Steelers have high hopes
Steelers have high hopes for no-huddle offense
August 1, 2012
LATROBE (AP) — Time will tell how the relationship between Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will evolve. But for now, the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator is making his quarterback’s eyes light up.
Entering his ninth season, Roethlisberger has long publicly campaigned to run more no-huddle offense in which he carries more play-calling responsibilities. Haley, in his first season with the team, said on Tuesday the no-huddle “will be... a big part of our offense.”
“(Roethlisberger) has shown a propensity to do that at a high level,” Haley said. “Ideally, if you have a quarterback like Ben and what he’s done, when he’s in full control, that’s a good situation to be in because he’s right in the middle of it and seeing what’s going on.”
The Steelers (No. 17 in the AP Pro32) spent a significant portion of their afternoon practice on Tuesday placing special emphasis on running the no-huddle.
As the players continue to assimilate themselves into Haley’s system, Roethlisberger would seem to need to master an advanced understanding of the offense before he could be entrusted to run the no-huddle.
“It requires some attention, of course — it’s new,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “But I like where the group is. It’s obvious that we made good use of our offseason time. When I talk about that, I’m talking about (Organized Team Activities) and minicamp, but it’s a process.”
Roethlisberger was particularly close with former coordinator Bruce Arians, but Arians was forced out at the end of last season and now holds the coordinator’s job with the Colts.
But even Arians — despite repeated teases — resisted handing over the play-calling reins to Roethlisberger on a regular basis. Other than the obvious late-in-a-half situations, the Steelers rarely ran a random series in the no-huddle over the past few seasons even though it was practiced often.
“Ben, I can tell through the spring, he’s got his arms around it, he likes it,” Haley said. “You can see his eyes light up a little bit when we get into that mode, and I think that’s the sign of a great quarterback. The ones I’ve been around, they want it. ‘Give me control, let me run this thing.’ And he has the ability to do it, as he’s shown in the past and through the spring.”
Initially, the relationship between Haley and Roethlisberger, at least publicly, was viewed frosty. Each said he hadn’t spoken with the other for days after Haley was hired — even when both were in the same building at the Steelers practice facility. But as Haley and the Pittsburgh offense assimilate to one another, more of a mutual appreciation is apparent.
“I’ve heard people say that it’s a quarterback’s league, and having now spent 16, 17 years coaching, I believe that,” Haley said. “You need a guy that can be the field general and move your football team up and down the field, control the battle with the defense. And Ben is in that group of top guys.
“He’s proven it from day one in the NFL, so I’m having a lot of fun across the board with all the position groups and the guys up front. But Ben taking that football every snap, it makes it fun for us offensive coaches.”
Arians was a mainstay with the Steelers staff. So, in effect, this is the first time in Roethlisberger’s career he’s had to learn a new offense.
“We’re getting there. We’re trying to get there,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday. “I know we had just in the walkthrough today something where (tight end Heath Miller) and I were on the same page, which is always a good thing. But we were on the wrong page in the coach’s book. So we’re still getting there.”
With Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Wallace holding out, starting running back Rashard Mendenhall recovering from a torn ACL and three of the offensive line’s five positions potentially manned by new starters, a comprehensive understanding of the offense by the players before the season opener would serve the Steelers well.
“We feel like there’s been enough to feel good about the direction we’re going,” Haley said. “There’s a lot of work to do, and we’re still reinstalling a bunch of the things from the spring so they all hear it for a third time.
“But we feel good about where we are.”
NOTES: The Steelers signed WR Paul Cox and waived OT Bridger Buche. Cox, a 6-4, 203-pound rookie free agent from Mississippi Valley State, was cut by San Diego last week. Pittsburgh just signed Buche last week. ... For the third time in five afternoon practices, a thunderstorm moved in almost exactly as the workout was ending. ... CB Keenan Lewis (shoulder) practiced fully after he had left practice Sunday. WR Emmanuel Sanders and rookie offensive linemen David DeCastro and Mike Adams likewise returned to practice after missing all or part of Sunday’s workout. ... Miller (ankle) is getting closer to returning to full practice participation, Tomlin said. ... Rookie CB Terry Carter has a hamstring injury. ... Tomlin anticipates S Damon Cromartie-Smith (shoulder) to be activated from the physically unable to perform list Wednesday.
They have high hopes, but I have seen alot of power rankings and preseason predictions having them at #17. Wow.
I noticed the same thing (that ranking). I was going to say how ridiculous it is to rate the team so low, but I'm going to refrain because I am getting the feeling that this may be one of those years... where we dip in performance. Because as far as I can tell, we look pretty darn good. Stud QB still in his prime, improved OL, a run game that I expect to flourish, dynamic WR, a #1 D from last year, etc.
Originally Posted by skyhawk
You obviously mean Antonio Brown, Manny Sanders Or J Cothchery because they are the only WRs who seem to care enough to be in camp learning the offense.:stirpot
Originally Posted by Shoe
If you meant Brown I agree!!!!
I believe we are going to win the SB if our LBs hold up
Yeah...a full half of the NFL teams are better than the Steelers...:confused:
Originally Posted by skyhawk
Injuries happen and they do change things. That said, barring injuries, our Steelers look really good to me and I really think they have as much chance as anyone in the NFL to go all the way.
Couple of crazy predictions:
1. Rainey will set the NFL record for most TD returns in a season this year.
2. Redman will lead the league in rushing
3. Coverage will be so good between Ike, Allen, and Brown, opposing QBs will have to hold the ball longer than they want and our D will lead the league in takeaways
4. Manny Sanders will lead the team in receptions and TDs
5. Ben will be SuperBowl MVP
6. Lamar Woodley will be DMVP
OMG! It's the bizzaro world! Are you serious about these? Goodell would die of a heart attack!
Originally Posted by flippy
7. Ike Taylor will lead the defense in INTs