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Old 05-25-2007, 08:24 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes
Friday, May 25, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mario Lemieux might be Ben Roethlisberger's most famous ongoing golf partner these days, but no match may be more telling for the Steelers' quarterback than the one he had early this week with someone else.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians delivered a message to his quarterback that fit him to a tee while they were on the course.

"He said 'This is your offense; you tell me what you like and don't like,' " Roethlisberger related yesterday.

Not the bashful type, Roethlisberger spoke up. He wants to use the no-huddle offense more often. It was a big topic during training camp last year but never really materialized during the season. He believes it will in 2007.

"I like the way he wants to run the no-huddle," Roethlisberger said. "Last year, we talked and talked and talked about doing it and never did it. We did it in the preseason against coach [Mike] Tomlin and Minnesota -- we marched down the field and I was done for the rest of the game. It was great. And then we never saw it.

"I like that he wants to do that and I truly believe this year that we will do it."

They will do much more of it if Roethlisberger can run it the way he did in practice Wednesday.

"He just had one of the best practices I've ever seen him have, and it was the no-huddle package," Arians said then. "He ran it to perfection -- smooth, without a hitch, his completion percentage is way up right now.

"I'm real pleased. I couldn't ask for anything more. His snap count, he's doing a great job with it, we're not jumping offsides. Those little things can create big things and make you a better offense."

The Steelers' new offense won't look like Peyton Manning's, but a bigger dose of the no-huddle seems in order.

"I think we'll see it at least once a game," said Roethlisberger, who ran a steady diet of no-huddle at Miami University. "That was pretty much all we did was no-huddle. We called it Little Muddle where just the linemen huddled, and I signaled out to the receivers."

The Steelers will use the no-huddle in both the shotgun formation and with Roethlisberger under center.

"We have 60-some plays in that no-huddle package that I can call," Roethlisberger said. "That's another thing that we talked about; it's me calling the plays, but, if Bruce or someone sees something, they can tell me, 'Ben, we want to see this real quick in the no-huddle,' and I can call it from there. But I like that he has the confidence in me to do that."

Arians has taken the bridle off his fourth-year quarterback. Whereas the coaches protected Roethlisberger in his first few years, they are now allowing him to call audibles, call the pass protections and, as he hopes, run more no-huddle.

"I think the first year they tried to [protect me] a little more, but it didn't work as well because I was just kind of running around crazy," Roethlisberger said. "My second year I think they did a little bit, and it worked pretty well. I think they still tried to do it a lot last year as well, even though I thought I'd grown a lot. I think they did it mostly because of the injuries; I didn't think they needed to.

"This year, I think it's gotten to the point where B.A.'s putting a lot of trust in me and me in him."

Roethlisberger has eased into a leadership role over his first three years, but seems to be embracing it now. He has done little things, like taking teammates' questions about a recent story to a reporter. His more famous leadership moment came, as described by Peter King in Sports Illustrated last week, when he had dinner with Mike Tomlin shortly after he was named Steelers coach.

Roethlisberger told his new coach that a lot of players were unhappy that Russ Grimm or Ken Whisenhunt did not get his job, and that he would have to earn the players' respect and trust.

"It wasn't like one of those things where I stood up and told Tomlin you need to earn our respect," Roethlisberger said. "It wasn't anything like that. It was just that we have a lot of guys and a lot of differences going on and we have to earn each others' respect, and I think that we've done that."

Roethlisberger admits there was some resentment toward him in the Steelers' locker room early in his career because of the big money he made as a No. 1 draft choice, but he sees a big change.

"I think there was at first, but I think guys have learned that it's OK, we've grown into that," he said.

"As in everything, I always want to get better and I'll want to get better at being a leader -- not taking over, just being a presence in there for guys. I want guys to know that if they're in any kind of problem, if they need to come talk to someone, if they need a place to stay, a car, anything I can help them with I will be more than happy and willing to do that. I just want them to always know that and I think guys are starting to understand that more, especially the younger guys as they come up."

As for the even bigger money he stands to make on his next contract, something agent Ryan Tollner has broached with the Steelers, Roethlisberger wants no huddle on that one.

"I have enough to think about right now. Job security is always important, but there's a lot going on right now with other guys and so I'm not going to sit here and gripe and complain. I'm just going to let things happen that happen."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07145/788950-66.stm
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

I recall the Steelers did some no huddle in the 2005 regular season with some success.

I support putting more of a load on Ben this season in order to see if a bust the bank contract is justified, but I wish he would quit taking veiled shots at the old regime, as he does in this story by complaining the no huddle was not run after preseason in 2006.

Based on some of Ben's chuck & duck INTs last season where he did not have the ability or inclination to read the defense, it might be that Whiz & Cowher did not think Ben had the discipline or had put in time studying film to justify running the no huddle.

Time for the team in general and Ben in particular to look forward and quit looking back.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
I recall the Steelers did some no huddle in the 2005 regular season with some success.

I support putting more of a load on Ben this season in order to see if a bust the bank contract is justified, but I wish he would quit taking veiled shots at the old regime, as he does in this story by complaining the no huddle was not run after preseason in 2006.

Based on some of Ben's chuck & duck INTs last season where he did not have the ability or inclination to read the defense, it might be that Whiz & Cowher did not think Ben had the discipline or had put in time studying film to justify running the no huddle.

Time for the team in general and Ben in particular to look forward and quit looking back.
I agree. I think its time for the team to step up and show that they are a championship calibar team.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

I'm used to hearing the shots taken at the old coaching staff. It's getting old but God forbid you criticize "Big" Ben, so I just shake my head and laugh when I hear the goofy comments. Apparently he feels the need to get it off his chest. Real mature.

Anyways, I'm all for Arian's cutting the kid loose and seeing what he can do. Like you Dan, I also want to see what the kid is capable of doing before we give away that big contract. I saw what he could do before he crashed his street bike in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh, but I also saw what he looked like after he crashed his bike. Loosen the cuffs and see what he can do.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

balls to the wall. nobody is expecting much from the steelers outside of pittsburgh, and it can almost be cosidered the beginning of a rebuilding phase (although i dont think so). we dont have nothing to lose if we atleast attempt to come out and explode on offense.

i would like to think it was the philosophy holding ben back and not his inadequacies. there were times he was used as if he had the skill level and talent of kent graham or mike tomzcak. and as ego driven as cowher was, he couldve drafted peyton manning and still not hand over the reigns on offense, especially after the 2003 tommy gun debaucle.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

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balls to the wall. nobody is expecting much from the steelers outside of pittsburgh, and it can almost be cosidered the beginning of a rebuilding phase (although i dont think so). we dont have nothing to lose if we atleast attempt to come out and explode on offense.
I agree with Tony, the low expectations -- new coaches, new offensive/defensive philosophies, absence of Porter and Hartings, Faneca's unhappines -- will work in the Steelers' favor. Hopefully our opponents will buy into it hook, line and sinker.

Ben's assertion that the team never ran the no-huddle last season is not exactly accurate; they sometimes used it on two-minute drills and almost always had success with it (most notably in the Raiders fiasco, but it was too little too late). I distinctly remember thinking each time, why isn't this a constant part of the offense? Ben looked like a completely different passer on those drills; confident, accurate and in control.

One thing can be said for sure -- this year, it's on Ben. He gets to call the plays, the protections, everything. If the Steelers sink, there's no question where the responsibility will fall first. I think he's up to it, but time will tell.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

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I agree with Tony, the low expectations -- new coaches, new offensive/defensive philosophies, absence of Porter and Hartings, Faneca's unhappines -- will work in the Steelers' favor. Hopefully our opponents will buy into it hook, line and sinker
isnt this the same thing that people thought when they made their run to the superbowl? i think this will definately work in our favor. so maybe we should keep faneca as unhappy as possible ..lol..

Quote:
Ben's assertion that the team never ran the no-huddle last season is not exactly accurate; they sometimes used it on two-minute drills and almost always had success with it (most notably in the Raiders fiasco, but it was too little too late). I distinctly remember thinking each time, why isn't this a constant part of the offense? Ben looked like a completely different passer on those drills; confident, accurate and in control.
What about the theory that if he throws more than 15 times a game the steelers lose.?

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One thing can be said for sure -- this year, it's on Ben. He gets to call the plays, the protections, everything. If the Steelers sink, there's no question where the responsibility will fall first. I think he's up to it, but time will tell.
You are right. It will be all on his shoulders this year if they fail or succeed.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

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Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
I'm used to hearing the shots taken at the old coaching staff. It's getting old but God forbid you criticize "Big" Ben, so I just shake my head and laugh when I hear the goofy comments. Apparently he feels the need to get it off his chest. Real mature.
All is fair in love and football, I guess. If Cowher has something to get off his chest about Ben, I guess he can do it via the studio.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:15 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

If Ben does bounce back 100% and plays like he should, then the no huddle will work great. Ben sometimes when he was in the No Huddle kinda got in the zone and ran down the field on teams with no problems. Personally I cannot wait for this season to begin. Its going to be great.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben champions no-huddle schemes

I'm sure last year was really frustrating for many inside the organization. Even from a fan level, I think it was apparent Cowher's heart wasn't in it a lot of the time.

That being said, I'm not sure Ben's comments are "shots." If he was making suggestions that could have been successful and they weren't used for no good reason, I'd be frustrated too. I respect Bill Cowher a lot and my hat is off for all he accomplished. At the same time, I sometimes wonder if more couldn't have been accomplished if he hadn't been so hard-headed at times.

If some players are criticizing the old regime, the other side of the coin is how many players sound excited and fired up about this season. As a fan, I have a growing optimism. I'm excited that we are staying with our roots but are showing a pre-season willingness to stretch things a bit. Running the no-huddle more often is not exactly a radical idea but I think it opens a lot of doors for us especially against weaker defenses like Cincy. I'm also excited that the players seem to be accepting Tomlin and buying into his ideas. Some of that could be just good press, but it sure seems like he's winning the team over.

Anyway, it's not even June yet but I like what I'm hearing. I also like that expectations for the Steelers are so low. I think we are a much better team than we are given credit for and I'm already tired of baseball and ready to get the game on!
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