One of the lasting images from the last time the Ravens and Steelers met back in Week 13 was blood trickling down Ben Roethlisberger’s face after catching an inadvertent left hand to the nose from defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.
Roethlisberger suffered a broken nose as a result of the first quarter hit, but played through the injury and threw for 253 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
With the Ravens preparing to face the Steelers this Saturday in the divisional round of the playoffs, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked about Roethlisberger’s toughness that day.
Harbaugh complimented the Steelers quarterback, who, like Harbaugh, attended Miami (Ohio) University.
“I was impressed,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a Miami guy. He’s a tough guy. He had the broken nose.”
Harbaugh then cracked a smile.
“I was glad we broke his nose,” Harbaugh said, with his tongue planted in his cheek, “and then I was very impressed that he played through it. Obviously, you can throw very effectively with a broken nose. He proved that.”
That comment seems like it’s more likely to come from Terrell Suggs than it is from John Harbaugh, but I like it. It might be Steelers week, but Harbaugh is still able to crack a few light-hearted jokes at the Steelers’ expense.
Harbaugh said the Ravens’ strategy for slowing Roethlisberger will be the same as it was that day back in early December - bring pressure at the Pittsburgh quarterback make sure to wrap him up and bring him down.
“We’re going to try and get after him like we always do,” Harbaugh said. “It’s going to be real important. He knows that. That’s the key to stopping him - you’ve got to get him down. You can’t let him extend plays and when he does extend plays, you’ve got to cover those guys. And that’s easier said than done.”