Late for Work 1/12: Big Ben to Offer Apology to Gregg

Plus Suggs says Saturday’s victor will win Super Bowl and Housh wants to play Seattle.

Posted by Sarah Ellison on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 9:20 am | Categories: Late For Work, Sarah Ellison

Roethlisberger to Offer Apology to Gregg

When asked if he had a feeling he would see the Ravens again in the postseason, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s answer had Baltimore media chuckling.

“I didn’t feel anything except for my broken nose,” he said in a conference call.

Roethlisberger’s sense of humor is noteworthy considering he had to undergo plastic surgery the day after defensive tackle Haloti Ngata inadvertently smashed Roethlisberger’s bone into corn flakes.

But, considering the damage, you can understand why Big Ben doesn’t look forward to battling Baltimore again.

He admitted that as a competitor he loves the challenge the AFC North rival provides, “but, heck no, I hate playing the Ravens because they’re so good.”

And even though he was the person who ended up with the bloodied face, Roethlisberger will be the one offering an apology on Saturday … to defensive tackle Kelly Gregg.

Apparently, Roethlisberger falsely accused Gregg of inflicting the injury.

“I blamed him for it during the game, [so] I’ll have to apologize when I see him on the field,” said Roethlisberger. “I was giving him a [hard time].”

The Baltimore Sun’s Edward Lee relayed that message to Gregg, who said with a smile, “I’ll be looking for it.

Tell him to throw me a ball, too.”

Gregg said he tried telling Roethlisberger on the field that he had the wrong guy, but Roethlisberger wasn’t buying it.

“I told him it wasn’t me, but I don’t think he believed me,” Gregg said. “But his nose was messed up. Haloti got him good.”

According to Roethlisberger, no apology or explanation will be needed from fellow Miami of Ohio alum John Harbaugh. The Ravens head coach said Monday that he was “glad” Roethlisberger’s nose was broken.

“I think it was taken out of context, if you ask me,” Roethlisberger said. “I know Coach Harbaugh. He’s a Miami guy and us Miami guys stick together; there’s so few of us. Actually, on the field before every game we talk to each other and ask how everything is going. So I don’t think it was intended maliciously at all.”

Suggs: Saturday’s Victor Will Win Super Bowl

Even though the New England Patriots finished the season with a league-best 14-2 record and beat the Steelers and Ravens, linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs believes that two AFC North rivals are “the best two teams in the NFL.”

That’s why he believes the winner of Saturday’s divisional playoff game will eventually be the winner of Super Bowl XLV.

“You can argue (top seeds) Atlanta and New England,” Suggs said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “but … anyone could argue the winner of this game will most likely go on to win the Super Bowl. You can put that out there because that’s what these two teams got.”

Suggs’ big talk didn’t end with Pittsburgh media.

As a guest on the Michael Irvin Show in Miami (via MASN’s Dan Kolko), Suggs said the remaining playoff teams and everyone around the county had better watch out if his team beats Pittsburgh.

“Everybody’s got that team … that’s got to get them over the hump,” said Suggs “For Peyton (Manning), it was New England. Ours is Pittsburgh. So I have a feeling if we can get the job done this week and get over our hump, it’s going to be scary and the world better look out for Baltimore.”

Houshmandzadeh Felt His Release Was ‘Shady;’ Wants to See Seattle in Super Bowl’s Don Banks ranked a Ravens-Seahawks matchup as the 10th-most likely Super Bowl pairing out of 16 total possibilities.

The odds are not stacked in favor of T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s wish, who would love to take on his former head coach, Pete Carroll, because of the way he handled the receiver’s departure from Seattle.

“To be honest with you, of course, because I felt like the way it went down – I don’t really want to get into it – but the way it went down was shady to me,” Houshmandzadeh said on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio via Pro Football Talk. “But it is what it is. Hopefully they’ll keep winning and we will, too.”

Housh, who was released by the Seahawks and signed with the Ravens in September, felt Carroll kept him around longer than needed to have a training camp body, according to

“I just felt the way things were going when I was there, I knew what was happening, and I felt like if you’re gonna do it, you know you were gonna do it months ago, just do it then,” Houshmandzadeh said.

“Don’t try to string it out and do it that way where it makes it very tough for me to get with a team and contribute. Luckily, I was able to come here [to Baltimore] but it is very hard to come to a team the week prior to the regular season starting and contribute in a way that I’m used to doing.”

Boldin Hopes Blitzburgh Will Leave Him Open

Baltimore-Pittsburgh contests are rarely decided by more than one score.

For two teams that are so evenly matched and familiar with each other, NFL Networks’ Mike Mayock believes the x-factor for Saturday’s post-season showdown will be the Ravens’ ability to protect quarterback Joe Flacco.

Here’s a great video of Bucky Brooks breaking down the Steelers’ ability to use overload pressure to disguise their blitz packages.

“When you are talking about the Steelers and Blitzburgh, you have to deal with overload pressure,” said Brooks. “And if you don’t have a plan for it, it’s going to lead to a negative play.”

If the offensive line can keep Flacco upright under blitzing pressure, it would leave Ravens receivers in one-on-one coverage.

“If you ask any receiver in this locker room, if they get one-on-one coverage, everyone feels like they’ll come out with a win,” Anquan Boldin told The Sun’s Lee.

“They like to blitz a lot,” he said of Pittsburgh. “Whenever you blitz, you leave your corners alone on the outside. But they’re a good defense, you can’t take that away from them. They get a lot of pressure, and that’s the way they cause a lot of chaos for offenses.”

Quick Hits

  • After 10,000 AccuScore simulations, the Steelers beat the Ravens 62 percent of the time. The most pressure falls on Flacco, who has suffered several costly turnovers against the Steelers. If Flacco doesn’t get picked off, Baltimore has a 50 percent chance of winning. If the Ravens commit fewer turnovers overall than the Steelers, they are 64 percent favorites. [ESPN]
  • Concerns about injuries and insurance make the NFL’s push to switch to an 18-game regular season a major sticking point in negotiations for a new CBA agreement. []
  • Coach Harbaugh made Ravens Flock member NgataHavinIt’s wife a very happy woman. He threw the Ravens hat he was wearing at the Kansas City game in the stands to her and apparently she hasn’t taken it off since.
  • Speaking of the 18-game season, this video from The Onion provides a humorous take on the issue and linebacker Ray Lewis. [Hat tip to B Blog]

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