Harbaugh on West Coast invasion of AFC North

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on February 24, 2011 – 12:11 pm

INDIANAPOLIS – At least one AFC North head coach thinks Carson Palmer is going to be the Bengals quarterback in 2011. Although you couldn’t blame John Harbaugh if he hopes he’s not since Palmer is 9-4 against his Ravens.

The question came up here Thursday morning at the NFL scouting combine when Harbaugh was asked about the introduction of the West Coast offense in Cincinnati and Cleveland.

“Everybody around the league is doing it. It’s not something we haven’t seen before,” Harbaugh said. “But it’s a great offense. It’s a ball control offense. It expands on the running game. It has a controlled passing attack with what they call extended handoffs. That’s something we want to build into our offense. It will be a big challenge for us. (The Browns’) Colt McCoy is a good young quarterback and Carson Palmer, I think, is one of the best in the league. The Bengals have a team that’s very talented.”

If Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden are talking about getting the ball quickly out of the quarterback’s hand, so is Harbaugh. He says he wants to help out Joe Flacco by installing a better “quick game.”

But he also strenuously defended Flacco the day a great stat came out from via It reflects how long quarterbacks hold on to the ball before taking a sack. As the story points out, more than three seconds usually indicates the sacks are on the quarterback and Flacco led the NFL this past season with 25 of his 40 sacks coming after he held on to the ball for at least three seconds.

(Yes, the Steelers Ben Roethlisberger was second with 20.)

“He’s a creative playmaker,” Harbaugh said. “(Flacco) is a big, strong guy who shrugs off a lot of guys and he’s only going to get stronger. He’s way more athletic than you think. He made more of those plays down the stretch and we’re encouraging him to make those plays.”

Here may be a reason Lewis and Harbaugh want it out quickly: According to Fanhouse, Palmer had just four of his 26 sacks when he held it longer than three seconds.  Only two starters who played all 16 games – both Mannings – had less.  The other 22 sacks came when he held it for three seconds or less.

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13 Responses to “Harbaugh on West Coast invasion of AFC North”

  1. By jamison007 on Feb 24, 2011 | Reply

    This is some great information. I honestly thought and felt that there would have been more sacks due to holding the ball more than three seconds. This stat emphasizes even more OUR HUGE need for big daddy Andre Smith to take this offseason super serious and get back to top form so he can lend his buddy Whit some muscle on the line next year. I was so impressed with Andre that first game against Pitt last year, but then he came down hurt…we need you Andre, get your butt in shape and ready to play next year, please!

  2. By kaptkurt on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    You hit it out of the park Jamison. Combine the sacks and the 3.something YPC and it’s glaring where this offense needs improvement. The bad news is there’s not an OL that warrants a #4 pick. An improved OL and a new toy (A.J. Green?) will go farther bringing Palmer back (or a quality FA) as a new OC.

  3. By mwindle1973 on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    I think we need to bring in a vet at ROT. Someone who can backup, or start if needed. I still say Andre can be top notch, but will he do it? We can’t repeat what happened at that position last year. The play at ROT caused more problems than I think any single issue this past season. Also this is a strong group of interior lineman in draft. The pundits keep having us picking a WR in the 1st round. Do we need one? I mean it’s a given that Simpson, Caldwell & Shipley will be on the roster. I think with us being WCO now, that assures Cosby a spot too, when considering all his skills. I still think that based on Ocho becoming Johnson again, and some other things that Chad won’t be back. But does that mean we have to blow the #4 pick on a WR? I guess that depends on how good AJ Green does in the next month or so. But there are 2 DEs, a DT, and 2 CBs I think at this point look like much better picks. I think I’d rather take a chance on a QB at #4 than a WR. But really neither!

  4. By bengalsxfanxmbxorxnot1234 on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    between anthony collins and andre smith i think we can take care of the right tackle position. my main concern on the line is the LG position, and really the RG too, i know bobbie williams is here but i don’t know if he’ll be here next year leaving a big hole, but anyway at LG i think nate livings might be starting here, idk i think we could do better. davin joseph is/was a LG for the buccs this past season, if im not wrong i think he’s a free agent, we should make him a deal… he’s solid, i think he was their first round pick in like ’06. and i agree mwindle you really can’t take a WR at number 4, if your at number 4 then you really need help addressing holes in defense and at the quarterback position generally those are more important, but no QB in this draft seems worth the stretch, i think da’quan bowers might be taken, so i’d go with robert quinn here. him and dunlap can certainly do some damage next year.

  5. By golflegal on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hobs and Bloggers… how about this scenario.
    Bengals draft a high round QB or trade for one in free agency (if there is FA) and then Palmer suddenly decides he wants to come back. This virtually FORCES a trade right?

  6. By oshi76 on Feb 25, 2011 | Reply


    I don’t think drafting one immediately forces a trade. Its nothing unusual for a QB to sit his first year. Now picking up something in FA is a different story, but I don’t think that is going to happen. Hopefully CP is back next year b/c ultimately he is our best choice right now and gosh darn it I like him…..

  7. By mwindle1973 on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    A lot of info in the little info given by Lewis in your last article Hobs? Best news I heard was that we would pursue Oline, TEs & safeties in free agency. Those are the only positions where we have an absolute need to fill for this season. That means the draft appears to be wide open for picking the best players available again. Another piece of info we can read between the lines. Lewis said all he knows (about Palmers situation) is what he has heard, and also said he recently talked to Palmer before that. Then said that they were preparing as if Palmer wasn’t reporting. That to me is the first confirmation by the team that Palmer did indeed threaten to retire. I know that’s not really news. But it has only been reported and never confirmed or denied by the Bengals or Palmer yet. If they are planning on him not being here, then he said something about not being here. I’m more comfortable now just hearing that they will cover all the bases.

  8. By whodeysteve on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    @golflegal: Well if we trade for a QB then I say Palmer is gone. Personally the only QB in this draft that is worth a high pick in my opinion is Jake Locker cause he just reminds me so much of Ken Anderson(Although he is not as great or accurate as Anderson was but he does remind me of him but he has to prove he can be more accurate). He is a guy last year everybody said was as good as Sam Bradford and now all of a sudden he’s not. But despite the fact that everybody was down on him this year he did not say a single word he just put his head down and kept on fighting and I like that. If this guy gets good training I think he will be great. How about Nate Solder I said I thought we would have a good combine and he did. I hope to see Laphams nephew get drafted.

  9. By jamison007 on Feb 26, 2011 | Reply

    @kaptkurt – yeah we need the Oline to come in next year pumped! C’mon Andre get on it!
    @golflegal – absolutely not, if Palmer declares he wants to go “all in” for at least one more year, he will garner unlimited and absolute commitment from the whole team. C’mon Carson, for all us TRUE fans, give it just one more fight, YOU can make something really sweet happen dude! If we got a great draft pick, we need him to learn from Carson!!!

  10. By mwindle1973 on Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    You know with all the talk about the top 4 QBs in the draft, the 2nd tier of 4 QBs is being virtually ignored to this point. Listening to Brian Billick on the NFL network really gives me doubts about Cam Newton. Billick pointed out that game tape is the most used source of info when grading a prospect. Problem is Newton only played 1 season at Auburn, and then he played in a non-NFL offense. BIllick explains we are lucky if 10% of 280 throws from last season are NFL type routes. So basically you have about 25 throws to look at to determine his pro skills. I guess that frames how big of a chance picking him early is. The other one of your top 2 propspects throws sidearm. And the 3rd and 4th guys have possible accuracy issues amongst others. Reportedly the second tier of 4 could be as talented as the first, but just not have the bells and whistles. So the draft pool of QBs are going to be a crap shoot at best.

  11. By coachwine on Feb 27, 2011 | Reply

    Come back Carson we need you. I’m old enough to remember Turk Schonert subbing for Kenny Anderson in game 1. many of the vocal fans wanted Schonert to take over, but the coaches stuck with Kenny and they went to the Super Bowl–which means the fans (including me) know nothing about the game beyond seeing a W or L on the scoreboard. This offense is made for you if your elbow is strong enough to regain some of your incredible accuracy. This offensive scheme is going to be a breath of fresh air and the play calling has to be better. You will be born again all over again.

  12. By bengalpirate on Feb 28, 2011 | Reply

    Geoff, Now that the of the dust is starting to settle from the QB workouts at the NFL combine, it is clear that there is no QB worthy of the #1 or #4 selection in the first round. Gabbert from Missouri didn’t work out and unless he has a monster Pro Day and/or individual workouts, he won’t meet a top 10 selection either. My feeling is that we take the best player available in the 4 slot, period. If it is a DE CB, DT or even WR AJ Green, take him and, knock on wood, we can’t go wrong. Taking the best defensive player available is a win, win situation. as dominant defenses win Super Bowls and it is my opinion the Bengals are only a couple of players away from a dominant DEFENSE that can make it to the playoffs, “PLAYOFFS???” win a couple of games and I dare to say, actually win a Super Bowl. As deep as this draft is in defensive players, there are many quality offensive players who will drop into the 2nd, 3rd and even 4th round. Those rounds may end up being where the Bengals end up finding the missing pieces to the Championship puzzle. WHO DEY!!!

  13. By 2ndboot on Mar 1, 2011 | Reply

    mwindle you keep mentioning ‘givens’ before the season even starts and in my 52 yrs on this planet the only given I know of is we’re all going to die and Gaddafi is certifiably insane. Everything else is up for grabs. For all we know there will be a giant sun spot that burns the planet to a crisp tomorrow. Hopefully that won’t happen and in the unlikely event it does the Bengals won’t have to worry much anymore and fans will no longer care anyway.
    If the Bengals draft a new QB and Palmer does return then he gets to teach him a few tricks then he can get out of dodge. If he doesn’t then trade his butt and we’ll have a new Jon Kitna year and move on to 2012. The Oline though is a big problem as I see it, but these guys are pros and can be taught how to do things better, but if not then get new bodies in there.

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