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Steelers' Roethlisberger doesn't worry about 'hater bandwagon'

The Pittsburgh Steelers have reached their bye week in a good place, resting up for the stretch run at 7-3 and atop the AFC North.

This reality has certainly put a dent in the theory formulated by NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp and others who said the Steelers were too old and slow to be contenders in 2011.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger addressed the early-season criticism of his team during a Friday appearance on "NFL Total Access."

"People make a big deal after Week 1," said Roethlisberger, currently nursing a broken thumb on his throwing hand. "You lose a game and everyone wants to jump on the hater bandwagon of the Steelers even more than they already are. We just kind of laughed it off and said, 'You know what, we'll just do what we do' and I think we've done that."

While we grapple with the physics of jumping onto a bandwagon that you're already on, we understand the point Roethlisberger is trying to make. Pittsburgh deserved the benefit of the doubt after their Week 1 stinker in Baltimore, and it's clear the team is using the dismissal of its Super Bowl chances by some as motivation.

In a wide-open conference, a top QB combined with strong coaching and a roster with big-game experience can go a long way. The Steelers might be older, but they're still plenty good enough.

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