Huddle down!

A film-room junkie says it's a waste of time to take a breather between plays

Originally Published: October 5, 2012
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN The Magazine
Peyton ManningJustin Edmonds/Getty ImagesPeyton Manning is a master at running the no-huddle offense.

IN 17 YEARS AS A QB, I never once ran the no-huddle outside of the two-minute drill. Now around 25 teams are using it on a regular basis, or at least as an occasional change-up during games. If historical data were available, I'm sure this would be a record-breaking season for hurry-up offenses.

So why is this happening? The easy answer is that we're seeing unprecedented QB play across the league. There are fewer game managers playing the position than ever before, which is a big reason scoring is at an all-time high -- 47.6 points per game through Week 3. That's up 3.2 ppg from 2011, the biggest single-season jump since 1979. With Brady, Rodgers, the Mannings et al., you want them running more plays, and they are. Through three weeks, the league average of 128.7 plays per game was the most in 25 years.


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Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.