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.

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