The balance of Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers hurry-up offense

Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger

What saved the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers season? Was it luck?

While some may fall back and say it was our defense, the majority of fans will reluctantly say it was our offense.

In particular, the combination of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley drove the offense to an impressive 28 points per game, with most of that scoring occurring in the final nine games of the season.

A huge component was the hurry-up offense, but how will this continue in 2014?

Haley and Roethlisberger are often portrayed for their disdain towards each other and drama in most sports news, but most of that came with the losses.

Haley and Roethlisberger


When points were starting to go on the board, and the Steelers were winning games, most of that went out the window.

The hurry-up offense allowed Roethlisberger to find a comfortable spot with his OC, where Haley would have a set amount of plays, Roethlisberger would rush the team to the line, examine the defense, and make adjustments through an audible if necessary.

Roethlisberger No Huddle


This sped-up style also limits substitutions on both sides, making the defense tire more easily.

Roethlisberger is no Peyton Manning—which is whom most hurry-up offenses are compared to—but he does make plays.

This is a talent that should not be overlooked in 2014.

When Roethlisberger audibles a play, but the play breaks down for any number of reasons, instead of taking a sack or incompletion, Roethlisberger will keep the play alive longer and make something happen.

It’s as if another benefit comes to the hurry-up offense.

This will also make the defense even more tired, as the plays will be much longer than normal.

The offense still belongs to Todd Haley.

Todd Haley


The big plays come from Roethlisberger.

Whether they like each other or not, they saved the 2013 season from possibly being 4-12.

They successfully used the hurry-up when needed, and this should be continued in 2014.

Haley can develop more plays, and Roethlisberger will only continue to improve on reading defenses.

When it does go south, Roethlisberger adds that final wrinkle other pocket-passing QBs may lack—extending the play and making big things happen.

What other places can the hurry-up improve, or hurt? Leave a comment on your thoughts!

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  • Steve

    Couldn’t agree with you more. The coaches need to hurry up too.

  • CY

    I would love to see the hurry up in all their plays, instead of run (on 1st down), run (on 2nd down) and then pass on 3rd down.