A dramatic example of NFL verbiage

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
10:45
AM ET
How many times have you heard an NFL coach or player talk about adjusting to the "verbiage" of a pro-style offense? And how many times have you really known what they're talking about.

We got an excellent illustration in the second part of Jon Gruden's QB camp interview with Auburn's Cam Newton. Here's how it went:

Gruden: "You know some of the verbiage in the NFL, I don't know how it was at Auburn, but it gets long. You've got the shifts, the plays, the protections, the snap count, the alerts, the check-with-me's. I mean, 'flip right double-X jet 36 counter naked wagglet seven X quarter.' Call something at Auburn that's a little verbal. What would be a little verbal? Any recollection on that? Give me something. What does an Auburn play sound like?"

Newton: "Oh man, you put me on the spot."

Gruden: "You guys don't get in the huddle much though, right?"

Indeed, Newton went on to explain that most plays he called during his one season at Auburn were signaled with a card from the sideline. The card might only say "36."

I don't think Gruden was trying to embarrass Newton as much as he was trying to demonstrate the difference between college systems and the NFL. The play Gruden called no doubt is from the West Coast offense, which typically uses more verbiage than other schemes, but it seems clear Newton will have to make a significant adjustment no matter what type of offense he ultimately lands in.

Here's how Gruden put it: "You're going to move to France, and you're going to have to speak French pretty quick."

I'll re-post the video below for your convenience. I still don't think there's much chance that Newton will land in the NFC North, but I think this lesson would be of interest to any NFC North fan.

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