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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Tomlin wary of overusing no-huddle offense

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH -- The drum beat for the Pittsburgh Steelers to use their no-huddle offense more frequently is getting louder outside of team headquarters.

Perhaps inside the Steelers’ practice facility, too, given how abysmal the offense has been and how much quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a proponent of the fast-paced attack.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin appears less than enthusiastic about using the no-huddle extensively in large part because it will lose the surprise effect it has on opposing defenses.

“Obviously, when you pick the pace of the offense up, it limits what defenses can do from a personnel standpoint, maybe even from a menu standpoint,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “But those things are short-lived.”

Tomlin reiterated the Steelers’ need to establish more balance on offense, and doing so will be critical Sunday night against the visiting Bears.

The Steelers have thrown the ball 70 percent of the time through the first two games, but the last thing they can do against Chicago is have Roethlisberger sling the ball all over Heinz Field.

The Bears have one of the most opportunistic defenses in the NFL, and cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings have combined for seven pick-sixes since 2011.

That's right; seven interception returns for touchdowns.

Don’t think Tillman and Jennings won’t be looking to increase that number Sunday night, especially when they see on tape that the Steelers' wide receivers have struggled to get separation from opposing cornerbacks.

But committing to a balance on offense, as Tomlin has, is one thing. Achieving it is something entirely different as the Steelers have shown through the first two games.

“We have to outscore our opponents," Tomlin said while lamenting the lack of production from the offense. "We have to do everything in our power to do that.”

Just don’t expect Tomlin to sign off on extensive use of the no-huddle offense.

At least not yet anyway.