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Steelers notebook: Team had big plans for no-huddle from outset

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By Alan Robinson
Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The no-huddle offense is ever evolving during the Steelers' second-half offensive surge, but offensive coordinator Haley said the plan from the start was for it to be a focal point. That was before center Maurkice Pouncey went down with a knee injury in the first game and was replaced by Fernando Velasco and, later, Cody Wallace.

“It's a testament to all these guys, that they got up to speed as fast as they did, and it allowed us to get in the direction that we initially wanted to go,” Haley said.

Another explanation for the no-huddle's success: Ben Roethlisberger said this is the most input he's been given into the offense, and that includes his time with Bruce Arians.

“I think all the coordinators have been open to input, but this is probably the most that they've accepted, and we've used it and tweaked it and done things to benefit the team,” he said.

The no-huddle began evolving after it was employed extensively against Buffalo, partly to slow pass rusher Mario Williams. After that, Roethlisberger said, “We all kind of said, 'OK, this is where we're at our best.'”

Mr. Automatic

Shaun Suisham is on the verge of having the best season by a Steelers kicker. He is 28 of 30 (93 season), or exactly the same numbers Gary Anderson had in 1993.

If Suisham makes one or more attempts against the Browns without missing, he'll own the accuracy record.

Suisham is currently fourth in NFL accuracy behind Matt Prater, Broncos (23/24, 95.8 percent) and Nick Folk, Jets and Steven Hauschka, Seahawks (both 3 133, 93.9).

Suisham is the only starting kicker in the league who has yet to attempt a 50-yarder. Five kickers have seven attempts of 50 yards or longer.

Rookie rushers

Le'Veon Bell almost certainly won't get to 1,000 yards rushing — he needs 230 yards against the Browns — but he could wind up with the second-best season by a Steelers rookie running back.

Franco Harris owns the team record of 1,055 yards in 1972, a mark that's never seriously been challenged. Bam Morris' 836 yards in 1994 are the second most; Bell needs 67 yards to pass him.

Morris slipped to 559 yards during his sophomore season in 1995 and was in Baltimore by 1996.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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