he's ready but that decision will be coach's."

How's Maurkice Pouncey?

"Same thing, wait and see."

How does San Francisco's defense look?

"They're really strong. #1 against the run, #1 against points, red-zone. They do a really good job, Vic [Foglino] is a heck of a coach. I've known Vic for a long time, we worked together in Indianapolis and he's been at [San Francisco] for a while. He's got them playing extremely hard and they've got an extremely good front seven and their safeties are playing well. They're a great challenge running the football [against]."

Are they Cover-2?

"No, they play everything. Their safeties are in the box a lot. In the red-zone they play a very good style of Cover-2, but they stop the run that's what they do so good."

Can Baltimore coach John Harbaugh give his brother Jim any advice on your team?

"He may have some things he thinks are certain tendencies in certain areas. Probably more knowledge of the personnel than the schemes. I'll tell him [myself] Mike Wallace is fast."

Is Chris Kemoeatu dealing with injuries or just in a rut?

"A little bit of both. He's had some physical limits all year. It's affected his technique. We can't have the penalties. The effort is always there, but the penalties we've got to get rid of."

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