On what was an otherwise miserable trip to Philadelphia _ is there any other kind? _ the Steelers at least confirmed that from an offensive standpoint they are a team without an identity crisis.
“We know who we are and what we are,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced.
That would be a team that intends to put its faith and its fate in its franchise quarterback running the no-huddle offense.
There had been some perceived uncertainty entering the preseason regarding how committed the Steelers were to such a concept.
They had enjoyed success without huddling in the second half of the 2013 season, but there had also been a number of high-profile changes on offense since then.
That being the case the questions lingered:
Would the Steelers pick up where they left off in terms of the no-huddle or were they starting over?
Would the no-huddle be their money-making staple or a mere change-of-pace complement to their standard, more traditional approach?
Listening to Roethlisberger after the Steelers all but ignored the no-huddle in their 31-21 preseason loss to the Eagles on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, the answers were seemingly revealed.
The Steelers’ no-huddle chips will be pushed into the center of the table.
They’re apparently about as all-in as it gets.
Here’s the entirety of Roethlisberger’s response to why the Steelers didn’t run more no-huddle in Philly:
“We went down the field no-huddle first series, did pretty well. That third down play (third-and-5 from the Eagles’ 48-yard line, an incompletion to wide receiver Justin Brown), we had a little M.E. (mental error), just a simple mistake. Then we kind of got away from the no-huddle. We wanted to huddle up and do some things.
“We know who we are and what we are. We just didn’t feel it was necessary. Even on the last series I was in, Coach Haley (offensive coordinator Todd) said, ‘Go ahead and go no-huddle.’ I said, ‘It’s not worth putting it out on film right now. We know what we have. Let’s just huddle up and call plays.’”
So there you have it.
Roethlisberger used to argue with Haley to run more no-huddle more often.
Now, Roethlisberger is turning down opportunities to do so in the preseason.
He must be beyond confident he’ll have a chance to run the no-huddle to his heart’s content starting in September.
The way the defense has been playing in the preseason Roethlisberger may have to, and run it well, or else.