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The Impact of Burrito Night on the Modern Huddle

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We all know those big offensive lineman love to have a big meal the night before game day. Some may prefer pizza, others fried chicken. But by far the most deadly to a huddle is burrito night. Do we really want to put our new franchise quarterback in a huddle with five offensive lineman after burrito night? I certainly wouldn't want to put him under center every snap! And even if it's not burrito night, the majority of the offensive line will be returning from last year, with the stench of Rex Grossman still lingering on their equipment. That's something I don't want RGIII anywhere near. Which is why I'm offering up the suggestion of running some no-huddle offense from the shotgun.

On a more serious note, I am genuinely intrigued with the idea of Robert Griffin III and some form of the no-huddle, hurry up offense. Now I know some of you are instantly saying "He's a rookie, lets not try to run before we can walk" and I completely understand that, but hear me out.

Griffin III is one of the buzz topics in the the NFL right now, he has defensive coordinators around the league are mapping out ways in which to confuse him with different blitz and coverage packages and ways of disguising them. In his rookie year, RGIII is going to take some knocks, no question, and that includes failing to decipher a defense. But when you run a no-huddle offense, a defense can't afford to disguise their intentions because the quarterback can just snap the ball as soon as he wants. This invariably leads to simpler defenses, making it much easier for our rookie quarterback. It also makes the play-calling much simpler for him. Rather than big wordy play calls, such as "Brown Right F-Short 2-Jet Flanker Drive" (and that's relatively easy when it comes to play calls), its can be as simple as one or two words or hand motions to get everyone on the same page.

Now, a downside of the hurry up offense is that you can't substitute players in, meaning you can't keep rotating fresher bodies in at the play-making positions. But that also means the defense can't sub in their different sub-packages. So the Redskins could conceivably wait until the defense gives them some match ups they like, then run no-huddle to keep them on the field and continually exploit those match ups.

If they can exploit those match ups and drive down the field, the defense will start to tire. Defensive lines in particular tire quickly and are usually most subject to substitution packages. Our divisional rivals, the New York Giants, have a deep pool of talent on the defensive line; but if they cant make any substitutions and the guys in the game get tired, then that depth becomes irrelevant and the Redskins have taken away a big strength of the Giants.

Now I know that rookie quarterback usually take a year or so to fully learn the playbook, and a no-huddle offense isn't normally high on the priority list of things to learn. Heck, the Redskins have hardly run a no-huddle offense under Shanahan outside of the two minute drill (and we all know how those have turned out...). But at Baylor, Griffin III spent most of his time in an up-tempo, no-huddle, shotgun offense. So if the Shanahan's are committed to adjusting their offense to fit Griffin III's strengths, then this could be one of many options open to them.

Here's what Griffin III had to say at Jon Gruden's QB Camp about his up-tempo offense at Baylor.

"It's all about tempo. The faster you can go, the more tired a defense gets." Gruden: "How do you do this, how are you getting this kind of tempo with everybody organised before a team can even get there?" Griffin: "Well you know, a lot of the great teams have a lot of depth, so they like to get their guys in the game for certain situations. So we knew that going in, coach informed me 'look, if you see them scrambling on and off the field [snap the ball]'".

Referring to the Oklahoma game, Griffin caught the defense with 12 players on the field while trying to substitute. "We caught a D-lineman running off the field that's tired. So honestly, here I feel like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, those guys catch those guys getting off the field. I'm like 'we need to snap the ball cause we're going to get five free yards".

Gruden: "I mean I love this! These defenses they try to keep fresh bodies in there to get after you. They try to be all these multiple coverages, right? They try to bring in specialty fronts and nickle backs. How do you get them lined up, what do you say, is there like a 'Hey, hurry up and run a stretch play to the right'? How do you get everybody what they need?" Griffin: "Well you know, you got to practice the way you play. So what we do in practice is we make sure we play fast, we slow it down if we need to teach something. But we tell them the formation, we simplify things whenever we go fast, so it's one word, everyone knows what they're doing. You don't have to go in there and tell them a 14-word play at the line of scrimmage. You can say three words, your receivers know what to do, you tell them the blocking protection is and you go from there".

Griffin: "We'll run a pro-style offense, we'll just run it with tempo. We'll run the spread, we'll throw the ball deep, we'll throw the crossing routes, we'll throw the seam routes. We're going to do all that, but we're going to throw it with tempo."

Griffin then, is clearly familiar with getting guys lined up and ready to go with just a couple of words. So while he is a rookie and will take some time adjusting to the new offense and playing against NFL caliber defenses; the no-huddle, hurry up offense could help Griffin make that adjustment. What do you guys think? Could RGIII thrive in a no-huddle offense, or am I talking prematurely and we should let him get his feet wet before moving to advanced things like no-huddle offenses?