Who needs a huddle? Not Steelers

Who needs a huddle? Not Steelers
November 27, 2013, 9:00 pm
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(Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports)

One of the trends with the Steelers offense — if the last two games can be called a trend (and, sure, why not?) — has been greater use of the no-huddle. The players seem quite happy with it, and Pittsburgh is getting results.

So coach Mike Tomlin was asked earlier this week whether the Steelers will continue to use the no-huddle offense in Thursday’s game against the Ravens.

"I say the same things every week when you guys ask me about no-huddle," Tomlin said, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We go through a checklist of the things that we do, and if it provides an advantage for us in a number of fashions, we'll do it continually. But there are a myriad of things that could affect the usage of no-huddle or the non-usage of no-huddle. We'll prepare accordingly."

Which is coach speak for, “That’s for me to know and you to find out.”

However, Tomlin did say the Steelers used the no-huddle in Sunday’s win over the Browns — Pittsburgh ran it about 20 times before going into protect-the-lead mode — because "we thought it could potentially minimize [Cleveland’s pass-rush pressure].” Given that the Ravens are tied for the NFL lead in sacks (37), it would seem the Steelers are again in a situation where they want to minimize the pass rush.

No one should be surprised, then, to see Pittsburgh go to plenty of no-huddle on Thanksgiving night.

"With this no-huddle offense and Ben [Roethlisberger] finding his groove and throwing the football, just him being able to read the defense and choose a play, it's become really effective for us," wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. "I think it's growing on this team, it's growing on the city of Pittsburgh. I think everyone likes it."

Center Fernando Velasco said: "I think it helps keep teams off balance. The defense seems to get tired, they can't rotate like they would — defensive linemen rotate a lot. It definitely helps keep them off balance, and it helps us getting in a groove and staying on top of it.”