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Steelers Blog

Ben uses signals to stay on same page with receivers

Posted by Teresa Varley on September 25, 2012 – 7:57 pm

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger raised some eyebrows after the Raiders game when he said he used plays from the team’s old playbook in Sunday’s game. But on Tuesday he clarified his comments.

“I probably didn’t speak clearly enough,” said Roethlisberger. “It wasn’t necessarily that I called plays as much as I used hand signals. I didn’t think it was going to get blown up as much as it did.

“I know there are some people out there that are saying I’m resistant to Todd (Haley). It’s one of those things that we went to Todd and it’s in the playbook now.”

Roethlisberger said he used the hand signals twice during the game, once on a completion to Mike Wallace and the other on a pass to Emmanuel Sanders.

“We converted on both plays so they worked out,” said Roethlisberger. “The point of me saying that, the question we were talking about was how everybody was on the same page, and to me using signals that we’ve had for a long time and that aren’t necessarily in the offense helped and now they are because they worked. It’s just good that we’re on the same page. That’s all.”

Roethlisberger added that had he gone to Haley before the game about adding the hand signals he thinks he would have been receptive, but didn’t because it wasn’t an issue before that.

“The situation never arose so we never even thought about it until it happened in the game,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s not like I was going against Coach Haley, or the offense, or the playbook, or anything like that or resistant to change. It was just a simple little hand signal.”

With Roethlisberger and the receivers still picking up some of the offensive language, having the use of the hand signals is something Roethlisberger thinks can only help them.

“Not only do we have to learn new words but we have to put hand signals with everything too,” said Roethlisberger. “That’s been tricky but I think we’ve done a good job and you’ve got to give credit to the wide receivers because they’re the ones that have to learn all of that stuff as well. Like I said, that’s where we reverted to using signals because we all know them and we’ve known them for such a long time that we used them on two different occasions and it worked.”

Roethlisberger also talked about some other topics on Tuesday, including the no-huddle offense. The following is more of what he had to say.

Did you envision this much success with the no-huddle offense?
We worked very hard at it. We put a lot of extra work in, myself, the receivers, tight ends, the offensive line and the coaches. We were asking questions and getting answers. I think it’s all of our hard work paying off.

Re: Pushing the ball down the field in the no-huddle:
We still have opportunities to do that. It’s just we feel like they’ve been taking it away. We called a couple deep passes, and whether it was they just happened to be in the right defense or they doubled our guy, whatever it is, but we have still have some options and some opportunities to go deep.

Do you have the same number of deep passes in this offense as you did in the old one?
Maybe not quite as many, but there’s still a few. I don’t know the exact number on that but it’s pretty close.

Was there a misconception that the offense was just going to run the ball all of the time?
I think Coach Haley uses what he has. In Arizona he had some great wide receiver weapons and Kurt Warner was a great quarterback. In Kansas City, he had Jamaal Charles and a good running game and things like that. I think he just utilizes the weapons that he has.

Re: The style of this offense:
We’ve got some pretty good weapons in the passing game. Everyone wants us to run for 100 yards per game or 200 yards per game. We were pretty efficient when we ran the ball last week but we threw the ball because we could. We had a lot of success throwing it so why not do it? We’re not going to run the ball just because we’re “supposed to run the ball” whether it works or doesn’t. We’re going to do what we’re doing well and things that could help us win the game and that was throwing the ball.

Is the running game close to breaking through?
I think so. It’s hard for me because I don’t know the ins and the outs of the blocking schemes and the things that Coach (Sean) Kugler and the line would probably know. I don’t sit back there when I’m calling no-huddle and shy away from a run play because I feel like we can’t run the ball. I’m going to call the run play or the best play for that situation, if it’s a run or a pass or whatever it is. I’m not shying away from any runs because I feel like we’re pretty efficient when we need to be.

Re: High-scoring offenses:
Well you’ve got to score points and that’s key because everyone is scoring a lot of points nowadays. You have to be able to score points and if you can do it running the ball then you run the ball. You have to have a good balance and we have to stay balanced.

Re: The impact of Rashard Mendenhall returning to the offense:
I think it will help if he comes back. He’s a great running back. He’s rushed for a lot of yards but I don’t want to sit here and say that he’s going to be the answer because I don’t want to take anything away from the guys that have been running the ball so far and putting in a lot of hard work. It’s going to be great to have another guy back there to relieve some of the runs and see what he can do.

Have opposing defenses made the offense one dimensional?
I feel like we’ve got a lot of weapons and you can have run game alternatives, quick screens, quick passes, things like that that pick up four, five, six, seven yards. Those can be alternatives. If you’re not able to run the ball, you’ve got to find ways to possess it. For not being able to run the ball, we’ve possessed the ball a lot and we’ve converted a lot of third downs. We’ve kept our defense off the field, which is always a goal of ours to let our defense rest as much as possible. We have to keep possessing it, not turning it over, and that’s big for me, is not to turn the ball over. We have to just keep trying to find ways to win games.

Are you being blitzed more?
Sometimes, but we’ve been able to beat them on some blitzes so it’s backing people off. The last two teams we’ve played have had some cornerback issues and they’ve played a little bit more zone. I think they’re nervous with our guys out there and they don’t want to play man. I think this coming week against Philadelphia, we’ll see some more man options because of those guys.

Are you feeling a lot of pressure to score more since the defense has been struggling?
We’ve said for the longest time that we want to score as many points as we can. I want to score in the 30’s every game. To me, that makes us a great offense. It keeps our defense off the field and let’s them rest so that when they come out they’re fresh and ready to go. We want to score as many points as possible. My goal as a quarterback is to be in the 30’s.

Posted in News, Player | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Ben uses signals to stay on same page with receivers”

  1. By dale r schaffner sr. on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    keep goin ben ur havin a great season i think u have 8td passes against only 1int thats great its our d thats struggling and thats not right usually there ranked in the top 5 hopefully theyly come around and u guys will keep scoring get healed up and good luck against the eagles go steelers

  2. By JR Lizarraga. on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    This will be Ben’s best and most efficient season as a QB. Todd Haley is a competetive and fiery OC if this was Ben of 4 years ago then I would think this is a train wreck waiting to happen. But Ben has matured, he’s married and a kid on the way most of all he’s become a man of faith. Ben, Haley and this offense of gifted WR will be taken to new heights.

  3. By Rich on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    Ben and his posse is doing a fine job!!!! For the defence…. much work is needed! Just a few years ago it was the opposite. D I-I-I-I Lets get after Vick next week our Nation needs another win. GO STEELERS!!!!!

  4. By jimmie on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    ben i think you are the best qb in the league. you have thrown the ball so well. the protection has been so great i think if you keep this up you could be the best qb this year.

  5. By Will Lacroix on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    If you keep playing like this Ben the Steelers will have an outstanding season, the passing attack that you displayed against the Raiders was what I was hoping for this season. Heath is by far the most under rated tight-end in the league, I just love watching you two connect.

    GO STEELERS!!!!!

  6. By Will Lacroix on Sep 26, 2012 | Reply

    I just heard that Ryan Mundy was fined 21K for the hit on Heyward-Bey, My question is where is the fine for the late low blow ankle hit on Ben??????

    The same dangerous play happened last year against the Texans and of course no penalty and no fine. If this happened to Brady or Manning we would never hear the end of it.

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