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Arians addresses Ben/no-huddle comments


Here are three questions that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians answered about the no-huddle offense. It became something of a simmering topic this week when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he would like to run it more.

Q: What did you think about Ben saying that he’d like to run the no-huddle more?
A: That doesn’t surprise me, because he likes it a lot and I like it a lot. So, hopefully, we’ll get to it one of these days. He comes to me 2-3 times a game, and I tell him “maybe next series.” (But) we usually have a plan for it, and it’s usually the third or fourth series in the game. But it wasn’t really necessary this past game. In the second half, we talked about it. He wanted to go, and I didn’t. I didn’t believe it was time to speed the game up. We just needed to make more first downs in that second half.

Q: How does it benefit the offense?
A: It helps you a bunch causing communication problems for (a defense), as long as there are no communication problems for you. That’s the big thing, and there have been a lot of interchanging pieces. So, we’re not as coherent as I’d like to be with all 11 guys to run a lot of it, but we’re capable of running it. And it may become a major force like it has in the past. So, we’ll see.

Q: Does it come down to you wanting to call the plays as opposed to the quarterback?
A: No. I have all the trust in the world in him calling the plays. No it’s the other 10 guys in the huddle functioning properly at that speed. He can play that a whole lot faster than the other 10 guys. When I see everybody playing as fast as he does in the no-huddle then I think we’ll be more than ready.



  1. Jopa-n says:

    I can understand say, if Ben walks up to Arians and says he wants to go no-huddle AFTER they’ve just scored on successive possessions- and Arians says “Hold off.”
    No need to change when things are going good.

    On the other hand, when your Star QB- one of the best in the game- feels he’d like to jump start an offense that is looking like it’s getting stuck in a rut, an Offensive Coordinator should go with his Money Makers instincts. Even if just from a chance to make the player ‘feel’ more confident.

    You could say to the QB, “O.K., try it on the next series but if it goes 3 and out or such, I’m pulling it back in”.

  2. Doug Halfen says:

    Honestly, the only thing I can’t stand in Arians’ arsenal: seeing an empty backfield.

    PLEASE stop this 5-wide nonsense. With the O-line in such a state of flux, Ben needs a body or two beside him. Until they _perfect_ a fool-proof zip/zoom slant-pattern system in this formation (so that Ben can _safely_ release the ball as quickly as possible following the snap), I will roll my eyes, because the likelihood of the Big Galoot (who does NOT have the quickest release in the West — yet ;^) getting hit/sacked/stripped is pretty darned high (especially with games against the Patsies and the Purple Nurples looming).

    But yes: getting this “no huddle” plane off the ground is the be-all/end-all of Arians’ weapons. When it works (and that has been rare!), it’s devastating. Just because it’s called a “no huddle” doesn’t mean everyone has to rush; the _real_ benefit comes from making adjustments after everyone’s set (thus, confusing the defense). ;^)

    Also: nice to see the running game _starting_ to gel. But with a different O-lineup every week, one simply cannot expect perfection. The backs will have to take what they can get, even when those holes close up in a flash (so run AROUND them, you knuckleheads — you know, daylight and all that crap…).

  3. Dave crowley says:

    I agree with big Ben. The no huddle would be a great change of pace weapon. It hurts our d and it would hurt the patriots or ravens. We should use it more. Trust the qb.

  4. Paulie Raspa says:

    I like when they go No-Huddle… But, then again — we like to control the clock. I believe Ben should try a CADENCE change so that when we go No Huddle or 5 Wide the D isn’t Killing him.
    We need to take what the D is giving us — If we r five wide if the CB is giving us a 10 yd cushion well take the 5 yds and let the WR make the play. If teams go to a nickel or dime with extra db’s for Lb’s — well we should crush them with the run..Protect Ben IS KEY to getting to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Do that, and the rest will fall into place….

  5. David says:

    Please. Im for anything that works, even if its the no-huddle offense, the qb has the better view and feel of whats happening on the field and on game day, you can watch film all week but it means nothing if you can’t adjust on game day when a different look is give, Terry had complete control after his 6th 7th year, he called his own plays, take a look back to the 70s era, alot of qbs called thier own plays,,,,, all the ones with SB-rings at that…. Go Steelers #7 is out there if we can all agree to agree!..

  6. Ben is one of the best in that no-huddle 2 minute drill. They should mix it up and see what happens. It drives me crazy when we do the same thing run,run,pass too obvious every game!

  7. Dave Ayers says:

    I believe Ben should be given the leeway to utilize the no-huddle at least once per game, assuming they’re playing anyone but Seattle or a similar JV-grade team and they have a large lead. It changes the pace, gets the opposing defense on their heels, reminds them that it’s an effective weapon in the Steelers arsenal and helps the team become more confident and comfortable with it, so they can use it effectively when they NEED it. Yes, they better have hot routes and plans that include 3- and 5-step timing routes so we don’t get Ben hospitalized.

    I think it doesn’t get used because Ben may be a better play-caller than Arians, and it’s gotten noticed. I think Arians is afraid to be shown up and doesn’t want to use it any more than necessary.

    One back-handed note of praise for Arians. I finally saw him use play-action on 1st and goal for what must have beent the first time in about 2-3 years. Living in the Philly area, I don’t get to see all the games, so maybe I missed some other examples, but I nearly fell out of my chair when a 1st and goal play wasn’t an automatic and predictable attempt to run up the middle. Has he finally learned???

  8. Scott P says:

    Arians is an arrogant jerk.

  9. Carolina Steel says:

    Scott P is spott on regards Arians and you can add an incompetent to that description.

  10. Dick says:

    We’ve got to get our offense on high octane if we’re going to beat the Ravens and Patriots and, we have to do that to reach the Super Bowl. Ben has a better view and feel for the defense from his vantage point. Give Ben the benefit of the doubt and, I believe it will pay offl We’ve got to put up more points than we have if we’re looking to be successful. I think the offense so far this season has been too vanilla. The defense seems to know what play is being called. Let’s try mixing things up more and when we get a team down (like the Jaguars) go for the kill and put them away. It seems there’s always a letup that allows the other team back into the game. This team has the ability to score big with a better game plan and play calling.

  11. Don Lewis says:

    Arians wants to control the offense. If he lets Ben go to no-huddle, he loses that control and turns it over to Ben; Arians’ ego won’t let that happen. When Ben goes mo-huddle amd calls his own plays, things go better, and then Arians doesn’t look so good. In my opinion Arians never looks good. He’s too predictable and never plans a game to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses or to combat their strengths.
    every game has the same “game plan”. I’m just sayin”!

  12. Mack says:

    I don’t trust Big Ben to make the right decision. He needs to learn to get the ball out of his hands. Ben extending plays results in more fumbles and picks than anything. Someone has to save him from his self.

  13. Jeff Reed says:

    Honestly, the Steelers have struggled offensively ever since they decided to trade Santonio Holmes to the Jets and since Ben quit drinking!

  14. Bryan says:

    Here’s hoping we win another superbowl and some unsuspecting university or poor NFL team gives Arians a shot at being a Head Coach because outside of those options (assuming the Steelers continue making the playoffs) we’re stuck with him. As much as everyone likes to critic the offensive line/ Ben/ Mendenhall etc… We don’t do enough criticizing of the at best average and at worst awful play calling we see from week to week. The Steelers give up big leads or slow down because they become predictable. Ben’s play making ability, Mike Wallace’s speed and Dick Lebeau’s defense are the only reason Arians is still the O coordinator.

  15. Czttnips says:

    If Arians does not want to run it and he has a plan, I’d like to know what it is. Sounds like what he is doing is experimental football which should have been done at practices.

    I have blogged this before and so again; there is something wrong with the coaching. Who? I don’t know but Tomlin and Arians together are, in my opinion, the reason. A head coach that lets the sub coaches call the game and a sub coach that always seems to have a new plan.

    Rooney~ Do something!

  16. Gary Hench says:

    It seems to me there’s some trepidation on Arians part, not with Ben, but ‘with the other 10 guys”. Pardon mua Bruce, but if there’s a problem with the offense…..then fix the problem. You’re hamstringing Ben with this sloppy acceptance of limitations with ‘some’ on offense. Maybe the jobs too big for ya Bruce, hmmmm?

  17. Dick says:

    Mack, understand what you say and agree Ben should throw that ball away more often. However, maybe you would learn to trust Ben if he were given the chance. For instance, in any game where we get up by say 2.or 3 td;s, why not change up and go to the no huddle and put those bad boys away. Too often we find ourselves hanging on at the end trying to eke it out. The no huddle result couldn’t be much worse than the let down we’ve been seeing lately.

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