The task of bringing down Big Ben looms large for the Eagles defense

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I really don't like having a photo of this man on my site. Image via jimrome.com

The Philadelphia Eagles face a notoriously tough Pittsburgh Steelers team at Heinz Field this Sunday. The Steelers are coming off of their bye week and a disappointing 1-2 record. They’ll be rested and ready to push towards a winning record.

Add to that the return of some of Pittsburgh’s best players on both sides of the ball from injury–safety Troy Polamalu, linebacker James Harrison and running back Rashard Mendenhall– and the task gets even more difficult for Philadelphia.

The challenge the Eagles face as they head tacross the state this weekend cannot be overstated.

Ben Roethlisberger’s size, however, can be.

Said linebacker Jamar Chaney on facing the quarterback:

He’s about 260, 270 pounds, so arm tackles [are] not going to tackle him in the pocket; grabbing one leg or something like that won’t work against him or sacking the quarterback with one arm.”

And Mychal Kendricks on facing the notoriously tough quarterback for the first time:

He’s a big guy. Him going down is not going to be easy. He’s 270, 275 [pounds]. That’s a big dude.”

He is most definitely a big dude. Big Ben is an ox that seems to never go down, injury or defenders be damned. Perhaps the Eagles defense is preparing for Roethlisberger’s stature  in figurative terms, as they seem to have overstated his actual (well, at least his listed) size:

Roethlisberger is only 11 pounds heavier than Peyton Manning, who is also 6’5? Yeah, right. But he does seem impossibly huge on the field. The numbers that matter more are those relating to his play this season. Though the Steelers have struggled in their first three games, their quarterback has given his all to try to lead his team to wins.

The legend of Big Ben looms large. With his strong performances this season, Pittsburgh is ranked 13th in the league for points (25.7) and seventh in passing yards (284.3). The Eagles D has impressed this season and Roethlisberger’s ability to extend plays means that there can be no rest for them at any stage this game.

The defensive line is one of the Birds’ greatest assets, with unending talent and tremendous depth. Philadelphia is getting wins, the most important outcome of any game, but we haven’t seen the multiple sacks per game to which we grew accustomed last season. Could it happen against Big Ben? Quarterback hunter Trent Cole knows it’s coming soon.

“It’s coming. I’m going to let you know it’s coming. We’re going to keep working hard at what we’re doing. We’re having some great practices and keep digging and trying. It’s going to come, it’s going to pop. ”

Hes’ a hard one to get to the ground, but perhaps it could all start with Big Ben? Cole revealed the challenge of getting Roethlisberger to crumble.

“Just his size. He’s a big guy. You can’t tackle him low so you have to tackle him high. That’s one of the keys to getting him on the ground.”

Those 300-pounders are tough.

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