View Full Version : Steelers' no-huddle still an option

10-05-2007, 10:10 AM
Steelers' no-huddle still an option
By Scott Brown
Friday, October 5, 2007

The Steelers had a hard enough time executing when they did huddle. They were missing their most valuable wide receiver and offensive captain in Hines Ward. And they never trailed in a 21-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday until early in the fourth quarter.
There was another reason why Bruce Arians didn't use a no-huddle approach for most of the game -- he did consider it -- in an attempt to jump-start a sputtering offense.

"I didn't feel like it was advantageous to do the no-huddle," the Steelers offensive coordinator said Thursday, "because ours was so similar to theirs, and they see it all the time."

Indeed, the Cardinals regularly run a no-huddle offense, which means their defense practices against it on a daily basis. Still, it is easy to see why some fans wondered why Arians didn't take a cue from Cardinals coach and former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and try to change the tempo of the game.

That is especially true since the Steelers talked about using the no-huddle more this season and have so far employed it only in obvious situations, such as when they fell behind the Cardinals by two touchdowns with just over four minutes left in the game.
"That 'change of pace' you'd think was needed," guard Alan Faneca said, "so I guess it's just a game-by-game decision by the coaches."

The Steelers hadn't needed to go no-huddle to give the offense a jolt in their first three games.

They blitzed their opponents by a combined score of 97-26, and running back Willie Parker rushed for more than 100 yards in all three games, allowing the Steelers to control the game and the clock (Parker rushed for 37 yards on 19 carries against the Cardinals).

"We had one disappointing game where we didn't execute like we wanted to, but we still have (the no-huddle) in our repertoire," said Ward, who hopes to return to action Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks after missing last week's game with a sprained knee. "We're still going to use it. I told you guys, don't expect us throwing 40 times a game. Willie's done a phenomenal job."

There are benefits to the no-huddle offense.

If run smoothly, it in effect puts the defense in fire-drill mode, with players running on and off the field, and it can also put a defense back on its heels.

"It's just a matter of trying to make the defense declare what they're doing early so it gives them an advantage and they're just trying to get some miscommunication," Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith said of playing against a no-huddle offense.

The Cardinals, however, had only modest success with it against the Steelers. Kurt Warner, who runs Arizona's no-huddle offense when he replaces starter Matt Leinart, played more than two quarters, yet he led the Cardinals on only one scoring drive.

Going to a no-huddle offense earlier in the game might not have helped the Steelers, who were penalized for a handful of false starts and would have had to contend with the crowd noise that was amplified since the roof at University of Phoenix Stadium was closed.

Not that the Steelers have ruled out using the no-huddle offense as a way of changing things up.

"We practice it every week," Arians said, "and when we want to we can, and when we feel it's necessary."

10-05-2007, 12:29 PM
Yeah, but will they use it is the question. When Seattle stacks the box to stop Willie Parker on Sunday(Trust me, they will), will you spead out the Defense and have Ben attack them through the air? Or will you play Cowher Ball and Run-Run-Pass again?

There really is no excuse for the playcalling last Sunday. It was awful.