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BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 09:40 AM
Big Ben comes up 'empty'

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 6, 2008

JACKSONVILLE -- Although he’s been battered and bruised in recent weeks, Ben Roethlisberger had no reservations whatsoever taking snaps in formations that featured "empty sets" and afforded no protection whatsoever for the Steelers’ quarterback beyond what his offensive line could provide.

"No, I was calling them," Roethlisberger said. "I like it."

With the Steelers running their no-huddle offense "almost the whole game," in Roethlisberger’s estimation, they wound up relying upon empty sets more than they had all season in Sunday night’s 26-21 victory over the Jaguars.

"By far," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "Maybe all of last year, too. We knew they were struggling with their secondary injured. They actually took the one cornerback out and put the linebacker back in and kind of dictated zone coverage.

"You could get the ball out quick, spread the field. Our line did a great job protecting and Ben handled the no-huddle beautifully."

The Jaguars, Arians said, never went with a five-defensive backs set after cornerback William James was beaten by wide receiver Nate Washington from an empty set on what became a 48-yard TD pass from Roethlisberger early in the second quarter.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Steelers attacked Jacksonville’s base defense on third-and-5 from the Jacksonville 8-yard line with 1:59 remaining with a personnel group that included two tight ends, two wide receivers and running back Mewelde Moore. They eventually ran their play from another empty set.

Roethlisberger’s 5-yard fade to wide receiver Hines Ward wound up winning the game.

No wonder Roethlisberger loves to operate out of an empty set.

"It spreads you out," he said. "You can kinda see who’s blitzing, usually. It utilizes weapons that we have, not just at wide receiver but at tight end and running back."

Roethlisberger was sacked three times and pressured on numerous other occasions.

But the empty sets repeatedly sparked the offense prior to Ward’s touchdown.

The Steelers ran seven plays from an empty set over the first two quarters.

Those plays resulted in one incompletion, two penalties against the Steelers and four completions that produced four first downs, 89 passing yards and one touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, the Steelers went back to the empty set.

Plays run form the empty look resulted in one sack, one penalty against Jacksonville, one incompletion and four catches for 35 yards and another score.

On the drive that won the game Roethlisberger went 3-for-3 for 24 yards and the game-winning TD while operating with an empty backfield.

"Ben is an amazing player," Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. "He makes plays that other quarterbacks probably wouldn’t, and in that last drive he definitely made some great plays."

Mike Prisuta can be reached at mprisuta@tribweb.com or 412-320-7923.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_591874.html

BigBen2112
10-06-2008, 09:42 AM
Again, take the playcalling out of Arians hands MORE...and let Ben do his thing b/c he does it VERY well! When he is in control our offense moves and moves really well.

AkronSteel
10-06-2008, 09:55 AM
Again, take the playcalling out of Arians hands MORE...and let Ben do his thing b/c he does it VERY well! When he is in control our offense moves and moves really well.

:Agree

I think the offense looked better last night than it has all year!! I want to see more of the no-huddle! It is not like it's a hurry up offense, the Steelers were letting the clock tick down to 1 all night last night, but it keeps defenses on their heels, and makes them expose their blitzes earlier which makes it easier for the OL to pick them up!

pittpete
10-06-2008, 10:14 AM
Notice Ben when he emphasizes "No huddle" in his after game interview.

Arians stinks, but Ben does hold on too long some times. I think the series before last, it was 3rd down.Ben was scrambling outside the pocket.Moved to his left and Gary Russell was open with no one near him.Ben didnt dump it, rather he was caught looking downfield and both recievers in the picture were like 15 yards down field. He took the sack instead of picking up a quick 5-10 yards.Its a double edged sword with him.
Madden did say that Ben thinks he can get away from anyone one on one.

steelblood
10-06-2008, 10:27 AM
I don't think that Arians even realizes that the no huddle success is a direct reflection on the ineffectiveness of his playcalling. What a dope.

Shawn
10-06-2008, 11:15 AM
This is what many of us have been calling for all season. It finally happened and it worked. Considering how many empty sets we used the line held up pretty well.

With all of this said...Ben can still get better. He misses too many wide open wrs. That interception was also a direct result of him flinching from the anticipation of getting hit off the blitz.

I understand he is not superman but it thrills me that he is as good as he is and still have alot of room for improvement.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-06-2008, 11:45 AM
Again, take the playcalling out of Arians hands MORE...and let Ben do his thing b/c he does it VERY well! When he is in control our offense moves and moves really well.

:Agree

I think the offense looked better last night than it has all year!! I want to see more of the no-huddle! It is not like it's a hurry up offense, the Steelers were letting the clock tick down to 1 all night last night, but it keeps defenses on their heels, and makes them expose their blitzes earlier which makes it easier for the OL to pick them up!

This is something that can, and needs to be, improved on - it killed us against the Eagles when they would time their blitzes to "0 seconds" on the clock because invariably Ben wouldn't snap until then.

We need to get a few early snaps off every quarter to keep them uncertain. That should really cut down on the pressure/contacts/blitzes.

proudpittsburgher
10-07-2008, 10:15 AM
This is what many of us have been calling for all season. It finally happened and it worked. Considering how many empty sets we used the line held up pretty well.


I don't necessarily disagree with you, shawn, but there were a couple of things in our favor on Sunday night.

1. The Jags have trouble getting pressure on the QB, so we were afforded the opportunity to go empty set to gain that advantage in the no-huddle.

2. We got a good running effort against a banged up defensive line, which opened up the pass and calmed down whatever pass rush Jacksonville was going to muster.

I've said before ad nauseum, that while the no-huddle affords your team certain advantages, it also comes with caveats as well. If you have a bad series or two, it really taxes your defense because of short rest time on the sidelines. Not to mention you can't just go no huddle without getting a spark, a first down or a big play AND having a defense on the field that you want to face snap after snap. Many on here were clammering for it against the Eagles, and outside of the first quarter, neither of the two things I mentioned happened to get a no-huddle going.

It is simply impracticle to go no-huddle for the majority of the game.