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83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 09:12 AM
Starkey: No-huddle twist for Ben?

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, June 6, 2006


The Steelers aren't about to revamp their offense -- they've won 31 of their past 38 games -- but they'll surely add some wrinkles to keep defensive coordinators off their trail.
If quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gets his wish, one such wrinkle will be sprinkling in the kind of no-huddle attack that colleagues Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning run on a full-time basis. Roethlisberger's experience, combined with the infusion of speed around him, makes this a realistic and potentially explosive possibility, if only for an occasional series.

It seems like a logical next frontier for the 24-year-old Roethlisberger. He'd relish the challenge of calling plays at the line of scrimmage.

In an interview last week with The Trib's Mike Prisuta, Roethlisberger was asked to identify ways in which he's looking to expand his game.


"Hopefully ... having enough confidence in myself, and coach (Bill Cowher) having it also, to go no-huddle, to be able to call no-huddle plays," he said. "If we can get to that point, where we're able to do the stuff that Cincinnati does, then we can be pretty effective."

Wide receiver Hines Ward would love to participate in such an experiment.

"Of course I'm up for it," Ward said Monday. "When we get into a lull and things aren't going our way, we could pull out our no-huddle just to light a spark under our tails. But, I don't see us opening up the game with a no-huddle, because that's not who we are."

The Steelers already include a no-huddle package in their weekly repertoire, and not just for hurry-up situations.

"We've always had it in," offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "In fact, we've done it a few times with Tommy (Maddox). We haven't done it so much with Ben, just because it hasn't been the time. But we're kind of gravitating towards that. The thing is, when he says he wants to do that, that's the first sign we're ready to do it. He's ready to take that next step and do a little bit more, and it's exciting to see."

The beauty of the Steelers offense in the playoffs was that it was able to "open up" without abandoning its allegiance to the run. The idea was to throw to get a lead and run to shorten the game. In the AFC Championship, Roethlisberger dropped back on 15 of the first 23 snaps.

Ultimately, though, the Steelers ran the ball 58 percent of the time in the postseason. That was a slight increase on the regular season and just below their astounding 61 percent mark of 2004.

That figure might dip to the mid- or even low-50s this season, but no more than that, so long as they are winning with frequency.

Even though they love to run, the Steelers hardly are a predictable team. NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan, a former NFL assistant coach and personnel evaluator, had this to say in a recent column: "The Steelers are often perceived as a very conservative, 'old-fashioned' offense, but coordinator Ken Whisenhunt stresses opponents with personnel as well as any coach in the league. Pittsburgh used 11 offensive packages last season to mix-and-match and find ways to create advantages."

In other words, they were a very tough team to defend. A sprinkling of the no-huddle could make them that much tougher -- and keep them a step ahead of the pack.

83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 09:19 AM
So what do you guys and gals think? Are we ready to cut the kid loose with a no-huddle offense at times? After this past season I see no reason why he can't handle the situation. He's matured quicker than any QB I have seen in a long, long time.

ARKIESTEEL
06-06-2006, 09:57 AM
So what do you guys and gals think? Are we ready to cut the kid loose with a no-huddle offense at times? After this past season I see no reason why he can't handle the situation. He's matured quicker than any QB I have seen in a long, long time.


My thoughts are this you see where them teams(bengals colts) that run that no huddle offense was during the SB at home watching!!!! If we need it ever now and then to surprise a team that is giving us trouble then ok use it but to run it like the colts i dont want to see that. My thoughts dont have anything to do with how well Ben could run an offense like that its just not our style of football.

clevestinks
06-06-2006, 10:12 AM
So what do you guys and gals think? Are we ready to cut the kid loose with a no-huddle offense at times? After this past season I see no reason why he can't handle the situation. He's matured quicker than any QB I have seen in a long, long time.
Yes Its Time! Bring It On!

ARKIESTEEL
06-06-2006, 10:30 AM
Part of the reason we run the ball is to keep our defense on the sideline resting and the other teams out on the feild also when we get a lead we run the ball to keep the clock moving!!! A no huddle offense is more for the pass happy guys right? I say run the ball until they beg you to throw it!

83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 10:38 AM
While the run game is still the front runner in our offense, I see no reason why we can't and won't open up the passing game with a QB that we have been waiting for since Bradshaw.

Keep in mind I'm not stating we should become an air-it-out type of football team, but I believe we have a QB that can put up some mean numbers if you loosen up the ropes. The Colts playoff game this past season comes to mind. In my opinion, it will only make our offense more potent and unpredictable.

ARKIESTEEL
06-06-2006, 10:45 AM
Do they run the ball out of the no huddle very much? Does ones o-line get tired faster in a no huddle? Not trying to pick a fight and I know Ben is good its just I hate change when things are going good

DIESELMAN
06-06-2006, 10:49 AM
A sprinkling of the no-huddle could make them that much tougher --

We have the tools and weapons to mix it up a whole lot more this year and years to come, I say stick to our philosophy and hit them with lefts when they are thinking rights. I can see where Ben wants to air it out more and thats a great mindset for our QB to have that shows a lot of confidence in himself and our offense. I'm sure Cowher will loosen the rope a little more each year but not totally. DAMN its going to be a GREAT year!!!!!

tony hipchest
06-06-2006, 10:55 AM
ball control is important to keep our defense off the field and keep them fresh. but the coaches realize it is important to let the offense have fun. im sure the offense looks at how the defense is able to play no holds barred and with wreckless abandon and they wanna do the same.

ben has been developed at the perfect pace and i dont think the evolution of his game will stop just cause the ultimate success was achieved. now is not the time to become complacent and rest on what worked last year. some new wrinkles will be great to keep defenses thinking. and ben can definitely handle it.

83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 11:01 AM
Once again, I'm not stating we should run a no-huddle and throw bombs on every play which would tire out your o-line, but I think we will see Ben run the no-huddle more often this season and more of a passing game in general.

Over the years I think some fans have become completely paranoid at the thought of this team opening up the passing game to a larger extent compared to years past. It is understandable to a degree. The 2003 season for example and the fact that the QB's we have had in past years were not exactly top notch passers. But now that we actually have a QB that can manage an offense and who also has a howitzer for a right arm, I see no reason why we can't open up the passing game to larger extent. Again, I'm not asking for an air-it-out type of offense. Just open up the offense more while making it a more potent and unpredictable offense.

83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 11:05 AM
now is not the time to become complacent and rest on what worked last year. some new wrinkles will be great to keep defenses thinking. and ben can definitely handle it.

My thoughts exactly.

Santonio4
06-06-2006, 11:06 AM
I dont think we should go to the no-huddle because we are a clock management team and thats not how you control the clock.

tony hipchest
06-06-2006, 11:34 AM
in 1995 we led the league in scoring in the final 2 minutes of the half, or game. neil odonnel was great at running the no huddle, 2 minute drill. we had weapons like c. johnson, e. mills, y. thigpen, graham and kordell, to go 5 wide with no problem. i still remember the game against the colts where we scored 14 points in the final 2 minutes of the half, and proceeded to kick their butts.

if ben proves he can handle it, which i think he will and has, cowher wont be scared to use this tactic.

Livinginthe past
06-06-2006, 12:46 PM
in 1995 we led the league in scoring in the final 2 minutes of the half, or game. neil odonnel was great at running the no huddle, 2 minute drill. we had weapons like c. johnson, e. mills, y. thigpen, graham and kordell, to go 5 wide with no problem. i still remember the game against the colts where we scored 14 points in the final 2 minutes of the half, and proceeded to kick their butts.

if ben proves he can handle it, which i think he will and has, cowher wont be scared to use this tactic.

I dont think anyone doubts that Ben has the talent to make most things work.

However, realistically does this years WR even compare with that WR corps you listed from the O'Donnell years?

You have lost randle El - and its a given that Santonio will take a season or two to settle in - who exactly is going to be catching these no huddle passes?

Another quickie - why would the Steelers make it public that they were thinking of running no-huddle next year?

Even if people spotted it at TC im sure they could have done plenty of work on it behind closed doors.

I smell a red herring.

NM

tony hipchest
06-06-2006, 01:04 PM
i left andre hastings out of that 95 mix. that was a deep corp of wr back then, but none matched hines ward and we have heath miller. the weapons are there to go no huddle with ben. i dont see why they would need to be hush hush about implementing a few new offensive things. its not like the colts or bengals go out of the way to keep certain things they do under wraps. most smart defensive coaches are already planning for a more smart and explosive steelers qb.

83-Steelers-43
06-06-2006, 01:09 PM
the weapons are there to go no huddle with ben.


I agree. Between Hines, Miller, Wilson, Holmes, Morgan and Duce out of the backfield I think we have the tools in order to run the no-huddle.

SteelerFanInCA
06-06-2006, 01:14 PM
I'd say if the situation calls for it, then turn him loose. I think we still need to mix it up a little to keep oppossing defenses honest. I can see Big Ben orchestrating a few no huddle two minutes left in the game drives.

ARKIESTEEL
06-06-2006, 01:15 PM
ball control is important to keep our defense off the field and keep them fresh. but the coaches realize it is important to let the offense have fun. im sure the offense looks at how the defense is able to play no holds barred and with wreckless abandon and they wanna do the same.

ben has been developed at the perfect pace and i dont think the evolution of his game will stop just cause the ultimate success was achieved. now is not the time to become complacent and rest on what worked last year. some new wrinkles will be great to keep defenses thinking. and ben can definitely handle it.


I am not saying become complacent but we will be able to do what we do better cause of the young guys haveing more knowledge of how to do it( Heath Ben Willie to name a few).
I hate that stand over your o-line and yell crap that Peyton and Carson does. I want to see Willie Veron Dan and Duce tear up the turf running the ball with a mix of Ward Heath and whoever else catching a few to keep the defense honest. That no huddle stuff best left for 2 mins left in half time or trying to come back late in the 4th qtr. We run the ball thats what we do and we do it damn good!!!

William Munney
06-06-2006, 06:37 PM
I like it Ben wanting more. They can run the ball, pound it, throw to backs, a TE, they have speed to stretch the field. Now a now huddle wrinkle.:chug:

Black@Gold Forever32
06-06-2006, 06:57 PM
So what do you guys and gals think? Are we ready to cut the kid loose with a no-huddle offense at times? After this past season I see no reason why he can't handle the situation. He's matured quicker than any QB I have seen in a long, long time.

I agree and see no reason as well why Ben couldn't the no huddle or an expanded role. The Steelers will always be a run team no doubts there. The Steelers tried the pass happy offense with Tommy and that failed bad in the 2003 season. But we have the young franchise young QB now and with all the weapons he has. There is no reason to hold the full potential of this offense back.

Plus the passing game will only take the heat off our running game. You never want to become predictable. The Steelers offense had the potential to be one of the best in the NFL.

siss
06-06-2006, 08:23 PM
He's like a puppy ready to pounce. Just from everything hes been saying he's ready and want to do it.
Someone said that Ben was like a kid thats been good all year and wants a new bike, well he got his bike and now he wants to ride it (get your mind out of the gutter) so I say let him.

Dirt53
06-06-2006, 08:37 PM
I always felt they had the worst 2 minute offense in the NFL and were fortunate it have an effect in last years play-offs. I think occasionaly running a no huddle will only improve the team. You have to take advantage of what other teams don't do well and if that means going no huddle line up and run it.

Stlrs4Life
06-06-2006, 10:39 PM
I guess experiment with it. Nothing wrong with that, but not sure what to expect. Was never a big fan of the no huddle. you score fast, then your defense is right back out there on the field.

pucho58
06-07-2006, 07:56 AM
If it's not broke don't fix it, like the old saying goes. Don't get me wrong, I do not mind Ben throwing the ball I just don't want an offense that looks like the Colts or the Bungles. The running game is our bread and butter so we need to stick with it untill teams are able to stop it.

Ohio Steeler
06-07-2006, 08:00 AM
If it's not broke don't fix it, like the old saying goes. Don't get me wrong, I do not mind Ben throwing the ball I just don't want an offense that looks like the Colts or the Bungles. The running game is our bread and butter so we need to stick with it untill teams are able to stop it.


I agree I am kind of worried that if they change things up it is going to hurt us down the road

SteelerzGirl
06-07-2006, 11:21 PM
Bring it on! Ben's going to be on fire this year. Let him play and have fun with it when needed. :smile:

WWIIOwheelz
06-07-2006, 11:45 PM
We didn't crush the Dolts & Broncos with the running game, that's for certain. Ben brings new things to the table, and he's obviously intrigued with calling plays on the fly. His appreciaton for it and respect for the coach's decision to implement it will make it a huge weapon, I'm thinking. It'll probably happen out of the blue, after a methodical drive to the opponent's 40 - 30, then he'll go no-huddle. :D That's what I envision, anyway.

I think we'll see it this season.

Steelersfan
06-08-2006, 12:00 AM
While I'd love to see us lighting up the score board I don't think our D could handle the added pressure of being on the field more. That is not what it is built for. Our D needs to pressure the QB to dominate and we don't have "pure" pass rushers to do that. Sure our D is very good. But that's a product of the system as much as personel.
With that said, I would like to see the no huddle used in certain situations. Like when our offense seems to be struggling, end of half or game and also just out of the blue from time to time to keep the other team guessing.

OX1947
06-08-2006, 12:33 AM
Next step for Big Ben is to go back to 97 and 98 and watch his idol John Elway dictate games even with a great running game. Duplicate that and the Steelers will lose 2 games MAYBE 3 this year. I remember JOhn Elway at that time going play action and always finding a wide open reciever. Thats what he needs to do and thats what I think will happen this year if Parker can go up a level..