He plays Football with the ferocity of a junkyard dog, but Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also advocates a strong offense for four-legged police officers.
The 2006 Super Bowl champ's charitable foundation is donating thousands of dollars to the Boston Police Department K-9 Unit so it can modify its vehicles with remote-control emergency bail-out systems for its furry partners.
Officer James Kenneally said Roethlisberger, despite never showing the Patriots any mercy, previously donated funds to buy the dogs bulletproof vests.
``Suffice to say, he may be a Pittsburgh Steeler , but in the eyes of the Boston Police Department, he's also a pretty good guy,'' Kenneally said yesterday.
Quicker than a cop can shout, ``Release the hounds!'' the bail-out system works with the press of a button, which unlocks and opens the car door containing the canine in the event of a crash or an officer in need of some backup.
``Once the door opens,'' Kenneally said, ``the dogs are trained to ... locate their partner.''
So while he'll be keeping it dog-eat-dog on the field, Roethlisberger, 26, has revealed himself to be an old softy at heart.
``We have had the opportunity to see firsthand how important the dogs are to these men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us,'' the QB said. ``It's incredible to see the strong bond that is formed between the dogs and their partners.''