Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward took a measured shot at his former quarterback Wednesday, but it might not be a very factual one.
During Wednesday’s edition of “Pro Football Talk” on NBC Sports, Ward blamed the Steeles current offensive struggles on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Ward said he believes Roethlisberger deserves a lot of the blame as of late, largely because of the no-huddle offense that the quarterback wanted implemented.
“I put the blame on Ben Roethlisberger,” Ward said, according to Mike Florio. “Todd Haley’s not calling the plays (in the no-huddle), Ben is.”
So if Ward is right, wouldn’t that reflect in Roethlisberger’s no-huddle stats?
According to our charting, Roethlisberger is 38-of-62 for 448 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns this season. I should note that I removed the four spikes as I believe that to be fair.
As you can see, those numbers work out to a 61.3 completion percentage and a 7.23 average yards per attempt. His archaic passer rating would be 80.6. Roethlisberger has also been sacked 12 times during no-huddle plays this season.
So what about running plays this year out of the no-huddle? How does 245 yards on 37 attempts sound? That’s 6.62 yards per attempt.
In total, we have the Steelers running 123 no-huddle plays this season and that includes plays wiped out by penalties. As a team, the offense has run 406 plays this year, so just over 30% have been no-huddle.
Being as the Steelers are averaging 5.48 yards per play this season on all no-huddle plays run this season, I think Ward’s comments are a little bit of a reach.
This offense deserves criticism, but I don’t believe blaming Roethlisberger and the no-huddle is the place to start or finish.