Steelers Notebook: Roethlisberger says hit to knee was dirty
Thursday, December 08, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlilsberger watches the clock run down from the sideline late in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Bengals at Heinz Field
Roethlisberger yesterday called it a dirty hit.
"I'm looking down the field," he said, going through the play. "I threw it to Hines [Ward] early, and I saw [Thurman] coming, so I tried to let my body go limp so I could go down and not hurt my knee.
"From what I heard, he said he got pushed or tripped or something; but anytime you go low on a quarterback, you know it's a little dirty."
The pass was complete to Ward for 18 yards, and another 15 was tackled on for Thurman's personal foul.
Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis contended this week that Steelers center Jeff Hartings tripped Thurman, although he acknowledged his rookie probably would be fined for the hit by the NFL.
"In this case the penalty may not have even been warranted because the defensive player was tripped running free to the quarterback by the offensive center," Lewis said. "Maybe it should have been an offensive penalty. But, again, it was called on Odell. So that's the way it goes."
Linebacker Brian Urlacher of the Bears said yesterday that while he did not see the hit, quarterbacks are protected too much by the league and the officials.
"Where are we supposed to hit the guy?" Urlacher said when told Roethlisberger called the hit dirty. "You can't hit him in the face, you can't hit him in the chest, you can't hit him in the knees. I don't understand where we are supposed to hit the guys.
"People call it dirty. Call it what you want. We can't hit him. We get fined, we get flagged ... there are so many rules for the quarterbacks now.'