The Bengals took the field today for a few hours to work on their offense. They would like to add 2005's high flying pass passing game to 2009's grinding power running game and they have a few ideas of how they're going to do it.
"We’re trying to do different things and we’re moving guys around trying to create mismatches by alignment. That’s new to us," Palmer said after practice. "And something our defense has struggled with trying to cover us."
There are a lot of guys that could potentially make the team this year that could cause some big mismatches. Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant will keep opposing cornerback's hands full enough but add Matt Jones, Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell or a number of other guys vying for a spot on the team to the mix and you have a formula for an offense that can mismatch their way right into the end zone.
"Getting a big guy that is supposed to be on the outside on the inside," Palmer said. "Or moving Antonio (Bryant) around all over the place. No. 2, No. 3, No. 1. You don’t want them to know where he’s going to be every time. It’s not so much getting him on a mismatch. We don’t think it matters if it’s going to be a nickel (corner), linebacker, or starting corner. We think it’s going to be a mismatch. But just getting him in a spot where the defense isn’t sure where he’s going to be once we break the huddle."
That isn't all that will improve the passing game this coming season. So many people underestimate the importance of the play action pass. Last year, Palmer's injured thumb made him hand the ball off at all times with his right hand and didn't allow any play action passing plays. It allowed the defense to know exactly what the Bengals offense was doing almost immediately. Fortunately for the Bengals, they had a running game that couldn't be stopped even though the defense knew what was coming.
When the Bengals add in the play action, the defense will have to take a second or two to know exactly who has the ball. It will be unclear whether Benson has the ball or if Palmer has it. That second may not sound like a lot of time but that small amount of time is just enough for Chad or Bryant to get open or for Jermaine Gresham find an open zone behind the linebackers.
The sky's the limit for the Bengals this year. There is more talent and potential for greatness this year than any year that I can remember in recent Bengals history. I have a feeling that it's going to be an exciting year.