Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Gruden is quickly getting into the Bob Bratkowski category. Creative is fun, but isn’t even necessary – and in fact is counterproductive if you can’t pull it off (see wheel route to Bernard on 4th and 2). I am simply asking for play calls that put your team in a favorable position to sustain drives. That means not running QB sneaks on 4th and 1.
That means not running wheel routes on 4th and 2’s in overtime. That means using your best short yardage back in (BJGE) in short yardage situations. That means not throwing deep to anyone not named Green (Sanu) in critical 3rd and 2’s when you are down 14 in the 4th quarter. That means on 3rd and 3’s not throwing the deep ball to Dane Sanzenbacher (Miami). Get the point.
4th Down Play Calls – aka Gruden Issue #2
I don’t have a problem with Marvin going for it on 4th down. In fact, I like it – it is very “un-Marvin.” I do have a problem with the plays that are called in these situations.
Example 1 – Opening Drive: On 4th and inches, I like the QB up the center’s butt call. On 4th and a full 1 yard+, that is a terrible call. Worse off, even if that is your call because you are trying to hurry up and catch the defense off guard (which the Bengals seemed to be doing), if the refs take forever setting the ball (which they did), call a timeout and change the play (Marvin even admitted they should have done this).