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Thread: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

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    Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    By Jim Thomas

    With the third quarter dwindling away and the scoreboard stuck at 24-3 in favor off Atlanta, Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer asked quarterback Sam Bradford if he wanted to run the no-huddle.
    “It was something that he wanted to do,” Bradford said following Sunday’s 31-24 loss in the Georgia Dome.

    Suffice to say Schottenheimer didn’t have to ask twice, because there’s no way in the world Bradford was going to decline the invitation to do something he thoroughly enjoys.

    “No, absolutely not,” Bradford said, chuckling. “I thought it was a great idea, just change it up. Obviously, we were struggling in what we were trying to do at that point, so put them on their heels a little bit. Got us going. It was nice to see us perform that way.”

    After going 41½ minutes of clock time with only one field goal in the traditional huddle-up style of offense, the Rams put three touchdowns on the board in the next 16 minutes, 11

    seconds running a hurry-up no-huddle style.

    “It kind of reminded me of West Virginia,” rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin said, referring to the Mountaineers’ wide-open style.

    When asked if he liked running the no-huddle, running back Daryl Richardson simply said, “Oh, yes sir. Fast-paced.”

    But for those thinking the Rams are going to suddenly morph into a speedball offensive outfit similar to Chip Kelly in Philadelphia or Peyton Manning in Denver — think again.

    Jeff Fisher didn’t sound like a coach ready to make a major philosophical switch when quizzed on the topic Monday.

    “We did it because we got behind,” he said. “We have done it, obviously, early in the ballgame.”

    (Most recently, the Rams went to a slower-paced no-huddle in the first half of their third preseason game against Denver.)

    “But you do it early in the ballgame against a guy like Matt Ryan, go 3-and-out, you got problems,” Fisher said, referring to the Falcons’ quarterback. “You’re putting him back on the field all the time.”

    Keep in mind, Fisher’s best teams in Tennessee were run-oriented, and Schottenheimer has had his most successful years as a play-caller with a ground-and-pound style with the New York Jets. As if to reinforce that track record, Fisher noted Monday that gaudy passing stats don’t always equate to victories.

    “You look at Sam’s 300-yard plus passing games over his career, they’ve won two,” he said. “We have the ability to do it, and there’s a time to do it and a time not to do it. If you put a long drive together and you’ve got the defense tired, and you go back on the field and you want to continue to fatigue the defense, do it.”

    Bradford is 2-5 in 300-yard games as an NFL player, but missed being 3-5 by 36 inches in the Rams’ Week 1 comeback victory over Arizona when he passed for 299 yards.

    As Fisher pointed out, there are different variations of the no-huddle. There’s the more measured no-huddle — think of the classic Peyton Manning orchestration at the line of scrimmage with Indianapolis. And there’s the “2-minute” version, where you’re trying to run the plays as quickly as possible. Fast-break football, if you will.

    Under new Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the Broncos are running more of the fast-break style, as the Rams found out in that crazy first half this preseason. Manning threw 34 passes in the half and the Broncos ran 49 plays.

    In the slower-paced version of the no-huddle, Fisher said, “Teams are gonna snap the ball like Matt (Ryan) with 5 seconds left on the play clock.”

    In the quicker 2-minute style, “you’re snapping it with 15 to 20 seconds,” he said. “We went strictly to the hurry-up (Sunday) because we knew we weren’t gonna have the possessions; in normal offensive administration we wouldn’t have the number of possessions to catch up.”

    Whatever the variation of the no-huddle style, Bradford seems to perform better in it. It’s very much in his comfort zone.

    “I obviously did it a lot in college,” Bradford said.

    There’s probably not a skill position player on the Rams’ roster who doesn’t like playing that style, either. That’s because many of them played in spread offenses in college.

    “I think it’s good for us,” wide receiver Austin Pettis said. “It’s a good change up. We were able to do a little bit more offensively and throw defenses off so they can’t necessarily play to our tendencies and that kind of thing.”

    Pettis said he’d like to see the Rams use the no-huddle approach earlier in games but conceded it wasn’t possible to do so for much of the Atlanta game.

    “I think that’s just the way this game went, we didn’t necessarily have a chance to do it, especially when the field position was a little rough for us the whole game, having the long field a lot and those kind of scenarios,” Pettis said. “You’ve got to get out of those before you can get into the no-huddle type things.”

    Field position aside, seeing the Rams run the no-huddle so effectively in Atlanta raises the question of whether the Rams could go up-tempo for an entire game, or at least most of it.

    “That’s tough to say,” Bradford said. “We put a lot of pressure on (Atlanta) and wore them down. But at the same time, to play that way for an entire game, those guys up front, that’s pretty tough on them to do that. But you never know. Next week, maybe it’s something we’ll go to a little sooner if we’re struggling early.”

    One of those big guys up front on the offensive line, center Scott Wells, said: “We’ll do whatever we’re asked to do. So if that’s what’s asked of us, that’s what we’ll do.”


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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    That's to bad. It worked out well.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    It is not surprising that players like the no-huddle, but it isn't sound strategy nor is it realistic to try and employ it all the time. It is tiring and players get winded. And as Fisher said if it's unsuccessful, it allows the opposing offense to get right back on the field- and with a dangerous QB like Rodgers, Brady, Brees, etc. that's not a good thing. You could get behind early and never recover. Slowing down the game is something coaches try to do to prevent dangerous offenses from carving up their team.

    The no-huddle should be taken simply for what it is; a change-up to be thrown at opposing defenses at opportune times during the game. It is not a substitute for a standard 60 minute offense.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    It is not surprising that players like the no-huddle, but it isn't sound strategy nor is it realistic to try and employ it all the time. It is tiring and players get winded. And as Fisher said if it's unsuccessful, it allows the opposing offense to get right back on the field- and with a dangerous QB like Rodgers, Brady, Brees, etc. that's not a good thing. You could get behind early and never recover. Slowing down the game is something coaches try to do to prevent dangerous offenses from carving up their team.

    The no-huddle should be taken simply for what it is; a change-up to be thrown at opposing defenses at opportune times during the game. It is not a substitute for a standard 60 minute offense.
    Exactly right.

    The Rams, like any other team, need to pick their spots to use the no-huddle approach.

    I think there is merit to the idea of going no-huddle early, but at some point, the Rams will need to slow the game down and impose their will with the running game.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    “But you do it early in the ballgame against a guy like Matt Ryan, go 3-and-out, you got problems,” Fisher said, referring to the Falcons’ quarterback. “You’re putting him back on the field all the time.”

    Sad really sad... if he really thinks like this we are never going to be very good on offense. Fisher should have drafted Eddie Lacey and a top fight O linemen in the first round with this mentally.

    Just because you run a no huddle does not mean you need to hurry up and take less time off the clock. I really hope Fisher was talking about hurry up no huddle and not no huddle period.

    Long article with video if you want to see what the difference is....

    The no-huddle/hurry-up offense - Field Gulls

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    It is not surprising that players like the no-huddle, but it isn't sound strategy nor is it realistic to try and employ it all the time. It is tiring and players get winded. And as Fisher said if it's unsuccessful, it allows the opposing offense to get right back on the field- and with a dangerous QB like Rodgers, Brady, Brees, etc. that's not a good thing. You could get behind early and never recover. Slowing down the game is something coaches try to do to prevent dangerous offenses from carving up their team.

    The no-huddle should be taken simply for what it is; a change-up to be thrown at opposing defenses at opportune times during the game. It is not a substitute for a standard 60 minute offense.
    As a general rule of thumb, yes, that's true. But there is an exception for everything.

    If your team is built with the system in mind, it can be both strategically sound and realistic.

    Remember the Buffalo Bills in the Jim Kelly era who used the no-huddle K-Gun system and built an offensive juggernaut that went to 4 straight Super Bowls.

    Not saying the Rams are built to play this way, just pointing out that the system can be used as an overall offensive philosophy if you have the right personnel.
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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Maybe it shouldn't be used all the time. But it certainly should be used (IMO) more of the time. You can't argue with how well Sam does in it.

    When things don't seem to be clicking on offense, I think this is the exact time to pull it out. Not just when you are behind on the score board.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    “But you do it early in the ballgame against a guy like Matt Ryan, go 3-and-out, you got problems,” Fisher said, referring to the Falcons’ quarterback. “You’re putting him back on the field all the time.”

    This is a statement Fisher should keep to himself. Why? I'm glad you asked. Where's the confidence in your offense and your defense?

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    My question is, how many points down do the Rams have to be before Fisher allows Shotty and Bradford to speed things up? IMO, 21 is too many.

    I will say this, it's nice to know that when Bradford is unleashed and the tempo is intensified, we have the capability to score points in bunches.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    My question is, how many points down do the Rams have to be before Fisher allows Shotty and Bradford to speed things up? IMO, 21 is too many.

    I will say this, it's nice to know that when Bradford is unleashed and the tempo is intensified, we have the capability to score points in bunches.
    How about we start out in the no huddle and when we are up by 21, we huddle and slow the game down and work the clock. Turn our defensive front four loose on their QB.
    viper likes this.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    My question is, how many points down do the Rams have to be before Fisher allows Shotty and Bradford to speed things up? IMO, 21 is too many.
    I say we let Bradford loose if it's a two-score game, being down by three-scores is too much.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Fisher says
    “But you do it early in the ballgame against a guy like Matt Ryan, go 3-and-out, you got problems,” Fisher said, referring to the Falcons’ quarterback. “You’re putting him back on the field all the time.”
    Yeah, that's the way to manage the game. Play scared.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    My question is, how many points down do the Rams have to be before Fisher allows Shotty and Bradford to speed things up? IMO, 21 is too many.
    I agree, but there is a flip side to this.

    If the Rams can build a 10+ point lead by using a faster paced offense, can they then slow the game down with the running game to hold that lead.

    Look, for example, at the Falcons playoff games last year. They blew a big lead against Seattle because they were unable to kill the clock with the running game. They won that game (barely), but then played out the same pattern, and lost, the next week against the Niners.

    So, yes... I agree that the no-huddle should be used before the Rams are down, but it can't be used for 60 minutes.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I agree, but there is a flip side to this.

    If the Rams can build a 10+ point lead by using a faster paced offense, can they then slow the game down with the running game to hold that lead.

    Look, for example, at the Falcons playoff games last year. They blew a big lead against Seattle because they were unable to kill the clock with the running game. They won that game (barely), but then played out the same pattern, and lost, the next week against the Niners.

    So, yes... I agree that the no-huddle should be used before the Rams are down, but it can't be used for 60 minutes.
    Agreed. Using any type of up tempo offense for an entire game isn't a good idea for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the fatigue factor NJ alluded to.

    As far as getting a lead and then working on the clock, I wouldn't expect a problem slowing things down, even if the running game isn't working. Bradford is accurate enough, and we have plenty of receivers who can work the short middle of the field to maintain a safe, ball control strategy to keep the clock ticking. That is if we can avoid tipped balls and the drops.

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    Re: Players like no-huddle; Fisher not so much

    I think the Rams should aim for the slower no-huddle employed by some teams. You call you're plays at the line of scrimmage but still snap the ball with ~5 seconds left on the play clock. You're not tiring out your O line or allowing their offense back on the field quickly but it stops substitutions from the D and simplifies their calls.

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