COMMENTARY | There was a time when the Cincinnati Bengals had one of the most feared no-huddle attacks in the NFL orchestrated by Carson Palmer, but times have changed in the Queen City as of late.
However, quarterback Andy Dalton now has the weapons and experience to potentially run the offense effectively next season.
It's not like Dalton has not done it in the past, but he and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden have even more reason to do now with the additions made to the roster in the draft.
"It's a great tool when you have the players that can work it. The addition of those two guys will be good. I don't know how much better it will make no-huddle, but better players make a better team whether you huddle or not," Gruden said. "I think we have the ability to do it any time. Andy really likes it, so I really like it. It's a matter of communicating the calls the right way, making sure we utilize it properly."
"(Dalton) likes it. He likes the up-tempo stuff, no question about it. So we have to give it to him more."
Even Dalton himself is excited about the potential of a new no-huddle thanks to his two new targets:
"Last year we did no-huddle with three receivers; now we can do it with two tight ends," Dalton said Monday. "With Gio, we can even go empty (no backs). There are just so many different things we can do now. You're just trying to maximize your talents. There's definitely more things you can do in no-huddle with those two guys."
Both Gruden and Dalton have the right to be excited about a no-huddle. The presence of two big, reliable targets in Jermaine Gresham and Eifert eliminates any predictability of the fast-paced attack and also causes mismatches while the defense does not have enough time to make substitutions.
Bernard shares many of the same positives as the tight-end duo. He's strong enough to run between the tackles, but elusive enough to be used in a variety of different ways in both the aerial and ground attacks.
The efficiency of a no-huddle attack relies on Dalton's ability. Not only in a physical sense, but in the mental aspect when it comes to calling plays at the line and making sure the quick attack is orchestrated without any hitches. Dalton has shown positive progress in most areas over his two years, but consistently running a no-huddle will be a new and potentially difficult challenge.
We'll see if Dalton is up to the task, but the talent around him is certainly there. We haven't even mentioned a guy like A.J. Green yet, or his counterparts in Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones.
The talent on offensive side of things is now reaching its peak in Cincinnati. Dalton and Co. are set to cause a wealth of mismatches running a normal offense. A no-huddle attack which gives defenses issues making substitutions could be almost twice as lethal.
Another bonus of implementing a serious no huddle? Hobson pointed this out in his report, but we'll echo it here and stress it even more. Implementing a no-huddle means the Cincinnati defense will have to practice against it each and every week. This experience going up against that kind of attack will adequately prepare the unit for any encounters it may have with it in the regular season.
All in all, adding an extensive no-huddle to the offensive routine in Cincinnati makes too much sense. It will exploit defenses and give the Bengals an added edge if pulled off properly.
The decision is in Gruden's hands, which relies on Dalton's performance, much like a variety of other factors in 2013.
Chris Roling is a graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. His work has appeared on Bleacher Report, Fansided, The Cincinnati Enquirer and more. He is the co-host of a Cincinnati Bengals podcast, @BengalsCentral
You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris_Roling
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