Pittsburgh Steelers will run more no-huddle this year


(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The Pittsburgh Steelers got off to an 0-4 start last season, passing for 1,133 yards and rushing for 232 more. They ran the no-huddle offense just 20 times (6.5 percent of their plays) for 133 yards heading into their bye week. Then the Steelers ran the no-huddle offense 221 times the rest of the season (22.1 percent of their plays) en route to an overall record of 8-8.

Now it could become an even bigger part of their offense.

“I don’t want to call it our base offense,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said, “but I think you’ll see more of it, so it was more important for us to get it in early and often.”

Roethlisberger was very successful in the no-huddle offense, completing 101 of 158 passes for 1,187 yards and 10 of his 28 touchdowns.

Ben Roethlisberger No-huddle Stats
Year Att Comp Yds TD INT Sack
2008 36 23 239 1 2 4
2009 37 28 328 2 0 2
2010 41 26 313 2 1 3
2011 38 21 291 0 2 3
2012 38 26 400 4 2 0
2013 158 101 1187 10 3 0
Source: NFLsavant.com

“I think it’s something that we realized where we can be and what we did last year, and where we were successful, so I think we’ll use it more,” Roethlisberger said.

According to former NFL head coach Chan Gailey, running the no-huddle offense creates all sorts of problems for the defense, starting in their practice sessions.

The defense needs to prepare differently for a no-huddle offense. They must shift into second gear. If we can cause them to spend 10 minutes of practice time a day on developing a different form of communication, that translates into 40 minutes of preparation time spent on something other than defending the actual plays (10 minutes per practice day times 4 days of practice). Also, defense elicits a great deal of emotion – slapping each other, pumping up each other, etc. This is almost eliminated since there is no time to regroup.

No team ran the no-huddle last season more often than the Philadelphia Eagles under rookie head coach Chip Kelly. The formation accounted for more than half their plays from scrimmage (51.1 percent) and they generated 4,428 yards. Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, ran it just 12 times all season.


Source: nflsavant.com
Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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