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Monday, December 19, 2011
Gruden, Jaws on Falcons' no-huddle

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

I know a lot of readers like it when the Atlanta Falcons run the no-huddle offense and suggest they should use it even more. I totally agree with that.

We are not alone in those opinions. In fact, two guys who know a lot more about football than most of us, recently were singing the praises of Atlanta’s no-huddle offense. The topic came up in a recent conference call with ESPN "Monday Night Football" analysts Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden.

“I actually love the way Matt Ryan is running that nohuddle, and I go back to earlier this season and that Philadelphia game where I think they gained great confidence in the nohuddle,’’ Jaworski said. “They were down in that game 3121, they went nohuddle and Matt Ryan orchestrated a couple beautiful drives late in that game to beat the Eagles 3531, and it seems right now that it's a type of offense they can hang their hat on. When they get in trouble, when they're lacking for tempo, when they're not sustaining offense, they go to that.’’

The Falcons have used the no-huddle offense at various times as far back as Ryan’s rookie season in 2008. They’ve had a lot of success with it, but Jaworski said the no-huddle offense is an even more valuable weapon these days.

“I think Matt Ryan right now is at a point in his career where he can orchestrate that offense at the line of scrimmage,’’ Jaworski said. “He understands what the defense is trying to do. I think it's an unbelievable weapon to have and it's something I think we'll see more of as the season wears on, but I think it's something they know they like and they use when they need a jump start.’’

Gruden said he likes Atlanta’s no-huddle offense better than most because the Falcons keep most of their playbook on the table.

“What makes this nohuddle go, I think is the volume of offense that they can call,’’ Gruden said. “They're not lined up in a generic formation like no some nohuddle offenses. They can line up in all kind of different formations, different personnel groupings, and Matt Ryan has a great control of his system.  Looks like he's very confident, he can limit substitutions, he can wear out defenses.’’