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View Full Version : Steelers Vs. Ravens: Time to Turn Big Ben Loose With More No Huddle?


mesaSteeler
01-14-2011, 08:24 AM
Steelers Vs. Ravens: Time to Turn Big Ben Loose With More No Huddle?
http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2011/1/13/1933613/steelers-vs-ravens-time-to-turn-big-ben-loose-with-more-no-huddle
by Michael Bean on Jan 13, 2011 5:36 PM EST

Steeler Nation has discussed ad nauseum the topic of Ben Roethlisberger being trusted to run the no huddle offense more frequently. And not just this year either. The conversation started a few years ago really, and it stemmed largely from the increased opportunities he seemed to be getting from Bruce Arians during training camp. We haven't seen much of the no huddle from Pittsbugh's offense though. In fact, I'd be curious to know exactly how many snaps and/or drives the Steelers have run from the no huddle, not including two-minute drill situations.

Regardless of why has largely shied away it, I think this weekend's Divisional Round game against the Ravens might be the perfect opportunity to turn Big Ben loose and trust him with several series in the no huddle. For starters, Roethlisberger has really elevated his game from a decision-making standpoint this season. He's thrown 158 consecutive passes without an interception, the longest such streak by a Steelers' QB since Kordell Stewart threw 159 in 2001 without being picked off. That's partly a product of playing against some weak pass defenses down the stretch, but it's also a testament to the extra work he's done in the film room. As Mike Tomlin said, Ben's enjoying the 'monotony' of the job more this year. And it's shown.

Secondly, going to the no huddle would also make it tougher for Greg Matison, Baltimore's defensive coordinator, to dial up as many confusing blitz packages throughout the game. I'd actually contend that the Steelers' offensive line played pretty darn well against the Ravens last game, especially after the first quarter. That said, the Steelers had no answer for Terrell Suggs all night long. And Suggs wasn't just abusing Jonathan Scott. He was being moved around quite a bit by Mattison, something that would be harder to do if the Steelers went to the no huddle.

Thirdly, putting Ben in the no huddle would give him extra time to try to sniff out what Baltimore's trying to do on any given play at the line of scrimmage. Much like what Peyton Manning does when he goes to the line, points to this or that guy on the defense, barks orders to his offensive linemen and playmakers, etc. Big Ben is no Peyton Manning, but I believe he's far enough along in his maturation as a quarterback to correctly diagnose what looks he and the offense are about to see from the Ravens defense. With this extra time, Roethlisberger might be able to audible out of dangerous situations and into favorable matchups - like say, a hot read to Mike Wallace, or a run to Rashard Mendenhall that might go for a big gain.

What do you all think? Agree? Disagree? Wrong situation to experiment? Or is this the perfect time to mix things up given the 'win or go home' nature of the NFL Playoffs?

(I vote yes on this. Anything to stop the Airhead from calling the plays. Bradshaw used to call his own plays and that got us 4 SuperBowls. - mesa)

Third Rail
01-14-2011, 09:44 AM
I vote yes as well. I think Ben is at his best when he runs the no huddle. I've heard that they haven't used it as much this year because of the influx of young receivers, but I think that at least Wallace and Sanders are ready. Brown might be as well. And Ward and Miller are always reliable, and Mendy is pretty good at receiving checkdowns. Go for it.

I know it's next to impossible when we play the Ratbirds, but I really, REALLY want us to blow them out. I think the Steelers can do it if they are focused enough.

SH-Rock
01-14-2011, 09:50 AM
The great thing about No Huddle is that it fatigues the opposing defense and on top of that, they haven't had as much rest after the KC game even though it was a blowout. This would then put pressure on Flacco to play catch up and maybe he'll make some costly mistakes.

madtowndrunkard
01-14-2011, 10:23 AM
I vote yes as well. I think Ben is at his best when he runs the no huddle. I've heard that they haven't used it as much this year because of the influx of young receivers, but I think that at least Wallace and Sanders are ready. Brown might be as well. And Ward and Miller are always reliable, and Mendy is pretty good at receiving checkdowns. Go for it.

I know it's next to impossible when we play the Ratbirds, but I really, REALLY want us to blow them out. I think the Steelers can do it if they are focused enough.


It's got to be due to the young WR's. A mistake by a WR running the wrong route usually turns into an INT.....espeicially against a secondary like the Ravens.

But you would think by now they'd be able to run the no huddle with little issues. My guess is they have been saving it for when they need it. Also Ben seemed to be mentally behind when he returned from his suspension. His decision making was slow when he came back. I don't know if it's due to the poor competition or Ben is finally hitting his stride...but the last couple games Ben has looked pretty sharp.

JewniorGong
01-14-2011, 10:26 AM
If they're going to use it, it might as well be now. We've only played one game in over three weeks, plenty of practice time to get the young receivers used to the pace, especially if they've at least attempted to work on it throughout the season. I think it would be a GREAT wrinkle to install for the playoffs. Remember when the offensive philosophy changed in 2005 because we knew we couldn't beat the Colts playing them the same way we did when they blew us out earlier that year? I'm definitely on board with this

SteelWolf62
01-14-2011, 10:29 AM
The great thing about No Huddle is that it fatigues the opposing defense and on top of that, they haven't had as much rest after the KC game even though it was a blowout. This would then put pressure on Flacco to play catch up and maybe he'll make some costly mistakes.

I agree and I don't think their defense is much younger than ours so it would really take its toll and Wallace could have 160 and two TDs to go along with Mendy get 125 and at least one TD..

Third Rail
01-14-2011, 11:15 AM
It's got to be due to the young WR's. A mistake by a WR running the wrong route usually turns into an INT.....espeicially against a secondary like the Ravens.

But you would think by now they'd be able to run the no huddle with little issues. My guess is they have been saving it for when they need it. Also Ben seemed to be mentally behind when he returned from his suspension. His decision making was slow when he came back. I don't know if it's due to the poor competition or Ben is finally hitting his stride...but the last couple games Ben has looked pretty sharp.

Yeah, I think that Ben and his receivers are finally in sync. Earlier in the season, I do think he was a bit rusty and they were pretty green, but they've looked great over the past few games (even in the Jets game they weren't too bad... special teams and the D blowing it at the worst possible time killed that game for us). If we can just close the deal in the red zone a bit more (like we did in Cleveland) then I think we can blow the Ravens out. Man, I want to see that happen SOOOOOO bad. No nail biters, no "controversial" calls... just a straight up ass-whupping like in Ben's 5 TD game against them in 2007. I would do anything to see that happen tomorrow.

cloppbeast
01-14-2011, 12:26 PM
I say nay. No sense in wasting BA genius and take away his glorius play calling.

stand undefeated
01-14-2011, 02:01 PM
Open it up and scorch that Ravens D! (Won't happen though)

TRH
01-14-2011, 02:27 PM
yes. And make it to "quick" snap no huddle as well. Sometimes when we 'no huddle' and we do the really long counts, defenses get set much faster and digest a look

plenewken
01-14-2011, 04:48 PM
Yes, absolutely. No huddle in the first possessions and let's put as much pts as possible on the board.

btaylor179
01-14-2011, 04:58 PM
ive been screaming for no huddle all season!!!!!!!

PhantomJB93
01-14-2011, 05:17 PM
I vote yes as well. I think Ben is at his best when he runs the no huddle. I've heard that they haven't used it as much this year because of the influx of young receivers, but I think that at least Wallace and Sanders are ready. Brown might be as well. And Ward and Miller are always reliable, and Mendy is pretty good at receiving checkdowns. Go for it.

I know it's next to impossible when we play the Ratbirds, but I really, REALLY want us to blow them out. I think the Steelers can do it if they are focused enough.

Sanders had nearly all the key catches on the *almost* game winning no-huddle drive in the Jets game, I think he and Wallace would be just fine.

SoCalFan
01-14-2011, 05:19 PM
Like I said in another post.Go no huddle in the beginning to mid 3rd quarter.Thats when weve seen the ravens D tired and gasping for air.

Steelboy84
01-14-2011, 05:33 PM
A nice mix up is in order.................

FanSince72
01-14-2011, 06:07 PM
Yes, absolutely. No huddle in the first possessions and let's put as much pts as possible on the board.

I'm with you on this one!

Not so sure about a no-huddle but definitely a vertical game with an emphasis on scoring quickly and often. Baltimore has itself so worked up over this whole "Armageddon" thing that if the game becomes a slugfest, they have a very good chance of winning.

The Steelers today are not the Steelers of yesteryear and an offense based on finesse and speed is better suited to us now than the old "three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust" mythology. If we allow this game to become a cage match, we lose because we simply don't have the personnel or the swagger to go toe-to-toe in a slug fest. What we DO have are a stable of very good wide receivers and a pair of running backs which are all better suited for more of a West Coast style of play than for what everyone thinks of as "Steeler Football".

I think that we haven't peaked yet in the passing game and if we do, we'll have something that no one can beat. We need to use that passing game to set up the running game and that running game needs to stay outside the "C-gap" against Baltimore.

Defensively, we may be able to win a street fight, but offensively we're outmatched against Baltimore's "D" when it comes to fighting in the trenches, so the smart thing to do would be to let them think it's Armageddon and while they're busy drawing up plans to storm the castle walls, we can be busy throwing balls to Wallace, Ward, Sanders, Brown and Randel El, rack up a ton of points early and then start pulling starters out for next week.

plenewken
01-15-2011, 09:03 AM
I'm with you on this one!

Not so sure about a no-huddle but definitely a vertical game with an emphasis on scoring quickly and often. Baltimore has itself so worked up over this whole "Armageddon" thing that if the game becomes a slugfest, they have a very good chance of winning.

The Steelers today are not the Steelers of yesteryear and an offense based on finesse and speed is better suited to us now than the old "three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust" mythology. If we allow this game to become a cage match, we lose because we simply don't have the personnel or the swagger to go toe-to-toe in a slug fest. What we DO have are a stable of very good wide receivers and a pair of running backs which are all better suited for more of a West Coast style of play than for what everyone thinks of as "Steeler Football".

I think that we haven't peaked yet in the passing game and if we do, we'll have something that no one can beat. We need to use that passing game to set up the running game and that running game needs to stay outside the "C-gap" against Baltimore.

Defensively, we may be able to win a street fight, but offensively we're outmatched against Baltimore's "D" when it comes to fighting in the trenches, so the smart thing to do would be to let them think it's Armageddon and while they're busy drawing up plans to storm the castle walls, we can be busy throwing balls to Wallace, Ward, Sanders, Brown and Randel El, rack up a ton of points early and then start pulling starters out for next week.

+1.
We also have Miller (and Spaeth) that we don't use enough offensively. Miller has great hands. I can be as dangerous as Heap.