There is of course a lot of talk this week surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers use of a lot of no-huddle in the win Sunday over the Detroit Lions. Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked quite a few questions about the no-huddle Tuesday during his press conference and below is a transcript of the questions and answers given concerning it.
Re: Intent on going to no-huddle early against the Lions and stay with it throughout the game?
Tomlin: [Ndamukong] Suh and [Nick] Fairley were big, dominant guys. We thought that we could throw them off balance and maybe minimize some of the things that they were capable doing. Maybe even let fatigue set in a little bit. That was one element of it. Another element of it, obviously, as you change the flow of defensive communication, it maybe minimized some of the things that you see. All of the normal things that you go through in terms of the decisions that you make whether or not you utilize no-huddle. Those were part of the equation for us last week, they’ll be part of the equation for us this week. We have a certain scripted set of questions that we ask, if you will, if we choose to employ it as a weapon. If enough things are favorable for us, then obviously that’s something we’ll consider, work on and prepare, and utilize.
Re: In the right set of circumstances, could no-huddle be the base offense?
Tomlin: In the right set of circumstances, but you also got to understand that you’re not going to be very multiple. There’s limited communication, obviously when you’re snapping the football and not huddling to communicate. There’s audio things to be concerned about, quick frankly. Technology has changed the way that that is viewed. Television copy and no huddle offenses has a lot of information on their video. It’s been something that’s been going on in football for a number of years, so you got to be very cautious about employing it, how much you employ it, how you change your verbal communication. There’s a lot of things that are capable of limiting your ability to run no-huddle besides your willingness or desire to.
Re: On if he is talking about calls be picked up by the game microphones.
Tomlin: Certainly, particularly in prime-time television games when there’s boom mics that work on the cables above the field.
Re: On when the audio goes out in the quarterback’s helmet.
Tomlin: When there’s 15 seconds left on the play clock. As long as there is more than 15 seconds left on that play clock, we have the ability to communicate with him like everybody in the National Football League does. Even at the line of scrimmage.
Re: Confusing for Ben to have someone in his ear like that while trying to see the defense and get guys aligned?
Tomlin: Yeah, but he’s a professional like all of those guys are. You’ve got to be able to give and receive information. That’s part of some of the things that go on in no-huddle-like communication, not only on offense, but on defense as well. I think that’s where we are in today’s NFL. Yes, he is communicating with people and yes, he is getting information in his ear, but I’m sure there’s 31 other starting quarterbacks that deal with similar issues under those circumstances.