The Bengals installed that wildcat play just for the Redskins

September 27, 2012

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Remember the Bengals’ first play from scrimmage last Sunday, the 73-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to wide receiver A.J. Green? You probably remember it.

Well, turns out that play was inserted into the Bengals’ offense specifically for the Redskins, because of something Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spotted in Washington defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s scheme.

“We had a pretty good indication that they were gonna be in Cover-0 when we went wildcat with whoever we had back there other than a quarterback, whether it’s a running back or wide receiver,” Gruden told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week. “It took a little bit of time, but the free safety came out of the middle of the field, and came in the box, and we knew we had A.J. one-on-one against a safety.

“And it was just Mo’s job to just launch it as high and as deep as he could and let A.J. run under it,” Gruden explained. “And he threw a great ball, a much better ball than he did in practice, that’s for sure. It worked out great, obviously.”

Gannon then asked a long question about how much time the Bengals had put into perfecting that play, whether they had been working and working on it since preseason, just waiting until it was finally operating at peak efficiency.

“Actually, it was just for this game,” Gruden replied. “Because Coach Haslett, I was just watching their wildcat reel. And every wildcat snap they had, they played Cover-0. And I’ve been waiting for it.

“We practiced it this week, and I told them on Wednesday when we installed our group that this was gonna be play one of the game against the Redskins,” Gruden continued. “We practiced it four or five times throughout the week, and made sure we protected it number one, and gave him a chance to step into it and launch it. And he did.”

(Via someone. Sorry, can’t remember whom. But thanks.)

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Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | September 27, 2012