Steelers Want More Play-Action

Todd Haley, Ben Roethlisberger

At 0-4, there are a lot of things the Steelers wish they could have done better to change the result of their four losses. However, the future is something the Steelers can have a handle on and they want to impact their future offensively by running more play-action.

Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell finally gave a glimpse of what he is capable of doing during the Steelers loss in Wembley Stadium to the Minnesota Vikings in week four. Bell scored two touchdowns and made the Vikings defense respect the run. Before week four, the Steelers run game has been unable to spark up any attack and was among the league’s worst.

With Bell in the mix, the Steelers can now activate and hopefully execute some of their play-action plays. “It’s all predicated on getting positive runs,” said Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Just 12.4 percent of Ben Roethlisberger’s pass attempts this season have been play-action passes. That is down from 18.7 percent in 2012, however, with Bell’s effectiveness, it should cause the safeties and linebackers to creep up.

“A couple of our bigger plays – one being a (50-yard pass interference) penalty – came off of play action,” said Haley. “Once we moved the football running it a little bit, it opened up what we wanted to do.”

If the Steelers can keep Bell rolling to help on the offense, plays should be able to open down field as well. Having the lead in a football game would be a help as well. The Steelers have not had that opportunity very many times this season either.

“I think it’s gotten better every week,” said Roethlisberger. “I think we’ve cleaned things up, and we’ve gotten better. I thought the young fellow (Bell) did a good job of showing glimpses at times of what he can do. I am excited.”

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