"I like the challenge of it, going against a guy of his caliber and a guy of his prestige," Garrett said Friday, via team transcript. "I will just try to keep it cordial and send him off with a bang."
When the Cleveland Browns (7-8) clash with the host Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) in the Monday Night Football season finale, there will be fleeting playoff hopes at stake and a bitter rivalry game at hand, but the revelry surrounding Roethlisberger's potential swansong will command attention.
Garrett realizes that and appreciates what the six-time Pro Bowler has done across a career that's seen two Super Bowl victories and all-time statistical success (fifth in career passing yards, eighth in career passing touchdowns).
"As far as quarterbacks, he is one of the greats," Garrett said. "He is one of the best Steelers quarterbacks that they have ever had, and he might be the best. Just going back and forth with him has been fun over the years. I say over the years because now it is my fifth and he has been in the league for almost two decades. It has been a back and forth. Me trying to get after him. Me being out a little bit. Him being out a little bit. Always having good interactions and good gamesmanship when we are out there. I am trying to do my thing and shut down the game on my side of the ball, and him trying to get the ball off and get it off quick so I can't do that."
Garrett has fared well over five seasons and seven games versus the Steelers, having racked up six sacks and 10 QB hits in those contests.
Roethlisberger has had phenomenal success against the Browns, though, having posted a 25-3-1 record (including last year's playoff loss) with 42 touchdowns to just 22 interceptions and an average of 250.8 yards per game.
Roethlisberger was sacked once by Garrett in their teams' last meeting, a 15-10 Pittsburgh win in Week 8.
That seems like a long time ago now, though.
Roethlisberger and his Steelers are looking to prolong their season any way they can, knowing they'll need wins, help and hope – just like Garrett's Cleveland squad.
Garrett will try to play through a groin injury, bringing 15 sacks and 29 QB hits into the prime-time contest as Cleveland is looking to stop a two-game losing streak in which it's lost by a combined four points.
And so it goes that the 26-year-old Garrett will look to chase down the 39-year-old Roethlisberger for what is likely to be one last time.
"I will miss his presence in the game, but as far as going against him and the rivalry against him versus us, no, I will not miss that," Garrett said. "I will be looking forward to new things, new challenges, new quarterbacks and new people to put in the front yard."