Some teams work with the no-huddle offense and others don’t. Most coaches prepare their defenses to face the no-huddle regardless of whether they use it or not, but rarely will you hear someone criticize it as being bad for the game. It’s things like that that make Nick Saban so unusual.
Saban understands why teams run the no-huddle, but he sounds like he wishes it didn’t exist.
“(The no-huddle)’s obviously created a tremendous advantage for the offense when teams are scoring 70 points and we’re averaging 49.5 points a game,” Saban said during an SEC teleconference Wednesday according to the Birmingham News. “With people that do those kinds of things, more and more people are going to do it.
“I just think there’s got to be some sense of fairness in terms of asking, ‘Is this what we want football to be?’”
For fans of some of the nation’s powerhouse teams like Oregon and lesser teams like West Virginia and Baylor, the spread offense is exactly what they want football to be. It is also what quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers want at the NFL level, so Saban’s opinion is pretty unique. He also added that he thinks the no-huddle puts players at risk of injury.
“At some point in time, we should look at how fast we allow the game to go in terms of player safety,” he said. “The team gets in the same formation group, you can’t substitute defensive players, you go on a 14-, 16-, 18-play drive and they’re snapping the ball as fast as you can go and you look out there and all your players are walking around and can’t even get lined up. That’s when guys have a much greater chance of getting hurt when they’re not ready to play.”
The idea of the no-huddle is obviously to tire out your opponent. There are plenty of things that happen throughout the course of a football game that you could say increase the risk of injury, so the argument seems a bit lame. Alabama is pretty successful not running the no-huddle and defending their opponents that do, so we’ll just leave it at that.