By Alan Robinson
No huddle, not much time on the clock, no play call from the sidelines.
Ben Roethlisberger, it’s your call.
One week into the Steelers’ camp at Latrobe, and it appears evident that new offensive coordinator Todd Haley is doing everything he can to make Roethlisberger comfortable with his system – and to have some confidence in it, too.
So Haley plans to allow Big Ben to do the play-calling – with his input, of course – when the Steelers run their no-huddle offense. This is exactly what Roethlisberger has lobbied for, publicly and privately, for quite a while.
Here’s Haley speaking about Ben in Charge:
“Ideally you want the quarterback doing that, and he’s shown a propensity to do that at a high level. This (offense) is new to him and we’re still working together on it. But, ideally, if you have a quarterback like Ben and like he’s done, when he’s in full control of it, that’s a good situation to be in, because he’s right in the middle of it and sees what’s going on.”
Not that Haley won’t have some input; the two can talk until there are 15 seconds remaining on the play clock.
“I could tell through the spring, he’s got his arms around it,” Haley said of Roethlisberger running the no-huddle. “He likes it, and you can see his eyes light up when we get into that mode. That’s a sign of a great quarterback, at least the ones I’ve been around. They want it: `Give me control, let me run this thing.’ He has the ability to do it, as he’s shown in the past and in the spring.”
Being a good coach is partly being able to judge what your players can do, can’t do, want to do and want to do well. Todd Haley already understands that the no-huddle is a big deal to Roethlisberger, and he has reacted accordingly. It will be interesting to see how this trust factor plays out on the field.
Haley never truly had that trust in Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, even though they worked together for nearly three seasons. It’s taken one offseason for Haley to develop it with Roethlisberger.