Tells are a big part of professional sports. The term “tell” — popularized in poker — means something that a person unintentionally does that gives away their intentions. Tells are also popular in baseball. There have been numerous cases of pitchers “tipping pitches” to reveal to hitters what kind of pitch they are about to throw. Padres pitcher Yu Darvish, while pitching for the Dodgers, famously tipped his pitches in the 2017 World Series against Houston that helped the Astros win the World Series that year. However, we now know that “other factors” played a big role as well.
Obviously, the key to taking advantage of these tells is realizing that they exist and using them to your advantage. If an athlete or team were to pick up on another player’s or team’s tells, they’d have a huge advantage in the game. So, what if I told you that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a tell that indicates whether or not the Steelers are going to run or pass? Well, it’s true.
This play is going to be a run.
This one is a pass.
This is another pass.
This is a run.
Do you see it? By simply looking at Big Ben’s back foot prior to the snap anyone can determine what kind of play the Steelers are about to run. If he lifts his back heel, it’s a pass. If his back heel stays to the ground, it’s a run. Obviously, this only works when Roethlisberger is in the shotgun, but seeing as how the Steelers ran plays out of the gun 83 percent of the time in 2020 — the third-highest rate in the NFL — that shouldn’t matter too much.
I did not discover this tell. That distinction goes to TikTok user @theoashnfl, who posted this video exposing Roethlisberger’s tendency to the world:
This isn’t just a one-off tell for Roethlisberger either. I watched whatever footage I could find of the Steelers’ 2020 season and this method had a near 100 percent success rate. It even works for play-action. If you don’t believe me, here’s footage of an entire Steelers game from last season:
The Steelers’ first offensive play happens at 15:53. Go ahead. Test this theory. See the results for yourself first hand.
Source link: deadspin.com