It has been a story every training camp in Latrobe, PA and throughout the duration of the season since Ben Roethlisberger emerged as a legitimate quarterback in the NFL. The story is the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ coaches not letting Roethlisberger operate more no huddle offense similar to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, giving him the freedom to make and change offensive plays at the line of scrimmage.
Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher fought the tendency, and current head coach Mike Tomlin also seems to fight the same urge to give Big Ben the reigns of the offense unless it is in the two-minute drill.
However, if Tomlin is smart, he watches the film of the Steelers win over the Detroit Lions and how Roethlisberger called a beautiful game from the no huddle offense. Roethlisberger admitted after the game that the offensive plays were not all his doing at the line of scrimmage but rather he and other players and coaches scripting plays on the sideline and then making adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
Roethlisberger’s teammates sang a different tune as players like Heath Miller said that Roethlisberger was calling the plays for the majority of the second half and credits him for the majority of success on the offensive side of the football.
Regardless of who takes and gives credit, the Steelers’ offense has yet to look as dynamic as it did on Sunday against the Lions. There was a gigantic lull in the second quarter, but the offense was able to rack up nearly 400 yards of total offense and post 37 points on a very good Lions defense. The Steelers have struggled scoring points this season, and the no huddle very well could be the answer to the questions on offense.
No one has been more criticized this season than Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Haley’s play-calling has been great at times and idiotic at others. However, it is hard to argue that Roethlisberger’s play calls in the no huddle had the offense in a better rhythm as they were able to move the ball and put points on the board.
Am I suggesting that the Steelers revert to a no huddle offense for the remainder of the season? The answer to that question is easy. Do whatever it takes to move the ball with consistency and score points.
The Steelers most certainly should come out in the no huddle offense this Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. It does more than just give the reigns to Roethlisberger in play-calling; it tires a defense and limits the pass rush. It also allows the Steelers to stop defensive substitutions from getting match ups that they desire, and most importantly it keeps the Browns guessing.
The Steelers offense is a work in progress, but utilizing the no huddle offense and allowing Ben Roethlisberger to take more control will only make the offense better.
Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for RantSports.com and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz