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Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers' D fast as any I've seen

The Pittsburgh Steelers' defense finished outside of the top 10 last season for the first time this century.

The problem, as NFL Media analyst Warren Sapp has been pointing out since 2011, is that Dick LeBeau's troops had grown old and slow.

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We made the argument after the 2014 NFL Draft that the Steelers helped reverse Father Time by picking up Ryan Shazier, the NFL's fastest linebacker since Brian Urlacher entered the league out of New Mexico in 2000.

It isn't just Shazier, though. Ben Roethlisberger told KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh on Monday morning that this defense is as fast as any he has seen in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have led the NFL in defense five times in Roethlisberger's 10 years.

In addition to a trio of first-round draft picks at linebacker, the defense boasts one of the NFL's fastest players in cornerback Antwon Blake, who claims to have blazed a 4.18 40-yard dash at Texas El Paso.

Roethlisberger's optimism wasn't limited to the defense. He also offered high praise for the offensive line and second-year wide receiver Justin Brown, who had a "great" minicamp.

"I like where we are," Roethlisberger said. "I really do. I know we are young, but I have a really good feeling about this. If we can stay healthy, I like where we are and I'm really happy with our O-line and they have a chance to be great and as good as they are is going to help us."

Big Ben has a good reason to be excited about his annually beleaguered pass blockers. After Kelvin Beachum solidified left tackle and coordinator Todd Haley went to a heavy no-huddle attack, Roethlisberger was sacked just 11 times over the final eight games.

The Steelers' 6-2 record was tied for the AFC's best in the second half of last season. They will be even better this year.

In the latest episode of the "Around The League Podcast," the heroes discuss the winners and losers of minicamp season.

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