Hue Jackson's energy ups the Bengals' offensive tempo

06/07/2014 06:30 AM

If you’ve paid attention to any of the Bengals offseason, you’ve definitely heard the word tempo thrown around when it comes to the offense. With Hue Jackson replacing Jay Gruden as the offensive coordinator after Gruden was hired by Washington, Jackson has talked all offseason about the tempo he wants this offense to play with.

“There’s a lot of up tempo stuff. We’re trying to move as quick as we can, and we did some of that with Jay, but Hue’s really stressing that a lot so that’s one of the biggest differences is how fast we’re going and doing everything” said Andy Dalton.

After watching the two OTA practices open to the media, it is definitely noticeable, as is the energy that Jackson brings. His voice is heard consistently throughout practice above any other voice, his energy mirroring the pace he expects from his players. If the team moves slowly between drills or coming out of huddles, they’ll hear about it.

Jackson won’t run a typical no-huddle offense, but he wants the Bengals to break the huddle quickly, get to the line, assess the defense, make any adjustments and snap the ball early. So far, Dalton seems to be handling the offense moving at a quicker pace well.

Along with tempo, Jackson has also emphasized the run game. “We know we need to run the football, we want to run the football,” said Jackson. “We’re not going to shy away from having to throw it when we need to, but I think in order to win and be a very good offensive football team you have to be able to run the ball. That’s going to be the starting point for us.”

Jackson and the Bengals backed that up by taking running back Jeremy Hill in the second round of the NFL Draft. While you can’t read into depth charts too much in the off season, Hill has already been running with the 2’s at OTAs.

As we head into mandatory mini-camp next week and the players put on pads, the tempo of the offense and emphasis of the run game will definitely be two things to continue to watch for.


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