Ben Roethlisberger is currently serving as a youth football coach, but the former Steelers quarterback also has some coaching tips for his former team amid another disappointing outing for Pittsburgh's offense.
The Steelers scored just six points during Sunday's loss to the Texans. Making matters worse was starting quarterback Kenny Pickett injuring his knee after being sacked on a fourth-down play. Speaking of that play, Roethlisberger didn't agree with the play called by embattled offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
"I hated the play call. Probably 99.9 percent of Pittsburgh hated the play call," Roethlisberger said on the latest edition of his podcast.
When it became apparent that the Steelers were going for it on fourth down, Roethlisberger figured they would try either a quarterback sneak, a run up the middle with Najee Harris, or a play action and alluded to the Raiders' success using play action against Pittsburgh in a similar spot one week earlier. The Raiders scored on the play when Jimmy Garoppolo hit Davante Adams from a yard out on third-and-goal.
"It's everyone's up on the line, everyone's playing run, and that happens," Roethlisberger said. "And so I'm like, those are their options; it has to be those three things."
It didn't take Roethlisberger long to realize that the Steelers were not going to run one of three plays he expected them to run.
"And they come out in shotgun, and I'm like, Oh, maybe they're going to draw them offsides, because you can do that too," Roethlisberger said. "Or maybe they're going to shift, do something. And they snap the ball, and I see they're doing a little choice route, and I'm just like, I just don't believe it."
And instead of getting a yard and extending the drive, the Steelers turned it over when Pickett was sacked by Jonathan Greenard. Pickett left the game after that play, and Houston proceeded to put the game on ice on its ensuing possession.
Roethlisberger said that teams often run specialty plays in those types of situations. He doesn't think that that was the case on this particular fourth down.
"To me, it looked like that play was a very basic play that they've probably either run before or could have run before," he said. "Again, it's all from an outsider perspective and someone watching from home. I was just, I just remember sitting at home with my mouth open, like, they're in the shotgun, they have to be trying to draw them offsides. I don't know. And then, your quarterback gets hurt."
Fortunately for the Steelers, Pickett's injury reportedly is not suppose to keep him sidelined for a significant amount of time. But the questions regarding the Steelers' offense, and the play calls that they are being asked to run, continues to be a hot-button topic in Pittsburgh.