PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — One of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s favorite ways to spark the offense is through the no-huddle offense.
And he wants more of it.
Roethlisberger told the media Wednesday that he lobbied to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to get into the no-huddle offense in Sunday’s 17-13 win against Jacksonville — a game where the Steelers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half only to see it nearly slip away on the game’s final drive.
“I would like to do it every game, regardless of how we are doing,” Roethlisberger said, according to the team’s official website. “Traditionally we have gotten into it when we have struggled on offense. I went to (Arians) the last game at the eight minute mark after we went a couple of three-and-outs to try to change up the tempo and the pace.
“We usually go to it when things aren’t clicking on offense.”
With a 17-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter Sunday, the Steelers desperately needed to convert first downs to take time off the clock and put an extra score on the board. Instead, the Steelers managed just one fourth down in the final 15 minutes of play, which allowed Jacksonville to hang around until a last-second Hail Mary by Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert fell to the ground incomplete.
Roethlisberger was 0-for-3 passing and sacked three times in the fourth quarter. He said quick-game in the no-huddle might help out in situations like that where the offense turns stale and ineffective.
“I feel we can change it up,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s a weapon for us. We just haven’t had a chance to get into it yet. I wanted to get into it last week. I love doing it. We have so many weapons (and) we need to utilize it.”
Part of the reason Roethlisberger likes the no-huddle offense so much is that it puts the play calling in his hands.
“A lot of it is I am calling the plays so I can see the defense,” Roethlisberger said. “When a play is called from the sidelines it’s off of tendencies. which when you have a good coordinator like we do they know tendencies pretty well. I have a feel for who is playing well, who is doing good things, looks on defensive fronts, secondary. It’s a rhythm thing for me.”
Wednesday practice notes:
- Offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu said the plan is for him to start Sunday at Arizona.
- On the defensive side of the ball, nose tackles Chris Hoke (stinger) and Casey Hampton (shoulder) did not practice
- Linebacker James Harrison (eye) and defensive end Aaron Smith (shoulder) didn’t practice Wednesday.
- On offense, wide receiver Mike Wallace (hamstring) and guard Doug Legursky (toe) were held out of practice.