The Pittsburgh Steelers have already bucked the trend by going for two three times this season, converting all three. And according to those in the locker room, that plan isn’t going to stop.
There’s a lot of credit to go around. Mike Tomlin for being gutsy enough. Ben Roethlisberger and then ten other men on the field for executing the play. But overlooked credit goes to quarterbacks coach Randy Fitchtner. A man who appears to be the catalyst in the push to go for two, according to Todd Haley.
“Because we’ve been practicing them for so long, we’ve got quite a bank of plays. Coach Fichtner has kind of spearheaded that. He’s got a notebook full of plays that we’ve run and ones that have been successful against our guys and not successful,” Haley told the media in his press conference prior to Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams.
The Steelers ran their “seven shots” series, seven plays from the two yard line, on sixteen of their eighteen training camp practices this year. This wasn’t the first year they’ve used that session, either, and it’s a testament to their work foresight and desire to be leaders, not followers.
It’s also Fitchtner who works closest with Roethlisberger in determining the docket of plays the team can run. Ben expanded on the process earlier in the week.
“Every Thursday, mostly me and Coach Randy will put together a list of seven two-point plays. Our favorites. That Friday practice we will practice our top seven and then on Saturday night we will list one through seven our favorites. That’s an every week thing. If we don’t use them, we’ll carry them over. Even if we do use some, we’ll carry them over.”
Roethlisberger also noted in the interview the ability to convert two-point conversions may play a psychological role on other teams, forcing them to adjust their playsheets to the score.
It makes a potent Steelers offense that much more dangerous.