Ben Roethlisberger says he and Bruce Arians wanted to pass more


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wanted to throw the ball more than he did in 2010. He says Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians wanted to throw the ball more in 2010, too.

So why didn’t they?

Roethlisberger doesn’t come right out and say why, but he implies in an interview with Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Arians was prevented from passing as much as he wanted to because of outside pressure, perhaps from head coach Mike Tomlin or perhaps just from a general sense that NFL offenses need to be balanced.

“If he were, I don’t want to say ‘allowed,’ but his preference would be to throw the ball more, use the weapons we have and throw it,” Roethlisberger said. “Mine’s the same way.”

Roethlisberger suggested that when he’s handing off, he’s doing so grudgingly.

“But we both think the same in the no-huddle, that we call a lot more runs because we know that’s what we’re supposed to do,” Roethlisberger said. “And I don’t know if that’s ‘supposed to’ from the fans, the media, the owner, who knows? But it’s just a feeling that you have that we better run the ball some. So we do think alike in a lot of those ways.”

Roethlisberger said that in addition to passing more, he wants to run the no-huddle offense more.

“I enjoy the no-huddle offense,” Roethlisberger said. “Those are the times I call the plays and go on the sideline and talk to BA. Last year, I didn’t think we did it enough. The year before, I thought we did a lot of it. For whatever reason, maybe it was because we had so many young guys . . . I think this year we’ll be a lot better at it and do it a lot more.”

At least, they’ll do it more if it’s up to Roethlisberger. But, clearly, it isn’t.

41 responses to “Ben Roethlisberger says he and Bruce Arians wanted to pass more

  1. If Steeler fans want to run the ball so badly and be more vanilla they should have hired Mike Singletary as an offensive consultant. After the 09 season I’d say somewhere in the ballpark of 100% of Steeler fans wanted to fire Ben’s pal Bruce Arians and bring in someone to run an antiquated run first offense.

  2. He says he wants to run no huddle more every season. Nothing new there.

    He’s right though, fans and media are too worried about HOW the Steelers win, instead of just winning period. Too many Yinzers pre-occupied with playing 1975 Steelers football.

    Ben missed the first 4 games in 2010, the defense still gave up two 4th quarter leads and were one missed call in Tennessee from giving up a third.

    Only in Pittsburgh can a defense give up 4th quarter leads all year (2009) and somehow the alleged “pass happy” offense gets blamed for it.

    When the facts are that Dick LeBeau’s “scheme” has been torched in 4th quarters throughout his career.

  3. Um, maybe you ran more because team president Art Rooney said you had to. He’s kind of a big deal.

    And the Steelers got to the Superbowl, so quit whining. Whatever the team did worked, so just do what you’re told and dont screw it up.

  4. I would love for the steelers to rely on rapelisburgers passing more, so they can win 5 or 6 games a year tops.

  5. Of course he wants to throw more. He’s a QB. There’d be a problem if he didn’t want to throw more.

    And the reason they don’t let you throw more Ben is that your career td:int ratio isn’t even 2:1. Get real.

  6. “Last Year 09 season” You were in the no huddle more and missed the playoffs

    “This Year 10 season” You were in the no huddle less and made the playoffs.

    Hmmmm. Sounds like someone just wants numbers instead of wins.

  7. What possible reason would Ben have for saying this, especially in an interview?? If he is unhappy (hard to believe given the succes over the last few seasons), then talk it out with the coaches, NOT in the media. Maybe you would have thrown more if you were available to play the entire season. Maybe, if you would have thrown better, you would have hosted a 7th Lombardi Trophy last year!! Maybe you should just shut up.

  8. wait, a QB wants to pass the ball more?? Stop the presses! Let me guess, your next article is going to be about how Adrian Peterson wants to run the ball more? Fascinating stuff here boys..

  9. From watching the historically run-heavy style of the past, and the more pass-oriented offense from the past few years, I loved how the 2010 Steelers offense was much more balanced. They were able to do a lot more in terms of play selection, not being one dimensional and tended to keep opponents guessing (converting 3rd/4th and short run plays was also nice to see, since we’ve had trouble with that since Bus left).

  10. Just stupid…i understand the steelers can’t run the ball 40 times and win but throwing the ball more when mendenhall is a more than solid RB doesn’t make sense. Get him his 20-25 touches (touches not necessarily rushes). also ben/wallace connection is amazing out of play action which if you don’t run the ball doesn’t work. running the ball also slows down the rush and doesn’t allow defenses to do as many creative blitzes because you are usually in shorter 3rd down yardage and those blitzes usually are more likely to get gashed by a running play. i know everyone thinks mendenhall’s fumble in the second half doomed the steelers but what about the pick six ben threw because we were trying to throw bombs from our goal line instead of punch the ball out (and i know ben’s arm get hit so he under threw it, but we shouldn’t have been passing with mendenhall averaging 4+ yds/rush). i have been a big ben advocate and have hated Bruce Arians (BA lol) but this sounds selfish and i am a die hard steelers fan

  11. The little-known fact about Big Ben is that he is, without question, one of the best in the league at running the no-huddle. I find myself yelling in bewilderment game in and game out that they don’t run it more than once or twice a game. It’s the reason he’s so effective in GW drive situations and right before the half — the reason they won Super Bowl 43, the Ravens playoff game this year, the only reason Super Bowl 45 turned into a game again, the list goes on.

    Ironically enough, it’s also part of the reason Bruce Arians is viewed as incompetent. The offense goes from stagnant to nearly unstoppable almost at the flip of a switch. It’s sort of mind boggling.

  12. Would’ve passed more without that 4-game suspension, huh? Lookin at his stats, he would’ve gotten another 4,000+ yard season if he had played the first four games. They also have a 1,200+ yard rusher in Mendenhall, whose stats likely would’ve gone up with a more reliable passer in those first four games.

    With those stats, a Super Bowl appearance, and a dominant defense, I really don’t see why Roethlisberger is complaining. He was second in passing yards in the playoffs with the second leading rusher in the playoffs, also.

    Maybe he should just admit that the Packers’ defense is better than his offense. And the Packers’ offense is better than his defense.

    And be grateful his team made it that far despite his behavior last year. Or perhaps that “Big Ben” arrogance he’s trying to shed is resurfacing.

  13. It’s not about numbers. It’s about using the offense correctly and quit worrying about appeasing the morons who wish Franco was still in the backfield.

    The biggest problem the Steelers have is predictability based on formations. When Arians uses his multiple TE sets? They run the ball most times. When TE David Johnson is on the field with Miller and Spaeth? I would bet it’s a run play 90% of the time.

    Ben excels in no huddle because Spaeth and Johnson are OFF the field, and Miller and the wides are on. It really is that simple.

    The Steelers are close to having a good, solid, versatile offense. But they need to worry about the present, instead of trying to embrace their past.

  14. “I want to pass so much that I passed on living with my fiancee so that I could complete to a group of hooke..r…wait that’s RECEIVERS.”

  15. Yes, Ben, by all means, you and Bruce should have done things just like you did in 09. That was a swell season.

    This is what happens when he’s not allowed to talk to Tomlin or anyone in the front office. He starts talking to the press. Please, please, Ben, do Steelers fans a favor and hush.

  16. I have no issue with Ben wanting to pass more often. He’s a QB; they all want to pass all the time. Big time players want the ball on every play. That’s fine.
    The issues I have with Arians revolve around the predictability of his play calling and the fact that it’s easy for me, sitting in an arm chair, to see where the Steelers are going with the ball based upon the pre-snap formation. Now, if it’s easy for me, imagine how easy it is for a professional football player. Not to mention stupid play calls in “situational’ football. You don’t call a slow developing draw on third down when you’re all the way down at your own goal line. You’re inviting a safety.
    The Steelers don’t need to run the ball any more than they do now. They just need to run more effectively when they do run it. The reason they can’t has less to do with play design than it does the level of talent along the offensive line. That, above all, has to improve for the Steelers to improve offensively.

  17. They SHOULD pass more.

    Arians is a garbage playcaller…woefully predictable. But their system is good for their personnel. If they could keep a similar system but get someone else to call the plays, I’d be all for it.

    I don’t know why Steelers fans are so obsessed with getting a fullback and striving for a 60/40 run/pass ratio, but it’s ridiculous.

    I appreciate the tradition of the team / city, but sometimes the fans can get mired in it.

  18. Who is calling the plays, the OC or the head coach. Just shut up and run the play(s) called. It wouldn’t have made any difference if you’d passed more, GB still wins.

  19. Only reason Pittsburghs passing game “came alive” in the second half of the Super Bowl was because Charles Woodson was sitting on the sidelines with a broken collerbone. Big droppoff between Woodson and Jarrett Bush

  20. Tomlin wants to help Mendenhall. They come from the same fraternity. The brotherhood of Short, Squat, Bug-Eyed, Incomprehensible, Scowlers.

  21. The Steelers can win without him. They should consider making a change at quarterback.

  22. If I’m Tomlin I squash this immediately. Arians seems to be getting too big for his breeches and it looks like the QB is too. Steeler’s football has always been running the ball and playing hard D. And from the look of those 6 trophies, that seems to be working for the most part.

  23. “Arians seems to be getting too big for his breeches and it looks like the QB is too. Steeler’s football has always been running the ball and playing hard D”

    Not when they had franchise QBs. The first SB year yes it was. But not the second, and certainly not the 3rd and 4th with Bradshaw.

    Ben’s 2 ring years? Pass early to get leads, run late to protect them.

    But idiots who don’t watch their games, then read box scores and base their “opinions” on that.

  24. The disaster of the 2009 season wasn’t the offense, it was the defense’s inability to hold 4th quarter leads, and their inability get off the field the next time they went on the field after the Steelers would score points in the 4th quarter.

    The Steelers were 3rd in TOP in 2009, a mere 17 seconds per game less than the league leader.

    But morons base their opinions on rushing attempts only, and not results.

  25. Outside influence=Art Rooney II.

    You did it more in ’09 and we went 9-7. Didn’t do it as much in’10 and we went to the super bowl. I love ya Ben, but c’mon man.

  26. I am sure Ben would say that because it is more like sandlot football, which is his strength. The problem is that you can’t do that all game because it is the NFL, not college or high school football. The game is too advanced and defenses will adjust.

    The fact is that Ben takes a sack (8.9%) or throws an Int (3.1%) 12% of the time. Imagine how bad it would be if the defense knew he was passing every play. And don’t put all of the blame on the line, becasue Ben had the second most sacks when holding the ball 3+ seconds (behind Flacco). That isn’t the line, that is a quarterback that neglects to check to a hot read either because he can’t quickly recognize the blitz/defense, or is just foolishly stubborn.

    He has never been the best QB in any of the Steelers 3 superbowls (3tds vs 5 ints for his career), and he is fortunate to have a defense that keeps him in games and a running game that is effective.

    Steelers fans will never admit it because they are biased, but there is a reason Brady, Manning, Brees and now, Rodgers, are all in an elite group well ahead of Ben. Maybe Ben should spend more time studying film, reading defenses and working on mechanics, instead of complaining about his number of attempts, (his new hobby now that he has found God and has put the sexual assault on the back burner).

  27. Aaron Rodgers? Didn’t his offense score only 10 points against the Bears in game #16 in a win or go home contest?

    Didn’t his offense only score 14 points in the NFC title game? Rodgers is a great talent but please, let’s hold him to the same standards that Ben is.

    Peyton Manning has NEVER had a post season like Ben did in 2005. The year Peyton won his ring? Four post season games, 3 TD passes and 7 picks. But hey, he sure does beat up the doormats doesn’t he?

    Brees’ title was a fluke. Starting QB for 9 years and has won 4 playoff games. Big deal.

    Brady has won NOTHING since they got caught cheating, and has laid 3 straight playoff eggs.

    He was better than Kurt Warner was in XLIII.

    Sorry people, Warner can thump his Bible and people can talk about his bagging groceries but when you throw a pick 6 and have two turnovers and you lose by 4 points? And the other QB goes 88 yards in two minutes to win? That makes Ben better in that game.

  28. Rodgers outplayed lil’ Ben in heads up play a couple of months ago. Maybe you saw it. Rodgers is superior in all aspects (game prep, defense recognition, accuracy, arm strength and mobility) in comparison to Ben. Brady, Manning and Brees are all better in the game prep, accuracy and defensive recognition departments. Oh, and maybe Ben should try to play a couple of full seasons. All of those other QB’s have done that too. The Steelers D and Lebeau deserve much more credit for any Superbowl win then Ben. The Steelers defensive PPG allowed rankings in Ben’s tenure:
    2010: 1 (2 ints, 1 pick six vs. GB)
    2009: 12 (9-7, no playoffs)
    2008: 1 (Super Bowl, 1 nice drive)
    2007: 2 (3 Ints, 1 pick six vs Jags)
    2006: 11 (8-8, no playoffs)
    2005: 3 (Super Bowl, 2 ints, worst rating ever for winning QB)
    2004: 1 (3 Ints, 1 pick six)

    So basically, give Ben a slightly above average (ranking of 16 or 17 being average) defense, and there will be no playoffs. Give him a top three defense, and there is a 50% chance of a Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer won one like that as well. It seems to me that the defense has more to do with it then the QB in this situation. Manning and Brees would have won at least 2 Super Bowls in the same stretch with that type of defensive performance. Neither of them commit a mistake (sack or int) every 8.33 times they attempt a pass. Ben is a very poor man’s Brett Favre (without the MVP’s, arm strength, stats or consecutive starting streak, but they do like to harass the ladies). Brett won when he had the top ranked defense too, but he didn’t throw 2 picks in the Super Bowl.

    FYI, this Cam Newton kid is coming out of college this year. I am betting you will love him and his QB style. Oh, and check out Mike Vick as well.

  29. I’m going to echo some of the comments that people have been pointing out that I agree with, along with some other observations:

    1. Arians’ playcalling is atrocious: Yes, people can complain about the smashmouth style that Steeler fans are accustomed to (and even as a Penn State fan, it’s even worse in State College), but somewhere Bruce forgot the memo about that. The 3 TE sets and other “make ’em guess” plays you see are nothing short of openly telegraphing what the offense is going to do. I’m sorry, any competent OC knows that unless your O line is consistently getting beat off of the snap, you don’t throw on short yardage. Ever. 3rd-and-2 is NEVER an obvious passing situation. Hell, going for a bomb on 1st-and-10 at your own 20 is NEVER an obvious passing situation, either. People may get away with that in Madden, but this is real life. It wastes downs (that become critical later in the game), and it just makes you look desperate if you end up getting into a situation in a particular series THAT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED BY NOT SCREWING AROUND ON AN EARLIER DOWN.

    2. Lack of suitable CBs: The one major flaw in LeBeau’s scheme is the vulnerability of the corners. This is why you see Polamalu getting hurt so often. As much as he’s an athlete, he doesn’t always have Ryan Clark available, and the corner play is spotty, at best. I’m ecstatic that Carnell Lake is coming back as the DBs coach (seeing as how the team “let” the past one interview in AZ). He’s a guy that’s played the system, and knows a lot of the intricacies of the scheme (both good and bad) that can help the current corps out. That and maybe signing, trading for, or drafting a decent CB or three.

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