When it was announced that Todd Haley was the new offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, visions of Kurt Warner slinging the ball all over to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in Arizona flooded my mind. Some of those players' best seasons came together with Haley as the mastermind and Arizona made their only trip to the Super Bowl. Ironically they played and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Word has come out of PIttsburgh that the Steelers will implement a no-huddle offense more this season. Will that same vision of yesteryear come forward again, only this time with Big Ben and company?? What will the results be??
This news has to be music to Ben Roethlisberger as he has been sacked a great deal the past few seasons. With his young lineman still learning the NFL, this will give Ben more time on his feet and not running for his life or getting sacked. In the no-huddle, Roethlisberger can use his size to find his fleet receivers on quick slants and let their speed beat their oppenents. Mike Wallace , Antonio Brown , and Emmanual Sanders are all very quick and this should provide them with many opportunities to use their speed to their advantage. Jericho Cotchery is also very sure handed and offers another nice target as does Heath Miller. The key is getting the ball out quickly. Kurt Warner and the Cardinals were masters at it and Warner, Fitzgerald, & Boldin all made the Pro Bowl in this system.
Another reason that the Steelers may be doing this is because of the running back situation. Rashard Mendenhall is coming off an ACL injury and surgery and may very well start the season on the PUP list. How will he perform when he comes back?? That means that Isaac Redman would be the lead back. While Redman looked good in the 2 games he started last season, a spot start once or twice is far different from being a weekly starter. Can his body handle the punishment?? How will his legs react?? Can Jonathon Dwyer come back and be a decent backup?? How will the 2 new starting offensive lineman holdup?? There are way too many questions surrounding the running game right now for anybody to feel comfortable with the situation. The no-huddle offense may mean that rookie Chris Rainey might be on the field often this season. The 5th round pick out of Florida is small in size at only 5-8, but he is the best receiving threat out of the backfield for the Steelers. He does remind people of Darren Sproles. If memory serves me correct, he had a very good year with the Saints in 2012. Speculation has it that the new offense will run the ball only to keep the defense honest and that the passing game will be leaned on much more.
It was always speculated that the Steelers would move more to a passing offensive with Todd Haley on board. Now it looks like that may indeed be the case. Hopefully the Steelers can get the contract situation resolved with Mike Wallace. If they can, Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown would be downright scary for defenses to try and defend in the no-huddle. Big Ben has proven time and again that he is a leader on this team and it looks like he will be given more control of the offense. The big numbers that were put up in Arizona a few seasons ago may now show up in Pittsburgh. This may turn out to be a banner year for Roethlisberger and company and you should keep them all in mind on draft day.