The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to ramp up the no huddle offense a bit this week during the second set of OTAs, which came as a pleasant surprise to both new receiver Lance Moore and the man who wants it most of all, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
He talked about being able to work the no huddle over the last few days and how he felt the offense was able to run it at such an early stage:
I thought it was good. I really did. I thought yesterday we had a really good day of working it. The end I’d say was a little subpar, but it’s going to happen like that sometimes. So it’s “how can we come back, bounce back?”. Because we’re not going to score on every series if we go no huddle. We still have to go against 11 other guys, and there’s no pads on right now, so the run game is a little limited, but I thought yesterday’s no huddle work was good. I thought today’s 7-on-7 no huddle was good. The first two-minute ended a little quickly, but the second one we went down and scored, so I thought it was a good two productive days for me.
Of course, Roethlisberger expressed some reservations earlier this offseason about the offense’s ability to run the no huddle given the free agency losses in Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery.
He campaigned for the Steelers to keep Sanders last year, and did the same for Cotchery this year, so he understands that there will be some necessary adjustments with all the new faces involved in the offense this season.
He was asked about those reservations, and if he’s changed his mind at all by now about how quickly the offense will be able to pick it up, and to be quite frank, his response was very encouraging. Here is what he had to say about how the new pieces have adapted to running the no huddle so quickly:
“I think they’ve been doing a great job. Lance is a pro. He’s really coming along fast, and he’s picked it up quick. Even some of the other guys. I think Markus [Wheaton]—he’s been here, so he knows it, AB [Antonio Brown]. But I think everybody’s doing a good job. I feel like we can get right back on track pretty quick”.
Part of Roethlisberger’s earlier reservations, no doubt, stem from the fact that he was able to have such success last season while being able to run the no huddle, which is something that he’s been wanting to do more of for some time. The prospect of the offense regressing in that sense was naturally an uncomfortable thought.
It seems now, however, that he sees the light at the end of the tunnel and feels that this group will be able to run the offense. He sees that he has an offensive coordinator that is on board running his offense as well, and that has a lot to do with what they were able to accomplish with it down the stretch last season:
“I think it’s something that we realized what we can be, and what we did last year where we were successful, so I think that’s going to be more of our—we’ll use it more. I don’t want to call it our base offense, but I think you’ll see more of it, so it’s more important for us to get it in early and often”.