Last season Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers thrived when they used the no-huddle offense.
The Steelers ran an astounding 23 percent of their plays from the no-huddle and 36 percent of Big Ben’s touchdown passes came without using a huddle.
“It’s really the future of the league, so I think defensively we can’t see enough of that,” said Browns head coach Mike Pettine.
It may be a tiny detail, but part of Pettine’s success defensively last year in Buffalo had to do with seeing the no-huddle often in practice. The Bills would unleash the up-tempo pace at a moment’s notice. Eventually after some bumps, Buffalo’s defense was never thrown off guard when an opponent ran the hurry-up in an actual game.
More importantly, the chaos and confusion of the no-huddle can be an offenses greatest asset. If they master the concept, the Browns, perhaps, could enter Ben Roethlisberger triumphant territory with the no-huddle.
So that’s why a chunk of the Browns practice workload consisted of the no-huddle on Wednesday. With music blasting in the background to simulate a road game,
Part of the no-huddle process for the Browns on offense is shrinking the 18-word play calls to just two or three. These plays are coded inside the game plan. Some plays work better than others in a fast-paced setting. The reps now in training camp will determine which plays become Cleveland’s bread and butter when the game is on the line.
Actually, Pettine suggested the no-huddle could be more than an end of the game offense for the Browns.
“It’s always good to be able to change your tempo, sometimes by necessity if you’re down,” said Pettine. “It’s not necessarily a true two-minute when you get behind and you just want to kind of change the tempo up a little bit.”
Because Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel have limited NFL game experience, the time dedicated to the no-huddle in practice is paramount. It might be the most meaningful portion of practice. If the no-huddle is ran effectively, the offense can gas the defense and dictate the flow of a football game.
“I think it’s to any quarterback’s advantage to be able to get up on the ball quick and force a defense to not be able to substitute and maybe be a little bit more vanilla with their calls or more worried about getting lined up then getting in advance detail,” said Pettine.
Watch for the Browns to use the no-huddle, either at the end of the half or randomly, against the Redskins this upcoming Monday.