No Huddle Offense
There’s already a growing sentiment in NFL circles that it’s time to get rid of the huddle. Coaches won’t abandon it outright, but I think its use will be reduced over time. Perhaps by 2020, we’ll see teams only huddling 10 times per half, and eventually, it’ll be eliminated altogether.
Think about how much better the game would flow without huddles. There’d be much more live action, and much less stoppage of pay. That could be a big consideration as the NFL markets itself to international fans who appreciate the continuous play of soccer. Without huddles, there would be fewer minute-long gaps in the action for people still learning about football to find themselves feeling bored (which is one of the biggest problems baseball faces as it tries to attract members of the iPod generation).
A no-huddle offense also presents more matchup problem for the defense, which leads to more big plays and scoring opportunities. When Boomer Esiason started running a no-huddle offense in Cincinnati, it didn’t take him long to appreciate the matchup advantages it created. The Bengals played a West Coast offense, and when they came out in 12 personnel, Boomer found that defenses treated one tight end as a receiver and countered with nickel personnel. On the next play, the Bengals went without a huddle to keep the defense from substituting and virtually assured themselves a favorable matchup if they ran the ball.
Quarterbacks in high school and college today are running spread offenses without the huddle. They just call one of their four or five plays at the line. The day is coming when all players will have audio in their helmets the way quarterbacks and middle linebackers do now. Every player on the field will be able to hear directly from their position coach or coordinator before every play.test