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Big Ben: 'Not the same' playing Pats without Brady

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Life isn't better without Tommy, according to Ben Roethlisberger.

The Steelers quarterback told reporters on Tuesday that he would rather see Tom Brady in a Patriots uniform when the two teams square off in the regular season opener.

"He's a guy, I've said for a long time, he's the best in the business, and he proved it again last year winning his fourth (Super Bowl)," said Roethlisberger, per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler. "If he's not out there, it's not the same. I have a lot of respect for him on the football field and some of the unbelievable things that he's done. I guess we'll wait and see what's finally going to happen."

The NFL has yet to hear Brady's appeal of the four-game, league-imposed suspension he received this month in connection to the ball deflation controversy. 

The real loser here? NFL fans, who stand to miss out on a showdown between two of the game's premier passers. Pittsburgh didn't face the Patriots last season, but Roethlisberger and Brady combined for a whopping 86 points when New England topped the Steelers in 2013.

If Brady's suspension holds, second-year backup Jimmy Garoppolo will be thrust into action for his first NFL start. At least one Steelers linebacker was far from star struck, with Arthur Moats asking Tuesday of the young Patriots passer: "What's his name, Gappo?"

Moats hasn't kept up on his NFL news, but Garoppolo will become Pittsburgh's Week 1 obsession if Brady remains in absentia.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the latest NFL news including Ray McDonald's release, Adrian Peterson's situation with the Vikings and Cam Newton's lofty goals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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