Pernell McPhee: Bengals Offense Tipping Off The Snap Count

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 09: Center Kyle Cook #64 of the Cincinnati Bengals calls out blocking assignments against the Jacksonville Jaguars during play at EverBank Field on October 9, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

There are aspects to Andy Dalton's game you could file under "he's a rookie." Such as the long-bomb at the end of the first half that Ed Reed picked off when the team was threatening for, at the very least, a field goal to reduce Cincinnati's seven-point deficit to four. Or not calling an audible to get out of Jay Gruden's decision to actually run an option against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Another we could file under is Dalton developing tendencies that's tipped the Baltimore Ravens off, especially late in the game when the defensive line got a good release off the snap.

McPhee said he noticed by studying game tape that Dalton had a tendency to let the play clock wind down to five seconds before tapping center Kyle Cook's hip. Then, Dalton would look to his left and take the snap.

"I got a good get-off," McPhee said. "I just knew they would snap it every time after he tapped the center's hip. I was paying attention to that. I timed it up pretty good, 100 miles per hour."

Truth be told, we're not exactly sure if he means Dalton or Cook. For one thing Dalton was entirely in shotgun during Cincinnati's final possession. We do know that once Nate Livings taps Cook's leg, Cook snaps his head left and before snapping the football as a means to help the offensive line get a better jump off the ball, especially during away games where the crowd tends to be loud.

So we fired up NFL.com's excellent Game Rewind service to review Pernell McPhee sack on Dalton that ended Cincinnati's comeback on Sunday. Fourth and goal from the Ravens 17-yard line with 33 seconds remaining in the game. Dalton stands roughly five yards behind Kyle Cook in shotgun, lifting his right leg telling Kyle Cook he's ready for the snap. Dalton momentarily looks left (as he does to the right), but most quarterbacks scan the field to accumulate information on what the opposing defense is bringing.

Regardless McPhee is seeing something. And if he's seeing a player's head snap to the left before the snap as a means to time the cadence, then we're fairly confidence it's Kyle Cook, not Andy Dalton.

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