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'Big Ben' a Big Softy for Football Camp Kids

Steeler's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger passed footballs and ran drills with kids at Seneca Valley High School.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to leading his teammates on the football field.

Tuesday was no different, expect the offense and defensive linemen swarming him were, well, a bit less physically imposing.   

For the second day in a row, from around the region as part of his annual football camp.

Organized by Football ProCamps, the two-day training session for boys and girls ages 7 to 14 was held Monday and Tuesday at

Monday’s special guest was Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, who tossed footballs and coached mini-games for campers. On Tuesday, it was backup quarterback Charlie Batch and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin who joined Roethlisberger on the field—and got an eyeful of some potential new recruits.

T.J. Kpan, 14, broke a national ProCamps record Tuesday when he ran a 40-yard-dash in 4.88 seconds. The previous record was 4.98 seconds.

Joined by Roethlisberger, Tomlin made sure to shake the Peters Township teen’s hand on the field and offer his congratulations.

“It feels pretty good,” T.J. said of breaking the record.

Roethlisberger, who recently revealed he and his wife, Ashley, are expecting a baby boy later this year, said interacting with the young players makes him look forward to one day doing the same with his own son.

“Hopefully, if I’m still doing this camp, he’s out there,” he said.  

Once camp wrapped Tuesday, Roethlisberger said he plans to resume practice—on his golf game, that is.

The Steelers QB is jetting off to Ireland and Scotland for a golfing vacation—a present from his wife for his 30th birthday.

When he’s not hitting the links, Roethlisberger said he plans to meet up with Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who is the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

College and high school football coaches from around the region—including Seneca Valley head coach Don Holl—also joined Roethlisberger in coaching kids on the field.

This is the second year in row Roethlisberger’s camp has been hosted at Seneca Valley. Gregg Darbyshire, owner of ProCamps, said the district has been very accommodating, which is why NexTier Stadium was chosen twice as the event venue. The Cincinnati resident also praised Seneca Valley’s facilities.

“I think it’s on the most flat land I’ve seen yet in Pittsburgh,” he said.

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