Was that really the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers offense that put up 37 points on Sunday? Was that really the Steelers, that drove 97 yards in the 4th quarter to slam the door shut on the Detroit Lions? Has Todd Haley redeemed himself in the eyes of Steeler nation, and more importantly, the Rooney family and Mike Tomlin? Let’s not get too carried away.
Following Sunday’s win over the Lions, Heath Miller was quick to praise not his offensive coordinator for the play-calling, but his quarterback, “A lot of credit goes to our quarterback,” said Miller. “He put us on his back, called a great game. We were in no-huddle most of the day.”
To me, that sound like Heath Miller responding to a certain report questioning Ben Roethlisber’s study habits. He appeared to have done his homework this week.
For you conspiracy theorists, Boomer Esiason said on Sunday’s pre-game show that he thinks Todd Haley is the one feeding NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport with his anti-Ben information, in an effort to keep his job.
If you believe that Todd Haley would throw his quarterback under the bus to keep his job, would he also put a stop to the no huddle, if it reflected badly on him?
What does it say about your offensive coordinator, if you have your best scoring output of the year, when the play-calling duties were put on Ben? Or, do more points simply mean more praise for the offensive coordinator?
Ben and Haley seemed to butt heads last season on the no-huddle, when Ben was asked about the lack of no-huddle he answered “That’s Coach (Todd) Haley’s call,” and went on to say “(The coaches) saw something and wanted to run the ball with multiple tight ends and keep (the media) and the fans happy, I guess.”
This isn’t a new debate. Ben often lobbied for running the faster tempo under Bruce Arians. Troy Polamalu spoke out against it at the time, saying that quick offensive drives wore down the defense.
I believe it was pointed out in the game Sunday (by either Thom Brennaman or Brian Billick) that the Steelers weren’t going to the huddle, but they weren’t in any hurry either. The no-huddle doesn’t have to be rushed, but it can keep the defense on the field and exploit mis-matches.
I think that Sunday’s game showed that Ben has a pretty good grasp of the team’s playbook and how to beat the defense across from him. Maybe all the NFL Network talk is getting to Ben in a good way. I saw a quote last week from Ladanian Tomlinson questioning Ben’s passion for the game, which made me laugh.
I hope LT was watching on Sunday. Ben certainly didn’t seem to lack any passion in that game, and I personally hope to see Ben given the keys to the offense completely and see what he can do for the last 6 games.