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Kaboly: Haley holding Ben back in no huddle? Someone thinks so


You can easily say that Charlie Batch was responsible for the last important Steelers’ victory.


Batch went into Baltimore the first week of December last year and beat the Ravens to push the Steelers record to 7-5. Since then, the Steelers are 3-9 with wins over Cleveland last year when they were already eliminated for the playoffs and back-to-back victories over the Jets and Ravens after a 0-4 start this year.


Batch is out of football now, but is quickly making a name for himself as an up-and-coming NFL analyst and color commentator for high school football on both television and radio.


I caught up with Batch on Monday during my radio show on TribLive (you can listen to the entire show/interview here “The Mark Kaboly Show” and he had plenty to say and especially about Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger when it comes to running the no huddle offense.


Part of my film session article in today’s Trib was dedicated to the amount of time and the success Roethlisberger had with the no huddle offense in the 55-31 loss to the Patriots on Sunday.


Roethlisberger used the no huddle over the final nine series to great success.


Roethlisberger ran 33 plays out of the no huddle and went 16 of 27 for 217 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. Roethlisberger also called four running plays that resulted in 43 yards. All 31 of the Steelers points were scored during drives that the no huddle was used


So the final stat line was: 260 yards and two touchdowns on 33 plays when Roethlisberger called the plays and 219 yards and two touchdowns on 40 plays when Haley called the plays.


With so much success, it makes you wonder why Roethlisberger doesn’t call the plays more.


Batch had a theory.


“If Ben is calling the plays and the plays are working, what is this position of the offensive coordinator?” Batch said. “He isn’t going to get any credit for it because he didn’t call those plays. There is always going to be a clash at the top of who is going to call the plays and when things are working you would love to be the offensive coordinator saying that I called every single play and we went for over 500 yards so my offense is working. I don’t think the rift between Todd and Ben is totally gone.”


Batch said that the playbook is virtually wide open when Roethlisberger goes to the no huddle.


“He would probably have at least 75 percent of the plays … and you can take the whole package and do what you want to do with it,” Batch said. “Ben is capable of flipping formations so that gives you more plays to call. That is something he is comfortable with and I know for a fact that he is comfortable with it. Todd sometimes holds him back because Todd doesn’t necessarily want to change the pace of the game at that point.”


Batch had plenty more insight on the Steelers and a very forthcoming and passionate feeling on the bullying that’s now made it’s way into the NFL.


Author: Mark Kaboly

Mark Kaboly is the Pittburgh Steelers beat writer for the Tribune-Review. Mark has covered more than 300 NFL football games in all 32 NFL cities as well as three Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa and XLV in Dallas. A Belle Vernon Area graduate, Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a specialization in journalism from California University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Port Vue with his wife, Jennifer; daughter Briella; and boys Rocco and Bugsley Pug


  1. buncie says:

    Time for Tomlin to move on with his lifes work.

  2. The start of the Steeler downfall can be traced to the day Danny Rooney put Art JR in charge. Art JR has hurt our team more then any coach. He is a lawyer not a football man and it shows. Its time to get rid of him and put someone like Tony D or Bill C in charge and let them go and in two years the Steelers will be back. Keep Art JR in place and we are hurting for sure..

  3. Shack says:

    Re: no huddle stats, those impressive numbers are against a defense that is playing the pass! Makes it even more impressive, although the argument could be made that DBs are playing softer giving up the underneath late in a blow out. Still, gotta let Ben dictate the tempo of the O! Good article!

  4. Pinger says:

    When Steelers were competing for Super Bowls , Tomlin was a hero , one bad season and you want to show him the door , Tomlin is still a very good coach and he can only do so much with the players he has to work with ….. the Steelers were due for a bad season as it’s next to impossible to be great every season … you want to fire someone … show Haley the door as he is useless ….. if they suck the next few seasons then make a change but until then … no …. fire some players cause the Steelers have some that have trouble making a division 3 college team

  5. buncie is a racist says:

    Tomlin? Really?

  6. Mario L says:

    When Pirates were laughing stock of MLB @ least there owner Nutting, NH, FC had enough guts to stand up & take questions. Where are the Rooney’s & Kevin Colbert. Hope steeler nation is ready for some losing, its gonna get worse before it gets better. Art II is determined to put Big Ben in his place Already pushed Arians out the door & having horrendous drafts year & year, No Money $ to spend on Free Agents, not that the Steelers EVER sign any REAL FA’s, last real FA signing was Ryan Clark which was 2006 (under Cowher). Its hard to build thru draft when you continue to miss on players ESPECIALLY on high round picks 1-4 rounds. i.e. Worilds 2nd, Adams 2nd, Mendenhall 1st, Sweed 2nd (basically entire 08 draft) Urbik 2nd Ta’amu 4th. Go back & start @ 07 draft & see the line of BUSTS & players Steelers coulda had? LB Lee LB Bowman both PSU

  7. Mario L says:

    How many draft picks didn’t even make team outta training camp? Something HAS TO CHANGE but Art II more worried about saving face & putting Ben in his place instead of winning & Steeler Way… for all intensive purposes it DIED sun evening in New England

  8. buncie says:

    What does Barry Switzer, George Seifert, & Mike Tomlin all have in common? They all took a developed team from a retired Super Bowl Coach, won one Super Bowl with the same nucleus of that team, then after years of miss coaching & bad drafts, created a team that was under developed & should we say– stunk. Always someone in the crowd that plays the race card. Switzer & Seifert were fired. Tomlin will be fired also. Chuck Knoll used to say, when the game has passed you by, it is time to get on with your lifes work.

  9. Rob says:

    This is nothing new. The same thing happened under Arians. Either we conclude that Arians and Haley have the same pride issue keeping them from letting Ben run the offense, or we find the only other common denominator with power to keep Ben from running the offense.

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