- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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PITTSBURGH -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger responded Tuesday to comments about his broken nose made by John Harbaugh, saying he didn't believe the Baltimore Ravens coach had any bad intentions.
Ravens Pro Bowl defensive lineman Haloti Ngata broke Roethlisberger's nose in their previous meeting on Dec. 5. The hit cost Ngata $15,000, while Roethlisberger played through the pain and led Pittsburgh to a 13-10 victory.
Harbaugh was asked about it Monday and said with a wry grin, "He's a tough guy. He had the broken nose. I was glad we broke his nose and then I was very impressed that he played through it. Obviously, you can throw very effectively with a broken nose -- he proved that."
Roethlisberger, a Miami (Ohio) alum like Harbaugh, says he knows the Ravens coach well.
"I think it was taken out of context, if you ask me," Roethlisberger said. "I know Coach Harbaugh. He's a Miami guy and us Miami guys stick together; there's so few of us. Actually, on the field before every game we talk to each other and ask how everything is going. So I don't think it was intended maliciously at all."
After he struggled to the sideline last month during that game in Baltimore, Roethlisberger stuffed a couple of wads of cotton in his nose and prepared for the next series. When he got back on the field, he mistakenly blamed Ravens tackle Kelly Gregg for the hard hit.
It was an oversight he intends to make amends for on Saturday.
"I have to apologize to Kelly Gregg when I see him on the field because I was giving him a hard time," Roethlisberger said. "I was joking about how I was going to send him the bill; no way was it on purpose."
James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. You can follow him via Twitter at espnafc_north. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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