No-huddle no brainer?

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on September 13, 2010 – 2:21 pm

That didn’t take long.

Head coach Marvin Lewis meets the press in about an hour for the Monday autopsy.  And how things have changed.  It’s hard to win division titles going 0-2 and here are going to be the two hot topics to start a week in which the heat is on Sunday’s 1 p.m. Paul Brown Stadium opener against the Ravens:

» How could last year’s No. 4 defense that was the heart of the AFC North title look so bad in giving Pats quarterback Tom Brady free reign?

» When will the no-huddle offense become a staple instead of desperation?

The defense is a mystery and no doubt Mike Zimmer and his CSI crew are doing forensic tests as we speak. Somehow the DNA from the ’07 defense got mixed into the 2010 body.  Five plays of at least 20 yards in the season’s first 21 minutes?

But the no-huddle…

You don’t need Gil Grissom to tell you that quarterback Carson Palmer always seems to get something out of it.

Granted, a lot of the stats are skewed because the Pats basically played prevent once it got to 31-3 and let them use up the clock with short passes. But the Bengals looked more comfortable in the no-huddle than they did in the game’s first five possessions, four in the traditional set that netted one first down, two three-and-outs and a fumble.

Palmer threw his pick-six out of the no-huddle on that fifth possession, which ended their most productive drive to that point.

But then, this was the hot topic last year after miserable first-half offensive performances against Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Baltimore early in the season that were forgotten with last-ditch drives. Call them what you will.  Two-minute drills, one-minute drills, hurry-up sets. Whatever it is, they make it simple, they snap it quickly, and they move the ball better than when they huddle up.

That much we know. Plus, you’ve got experience people that can do it as opposed to last year, when you had a first-year center and no Reggie Kelly that can float between tight and fullback.

The quarterback seems to thrive. The receivers seem to thrive.  The running back seems to thrive.

With Baltimore coming in here in a short week with its big people, you wonder if they’ll go to it early.

Whatever, it looks to be the weekly hot debate with a heat-is-on game.

Posted in Hobson's Choice | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “No-huddle no brainer?”

  1. By 2ndboot on Sep 13, 2010 | Reply

    Geoff, I lke Zimmer.. i really do, but with as many 1st round picks and 2nd round picks on D why on earth does this bunch seem to need a continual “bloody nose” to get remotivated and why can they not get a pass rush going after nearly two+ years? Why do screen passes just seem to baffle not only players, but coaches alike?
    I can empathize with coach Zimmer losing his wife and all, but the game is on the line. He never seems to come under fire when the D underperforms, but when the offense sputters Brat comes under hellacious fire as does Marvin, but the D keeps getting the free pass because everyone seems to think everything will get fixed with the next bloody nose. Just how many bloody noses do these guys get before someone bleeds to death out there?

  2. By phlockar on Sep 13, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t think it matters what offense we put out there if we rush, or lack there of, the other QB like we did. If Brady had more time to stare at his receivers they might have turned to stone.

  3. By looking4sb1 on Sep 13, 2010 | Reply

    Agreed! Palmer does seem to find more of a rhythm when he is in the no-huddle offense. However, I still believe the O-line was the primary culprit during the first half on Sunday. They performed much better during the second half. If they play like they did in the second half for a full game against the Ravens, we’ll see a totally different ball game.

  4. By tmorra16 on Sep 13, 2010 | Reply

    If the offense sputters using traditional sets and thrives using the no-huddle, doesn’t that speak more to play-calling than comfort? There can’t be any more excuses made for Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski when the guy calls a throw to Daniel Coats on third and short! I don’t care the pass was off target, that call should have never been made in the first place, as we all know Coats has clubs for hands and there are at least 4 other potential targets who are here to catch the ball!. The offense is stale and predictable when Brat calls the plays, even with a bevy of new weapons at his disposal. If he can’t get it done with this group, this year, the team needs to go in a new direction.

    As for the defense, phlockar is right. Without a pass rush I don’t think they stand a chance.

  5. By blester01 on Sep 13, 2010 | Reply


    You are correct, they need to go to the no-huddle.

    Brat’s predictable play calling was at it again. He stumped me once though when they had Smith at RT and Roland at TE (in motion), and then they threw it. Last year when they did the unbalanced it was 100% run.

    Can you do me a favor, and please ask them why they even practice 3 yard outs for 3rd and 7 situations? It has never worked and I don’t think it will one day fool someone. They might as well run a QB sneak.


  6. By rparr32 on Sep 14, 2010 | Reply

    Why do the bengals find it to be a priority to fix something that wasnt broken. I understand they have new weapons in the passing game but why wouldnt you continue with what made you sucessful last year? If you want to pass more fine, but you can do that through playaction and It is not impossible to establish the run to open up the pass. Where are the unbalanced line formations that they used so much and were successfull at last year? Moving the defense around and confusing half of these players who are rookies or 2nd year players isnt wise either. They did a good job last year with what they ran on defense so why change it? Again, if its not broken dont fix it. Experimenting is fine in a few areas, but to ask players to play positions they have never palyed before is rediculous. Poor coaching in my opinion. Keep ity simple and play football, leave the players where they were last year and let them grow some more. Why confuse them so they miss assignments and have to start all over as a rookie again. This is rediculous, as you saw with all the missed assignments Sunday.

  7. By bengalinthedesert on Sep 14, 2010 | Reply

    “If Brady had more time to start at his receivers they might have turned to stone.” This is simultaneously the funniest and truest statement I have read about Sunday’s debacle thus far.
    At least you are keeping your sense of humor. I am still in denial and think that the defense was replaced by a bunch of doppelgangers….

  8. By mwindle1973 on Sep 15, 2010 | Reply

    The no huddle should be a weapon and not just desperation. But don’t you first have to be able to line up under center and have success. It’s a nice change of pace. But if you do it all or most of the game it presents two problems. One the run game becomes reactionary only and loses emphasis. Second and biggest problem is that causes less time of possession.

    At some point you have to be able to line up and run the ball and then pass it when the D stacks the run if you ever want to go deep in the playoffs. And you have to stop the run too.

    The no huddle should be used a lot. Especially since Palmer is good at using all the play clock. But we really need to be able to come out in a normal set and set the tone of the game. And also need to sustain drives without turnovers no matter how you line up.

    We passed too much on the first 5 posessions. In hindsight the plays would have been better spent running 60-70% of the time. Because it would have ate more time of the clock.

    I certainly liked the game plan more last year. The clock management, ball control strategy is workable even with all our receiving options. We need big plays and first downs, not big stats.

    Overall I didn’t feel like this offensive gamplan had the Coach Lewis feel of last year, it felt more like the Brat offense of the years prior. I thought the performance and gameplan to be undisciplined and risky.

    Our interior blocking stunk too. Especially Cook’s. That has to be cleaned up. And the DLine getting blown off the ball has to stop too. Otherwise there is no amount of talent that can overcome these things to produce wins.

  9. By 2ndboot on Sep 19, 2010 | Reply

    Mike Zimmer is back in my good graces after the Rat Birds! He shut up the critics alrighty! Way to go D all around! I’m more than glad to eat crow!

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