Will Johnson looking to become involved in Steelers no huddle offense

Justin K. Aller

The Steelers utilized their no huddle offense over the second half of the season to a good level of success. One of the issues with it was it was only done with a certain package of players. The Steelers are looking to expand the amount of personnel with whom they use the no huddle in 2014.

It may as well have been called the No Huddle or Will Johnson offense.

The NHWJ came not coincidentally in step with the Steelers' no huddle offense, which rose above levels of moderation over the team's last seven games. They used it primarily with the team's 11 personnel package, which, at the time, was running back Le'Veon Bell, tight end Heath Miller and wide receivers Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery.

Fullbacks need not apply.

Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly wrote a bit in his notebook Thursday regarding the team upping the diversity of personnel to be used in their no huddle scheme, and Johnson, who's seen snaps at fullback and tight end during the team's offseason workouts, looks to get in on the action.

"I am learning different routes and different reads and hots," Johnson told Kaboly. "Hey, it gets me on the field and gives me a chance to make plays."

His move can be described as exactly that; a move tight end. Kaboly reported he's been moved out of running backs meetings so far this offseason and is working with the tight ends. Think of him more as an H-back.

That kind of motion position will fit well with a no huddle scenario - Roethlisberger having the freedom to move him to different areas in his pre-snap reads to set up anything from a dual-slot receiver passing look or a power lead running look. It also allows him the flexibility of keeping Heath Miller in line while still having the option to flex outside as needed.

Variety is the spice of the Steelers in 2014.

Johnson is a better athlete than he is a lead blocker anyway. The move, assuming this is how it would go down, would help maximize the Steelers' athleticism on the field and create more opportunities to go into their no huddle offense from a variety of different packages. While they were hindered by only one formation utilizing this strategy last year, there could be several of them in which they can go to the no huddle.

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