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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 four Super Bowls -- XL in Detroit, XLIII in Tampa, XLV in Dallas and 50 in San Francisco. 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

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