The Pittsburgh Steelers had a timely bye last week, allowing themselves an extra week of getting healthy and preparing for their upcoming opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.
Ben Roethlisberger was asked by reporters before practice if he would shy away from Seattle's all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman.
The quarterback responded by saying: "I don't think you can shy away from a guy like that, but you have to be aware of where he is and what he's doing."
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His reluctance to say he will avoid Sherman shows the confidence Roethlisberger has in himself and Antonio Brown, whom he referred too as "one of the best in the business."
That being said, the Steelers will have their hands full against a Seahawks defence that has risen back into prominence after a disappointing start to the season. Seattle ranks second overall, second against the pass, and tenth against the run.
While the unit overall has performed better, Richard Sherman himself is having a down year, having not forced or grabbed a single takeaway so far this year. This could account for Roethlisberger's willingness to test him.
No matter what the statistics say, Richard Sherman is still regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the league and Roethlisberger reiterated this, saying:
"I have a lot of respect for him as a football player, very smart player, and a technician at his craft."
The Antonio Brown, Richard Sherman battle on Sunday looks to be one of the juiciest, most exciting defensive back-vs-receiver clashes of the season.
With Brown on pace for a career-best year and Sherman having a career down year, would it be crazy to see Brown torch the all-pro? Or will Sherman re-assert himself as the league's best cornerback?
We will have to wait and see.