The Steelers had their best running game of the season last Sunday against the Ravens, rolling up 141 yards on 29 carries on their way to a 19-16 victory.
Four of those carries came out of the Wildcat as the Steelers installed that wrinkle to their offense against Baltimore. The plays, which featured running back Le’Veon Bell taking a shotgun snap and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger split wide, gained 18 yards but their relative success didn’t make Roethlisberger a proponent of using them more in the future.
“I don’t like to go over and just be split out wide and take a chance that a [defensive back] is going to come up,” Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan, via ESPN.com. “I don’t think we’ll see a lot of it.”
It’s rare to see a team with a quarterback at Roethlisberger’s resume take him away from the quarterback spot, which one could see as a source of continued strain between Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. There’s no sense of that from Roethlisberger, however, and he praised Haley for another new addition to last week’s playbook.
Roethlisberger was fond of the shovel pass that the team installed as it resulted in their only touchdown of the day when Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller near the Baltimore end zone. Whether or not Roethlisberger loves everything that Haley puts into the gameplan each week, the significant thing is that the Steelers didn’t stand pat with what they were doing while losing their first four games of the season.
It gives the team more options to attack defenses at the same time as giving defenses more to think about when preparing for the Steelers, two things that can be leveraged to Pittsburgh’s advantage over the rest of the season. That might not be enough to climb out of the 0-4 hole they dug for themselves, but it stands a better chance than just doing the same old thing.