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Should the Falcons use the no-huddle more?


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Should the Falcons use the no-huddle more?

5:00 am August 30, 2011, by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons flashed their no-huddle attack three times against Pittsburgh.

Whenever the use it, they seem to march the ball down the field.

Quaterback Matt Ryan, who calls the plays at the line of scimmage in the no-huddle is just in his fourth year, but should they use it as their main mode of attack?

Here’s the story on the no-huddle attack:

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons’ no-huddle attack passed its first test of the season against Pittsburgh’s vaunted defense after going unused in the previous two exhibition games.

Against the Steelers, the Falcons used their no-huddle three different times in the first half, and each time they cobbled together promising drives that resulted in Matt Bryant field goals.

“We moved the ball pretty effectively,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “Obviously, we would have liked to have been more successful in the red zone. But, all in all, I thought it was pretty good.”

Normally, the Falcons would have spent extensive time working on their no-huddle offense over the offseason. But because of the lockout, they’ve had to stuff that work into condensed time periods. But Ryan believes they are ahead of most teams because they have mostly established veterans on the field.

The Falcons have run the attack since Ryan arrived as a rookie in 2008. They’ve used it sometimes to set the tempo and other times to dictate the defense’s personnel. They can turn it into a hurry-up attack if they are behind.

“Sometimes we move faster,” Ryan said. “Other times, we’re slower and get the clock down to three or four seconds. That’s something that could vary that makes it tough on the defense. It’s hard when they have to stay in position for that entire 40-second play clock.”

In the first quarter against Pittsburgh, they went into their no-huddle for eight consecutive plays and drove from their 33 to Pittsburgh’s 5. They had to settle for a 23-yard field goal after Ryan threw incomplete passes to Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez.

The big-play in that drive was a 22-yard pass to Roddy White. Overall, they threw six passes and ran the ball twice.

“We’ve got a lot of fine-tuning to do,” White said. “Even though we did some good things, we did a lot of things that we need to get better at.”

Later in the second quarter, the Falcons went back to the no-huddle attack for seven plays. Ryan drove the ball from their 46 down to Pittsburgh’s 2-yard line. An apparent touchdown pass to Gonzalez was nullified when he was called for offensive pass interference. Bryant booted a 30-yard field goal.

Ryan completed two of four passes and they ran the ball three times in the next no-huddle stint. Bryant added a 46-yard field goal at the end of the drive.

On their next possession, the Falcons used the no-huddle for just two plays.

Overall, Ryan completed 7 of 12 passes for 59 yards in the no-huddle. The team rushed five times for 21 yards.

The attack has evolved from just being a change-of-pace option, to where they can run it for the entire game.

Last season against Baltimore, they went to it exclusively for the entire game. Ryan completed 32 of 50 passes for a career-high 316 yards and three touchdowns in a 26-21 victory.

In 2009, the Falcons went into the no-huddle offense 16 times in five different games. They scored seven touchdowns and two field goals while in the no huddle.

It has become a potent part of the offense.

“We work on it every week,” Ryan said. “Every day at practice and we worked on it pretty much every day [during] training camp.”

The coaches were pleased with the no-huddle attack, but were noncommittal about using it more frequently.

“We wanted to get a good look at it,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “One of the things that it also does, [is] it also allows you to evaluate the conditioning of your football team.”

The 132-day lockout has the coaches doing more in-game experimenting during this exhibition season.

“A lot of the stuff that we’ve shown, if we’ve gotten enough work on it in minicamp and [oganized team activities] we wouldn’t have shown it as much just because we’d had practiced it,” Smith said. “Just because everything has been condense we’ve had to do some things a little bit differently.”

Smith believes that teams will still be implementing their attacks during the first quarter of the season.

“Just because of the pure volume we don’t have as much in because we haven’t had time to do it,” Smith said. “I think as you see throughout the league, there are going to be more and more aspects of people’s offense and defense showing up.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2011/08/30/should-the-falcons-use-the-no-huddle-more/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_falcons_blog&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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I dont know,

I believe, Matt called a couple of bad checks last game.

It was Pitt D tough and we wont be facing them every week,

so I would be for it!

MR will get the quirks out

Anyway, whoever is calling for MTurner to go to WR needs to be reviewed for the crazy farm.

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simply answered-----YES!

Haven't read the article yet, but to answer the question that the headline begs, see above post.

Matty Ice seems all the more cool, calm and collected when running the no-huddle, and he certainly possesses the intellect and the football IQ/awareness to do so... Any time you can prevent the opposing defense from getting their sub packages on the field and deny them the chance to catch their breath, you should do so...

I think we will see Ryan given a little more freedom to run the offense each year over the next couple of years.... I think Coach Smitty and Mularkey are just about comfortable enough with Matty to completely hand over the keys to the offense and let him run it accordingly....

It's only logical to assume that Ryan hasn't even scratched the surface of what he and this offense can do, and so long as TD can keep the personnel consistent, Matty Ice and the offense will only get better and better with experience...

I'm telling ya.... The next few year are going to be really hard on the haters. :D

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The upside is more points and faster scores. The downside is it puts our defense back on the field faster. I could see using it more in the first half and third quarter then pound Turner in the fourth.

Remember that the Falcons have two types of no-huddle: a fast-paced, hurry-up no huddle, and a slower-paced, taking nearly maximum time between plays, no-huddle. But you do have a valid point about the downside of returning the defense back on the field somewhat faster. Wouldn't it be nice if we could gain greater trust in our defense's ability to stop the opposing team, especially the high-powered offenses?

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I think the no-huddle is our best possible option-

When we run regular series, the moron up top (Mularkey) has us always run on the 1st down, then run on 2nd down if the 1st down was a good pickup (or pass if it was not), and then pass on the 3rd down.

When we run no huddle, Ryan has control and has the brainpower to pass occasionally on the 1st down so other teams don't just always bring in their run defense for 1st down.

I also love it when we run our no-huddle offense so quick that the other teams are not able to swap their run and pass defenses fully.

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I'd still like to know why it all but disappeared in 2009. We didn't use it successfully again until the Ravens game because we were so rusty at it. I remember they dialed it up against Philly but it fizzled out... another reason we lost that game.

I don't know how much more we need to use it but we can't afford to let it go cold again. Hopefully we will be much harder to cover this year and we can just roll over most defenses.

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Haven't read the article yet, but to answer the question that the headline begs, see above post.

Matty Ice seems all the more cool, calm and collected when running the no-huddle, and he certainly possesses the intellect and the football IQ/awareness to do so... Any time you can prevent the opposing defense from getting their sub packages on the field and deny them the chance to catch their breath, you should do so...

I think we will see Ryan given a little more freedom to run the offense each year over the next couple of years.... I think Coach Smitty and Mularkey are just about comfortable enough with Matty to completely hand over the keys to the offense and let him run it accordingly....

It's only logical to assume that Ryan hasn't even scratched the surface of what he and this offense can do, and so long as TD can keep the personnel consistent, Matty Ice and the offense will only get better and better with experience...

I'm telling ya.... The next few year are going to be really hard on the haters. :D

Thanks, well thought out reply. In the no huddle, Matt Ryan is calling all the plays. I trust Ryan's play-calling more than Mularkey's.

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Staying true to our team name, as FALCONS, we should be swift, fast moving and striking. When we run the no huddle it is a beauty. Ryan seems comfortable, our players seem more comfortable.

I enjoy a solid ground attack and love Michael Turner pounding defenders, but the no huddle allows him to get chunks of yards as well because defenders have to spread out a little bit more. Let's face it, Michael Turner is a burner, but it takes a few yards before those burners kick in. Spread the defense out, let Turner get his legs churning and watch our run game benefit as well.

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I say yes especially against good defences as they can't rotate in frsh personal to match up and they can't make changes according to the groupings of players we have hence basically we have the defense on the back foot.I think its good thing for Ryan to have the no huddle and proved effective against the Steelers.

I say yes especially against good defences as they can't rotate in frsh personal to match up and they can't make changes according to the groupings of players we have hence basically we have the defense on the back foot.I think its good thing for Ryan to have the no huddle and proved effective against the Steelers.

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I would LOVE to see the coaching staff let Ryan run the offense like Jim Kelly. Not a knock on MM but it is just obvious to anybody watching the Falcons that Ryan is better and more comfortable when he calls his own plays. MM, Smitty and Ryan can during the week look over the opposing team's defense and decide the best way to attack it and on Sunday let Ryan execute it. If not that let MM call the personnel packages and let Ryan choose the plays from the packages. This gives the advantage of changing the tempo at any moment and it will not give away hints if the play is a run or pass. This will also force the defense to stay in their personnel groups for fear of getting the off sides penalty or being caught out of position and Ryan can wear that defensive line down. No subs for those big boys.

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