Running the no-huddle offense at an uptempo pace is going to be great for football fans who have gotten accustomed to only around 11 minutes of actual football during any broadcast, but not so great for defensive players and coordinators.Did you guys know that The NFL Is A Copycat League?® With more offenses speeding up the plays, more defenses are going to adapt by trying to slow the game down so that their team can substitute and get fresh legs out there. We’ve already seen some of this during the Sunday and Monday night games this week with Jason Witten tattling on a few mysterious Giants injuries, and a few convenient calf cramps from the Redskins D-Line.
Part of me wishes the Redskins-Eagles Monday Night game could have had Dilfer and Berman as the announcers just to see what sort of bat-shit, I’m-going-to-make-this-work nickname for Chip Kelly’s offense Dilfer would have forced on us between “Speedread Option” and “Offensive Blitz” but the part of me with functioning ears does not.
Whatever you want to call it, the shorter time in between plays favors the offense, so defenses are reacting by faking minor injuries here and there. Football purists might cringe, but faking injuries has been around as long as the game itself; there just weren’t HD cameras on every player and a media force of ten-thousand Hot Takes givers trying to make a name for themselves.
In today’s NFL, you have to be smart about how you’re faking and not overplay your hand. Here are a few tips:
- DO NOT feign a head injury. In the first place it might be hard to tell if you’re stumbling around off-balance or if you’re just Bacarri Rambo. You will also be subject to the League’s Concussion Protocol Safety Heads-Up Concussionator 2000, so instead of coming off the field for a play or series, you will be taken to the locker room and only allowed back if you are symptom free or a really good player.
- Tell your trainer to have one of those Italian wet sponges ready on the sidelines like in soccer. If Joe Flacco’s personality isn’t around they should be available at most grocery stores. This combined with a magical aerosol spray adds a nice touch of flair to any leg injury.
- Fake the injury AFTER the play not during it. Also, make sure that you’re faking an acute injury, not diabetes.
- DO NOT use “Fake Injury” as your code-word to your trainer to let him know that you’re not really injured. It is smart to have a secret word though to tell him it’s a fake. Don’t want him to actually try to diagnose something or stick a thermometer where it shouldn’t be on national TV if all you’ve got is the no-huddle flu.
- Upper body injuries are probably not a good idea in general. Tony Romo’s kind of runs that town. If you fake a rib or a wrist injury people are going to question why you’re lying down.
- Make sure only one of you fakes it at a time. There is no “I’ll have what he’s having in football, and two players have never gotten injured on the same play in the NFL
- Remember you need to make it believable based on your personal history and image. If you went to an SEC school no one’s ever going to believe you have a Lisfranc, that’s more of a Northwesternish B1G injury. Go with a basic injury like “Ow.”
- Cramps cramps cramps are the way to go. You can pop right back up and get back in the game plus you get a nice massage until you go back in.
- A fake broken heart is technically not an injury and won’t stop the clock