Ben lobbies for no huddle

Posted Oct 19, 2011

Ben Roethlisberger has been doing some serious campaigning these days, getting in the ear of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians with his plea to run the no-huddle offense.

“I feel we can change it up,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s a weapon for us. We just haven’t had a chance to get into it yet. I wanted to get into it last week. I love doing it. We have so many weapons we need to utilize it.”

Roethlisberger doesn’t think using it on the road is a problem and would welcome it this week against the Arizona Cardinals or at any week for that matter.

“I would like to do it every game regardless of how we are doing,” said Roethlisberger. “Traditionally we have gotten into it when we have struggled on offense. I went to (Arians) the last game at the eight minute mark after we went a couple of three and outs to try to change up the tempo and the pace. We usually go to it when things aren’t clicking on offense.”

Roethlisberger said one of the advantages to using it is it puts the play calling in his hands, utilizing what he is seeing on the field.

“A lot of it is I am calling the plays so I can see the defense,” said Roethlisberger. “When a play is called from the sidelines it’s off of tendencies. which when you have a good coordinator like we do they know tendencies pretty well. I have a feel for who is playing well, who is doing good things, looks on defensive fronts, secondary. It’s a rhythm thing for me.”

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Roethlisberger and his former offensive coordinator and current Cardinals Coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, and Roethlisberger was asked about him in the locker room on Wednesday.

“He was good,” said Roethlisberger. “It took me a while to realize it. Because I was a young quarterback he really handcuffed me and held those reins real tight. He felt that was the way to approach a young quarterback. There are no grudges. That is the way he wanted to do it.

“As a quarterback you want to have opportunities to do no huddle stuff and change plays and do things. If he didn’t feel I was ready for it or his system was the way to go, that was his prerogative. Who knows maybe I would have liked to do some stuff. I am appreciative of the way he coached me. He was a good coach.”
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The Steelers are 4-2 but know they are not where they want to be just yet.

“There is another level we can get to,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown. “We can start clicking in some phases. The last two weeks the running game has been coming along. We are not quite where we want to be just yet, but we are on our way to where we want to be.

“We are going out and winning ball games in the midst of all of our short comings and not taking advantage of our situation. We are still doing some great things, still leaving some play out there. It just shows you the direction we could be in if we took advantage of those things.”

Brown knows one play the Steelers left on the field happened against Jacksonville, when Roethlisberger wasn’t able to connect with him for what likely would have been a touchdown in the second quarter to give the Steelers a 21-0 lead. Brown looked like he was open, but Roethlisberger overthrew him.

“That was a missed opportunity on my part,” said Brown. “I have to do a better job. No matter what the situation is I have to come through with balls. Even if they are too high or too low, that is why they pay me to go out there. I will take that one. We will be better this week.

“I was in the right spot. I think Ben saw the safety a little too late getting over. I have to make those plays. That is the difference between us being good and great.”

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Running back Rashard Mendenhall was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Mendenhall returned to the lineup after missing the previous week with a hamstring injury and responded with a season-high 146 yards on 23 carries and an eight-yard touchdown.

“It was a blessing,” said Mendenhall of his performance. “It was great but I am still looking forward and moving forward.”

While the running game has gotten on track the last few weeks, Mendenhall knows that it’s something they have to keep up.

“That is a key as an offense to find balance and as a team to control the ball,” said Mendenhall. “It’s something we focus on every game.”

This was the second time that Mendenhall was named player of the week, previously winning it against the San Diego Chargers in 2009.  

Mendenhall is the second Steelers player to win the AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor this season. Roethlisberger won it for his performance against the Tennessee Titans.

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Injury Update: The following players did not practice on Wednesday - NT Casey Hampton (shoulder), LB James Harrison (eye), T Chris Hoke (neck), G Doug Legursky (toe), DE Aaron Smith (foot), WR Mike Wallace (hamstring), and WR Hines Ward (not injury related).

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Ward received a replica of the Mirror Ball Trophy he won on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on Wednesday, but this one was made out of chocolate by Sarris Candies.

“It’s awesome to see they can make a Mirror Ball out of chocolate,” said Ward. “I don’t want to mess with it because it is so nice. But you can’t leave chocolate around and my teammates love chocolate. We will break it down and all have a piece of the Mirror Ball. I have a big piece coming. It’s awesome they did it.”