One thing that was a bit surprising in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win last Sunday vs. the Detroit Lions was the fact that Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley were willing to turn to the no-huddle offense early in the game.
The Steelers jumped out to a 17-3 lead using the rapid-fire attack in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called his own plays and led the team on a couple early touchdown drives.
Eventually the Steelers got away from the no-huddle and went to a slower, more methodical pace, which begs the question of “Why do the Steelers frequently go away from what works?”
Big Ben has excelled in the no-huddle for years as he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL at calling his own plays and speeding up the tempo of the game, something he did more frequently under Bruce Arians than current offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Even when the Steelers have struggled as an offense this season, they have had success running the no-huddle almost every time they turn to it.
Some fans would like to see the Steelers turn to the no-huddle exclusively, but that is something Tomlin said won’t work.
“You’ve got to be very cautious about employing it, how much you employ it, how you change your verbal communication,” Tomlin said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “There are a lot of things that are capable of limiting your ability to run the no-huddle, beside your willingness.”
Said Tomlin: “We’re not there unscripted, leaving (Roethlisberger) up to his devices, even though he’s fully capable — that wouldn’t be fair to him. … It’s not like it’s a different set of plays.”
hile it makes sense not to turn to the no-huddle on a full-time basis, it doesn’t make sense to not employ the strategy more frequently.
While it makes sense to not use the no-huddle on a full-time basis, that doesn’t mean the Steelers can’t employ the strategy more frequently.
It’s plain as day that Roethlisberger feels more at home in the up-tempo attack and he has proven that with the amount of success not only he but the entire offense has had.
With the Steelers closing in on a potential playoff spot in the AFC, it makes sense for the Steelers to unleash their best player on opposing defenses.
It has often been speculated that Big Ben and Haley have been at odds about where the direction of the Steelers is headed. It’s about time they simply just give Roethlisberger the keys to the car and let him lead the team to the postseason.
At the minimum he has earned that much.
That being said, it will be interesting to see not only if, but how often Haley will turn to the no-huddle this week against the Cleveland Browns.
With every game from this point out pretty much a must-win for the Steelers to makes sense for the Steelers to put Roethlisberger in situations where he can succeed.
Beginning Sunday, we will find out if the Steelers and Big Ben are on the same page.