Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
If you can point to any strategic change that led to the Steelers' 6-2 second half of the 2013 season, the most likely thing could have been the inclusion of more no-huddle offense. Keep in mind, the term no-huddle and the term hurry-up are not mutually exclusive. In many cases, Pittsburgh used a great deal of the play clock when it ran it.
The difference is, it puts quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in charge and in front of the defense early. This allows him to make better pre-snap reads and more effective play-calling. In many cases, the read had to do with the position of the safeties. Big Ben sees a single-high safety, check to the pass, two-deep safeties and he checked to a run.
Pittsburgh averaged 10 more points per game in its final eight games, and it is hard to ignore the efficiency that the offense worked with when it included more no-huddle calls.
The hope for 2014 is that the offense expands the no-huddle even further. Last season, during their late-season push, the Steelers ran the no-huddle 28.6 percent of the time. And the offense overall was much more efficient.
It would be ideal for Pittsburgh to get this offense humming like that again this year to start the season. Even getting up past 30 percent would make sense.