If you were watching the end of the Bengals-Saints game Sunday, you might have been confused why Carson Palmer would throw a screen pass to RB Brian Leonard from the Cincinnati 49-yard line and then waste seven seconds while attempting to clock the ball despite the fact Cincinnati had one timeout remaining (Palmer, by the way, was sacked on the final play of the game).
Or you might ask why coach Marvin Lewis likes to be the one who decides when the Bengals will take a timeout.
If so, here’s the transcript from Lewis presser Monday when he was asked about clock management (H/T to Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner).
“On the last play, I would do it again that way,” Lewis said. “We didn’t do a very good job getting set. We should have that ball snapped and have at the minimum eight seconds on the clock which gives us an opportunity for the ball in the middle and a timeout and now a ball into the end zone from the 20, 25-yard line. Rather than the one play we had from the 40-something, which is very difficult. They would have the advantage. We would have the advantage the other way around. We didn’t do a very good job, in watching the play on video, watching the play on TV. We didn’t do a very good job of understanding, a couple of our guys, the urgency of it. Carson did a good job of not wanting to take the penalty and then calling the timeout, so they knew what we were doing. The play, the screen, ran just like we wanted it to run. And we were able to gain over 10 yards, put us in position. Get up, clock the ball, now it’s second down. Now we have a chance to throw the ball in the field and play and then get ourselves up call timeout. Then you’re throwing somewhere in that 20-25-yard area. Because otherwise they don’t have to defend the middle of the field. That puts the pressure back on them a little bit.”
How could Lewis expect his team, after a play that just gained 14 yards, to rush to the line and spike the ball in only six seconds (14 seconds from the start of the play to the eight seconds in Lewis' explanation)?
Props to the person who can make sense of this.
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