Despite three picks vs. Browns, Big Ben doesn't think lack of preseason snaps made him rusty

In one of the most disappointing performances of Week 1, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed only 23 of his 41 passes against the Cleveland Browns, while also throwing not one, not two, but three interceptions and fumbling the ball twice more. The game marked a continuation of Roethlisberger's recent struggles in road games, but it was also the most recent instance of his struggling early in the year after not getting much playing time during the preseason. 

During a radio appearance this week, Big Ben was asked if the poor performance on Sunday was in any way related to his lack of preseason snaps. 

"I don't think so," Roethlisberger said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think the first interception was me getting a little anxious to get the ball to A.B. I was on a little roll-out in the red zone. The guy made a great play. That one maybe just having a feel of game speed stuff compared to practice, potentially."

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The guy who made the great play was Browns rookie Denzel Ward, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft. He also came away with Roethlisberger's third interception of the game, a throw that went through the hands of tight end Jesse James

What happened on Ben's second pick, however, seems to at least partially contradict the idea that a lack of preseason playing time didn't affect his performance. He said the interception came on a play they "hadn't really practiced." The throw was intended for Antonio Brown, who Roethlisberger said "got up on a safety. I thought he was gonna take it a little higher, he took it a little flatter, but the ball was already gone."

Pittsburgh gets a matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs defense in Week 2, and we'll have to see whether Roethlisberger can shake off some of the rust. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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