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Bruce Arians: Cardinals planning no-huddle approach

With veteran quarterback Carson Palmer set to return, the Arizona Cardinals plan to pick up the pace this season with a heavier dose of the no-huddle.

"We can play real fast right now," coach Bruce Arians told the team's official website after Monday's practice featured plenty of no-huddle snaps. "I like the tempo of it. It's gone really well the whole time we've been out here, but this is the first time we've actually practiced it against the defense."

It was Arians who said two offseasons ago that his defense was "way outplaying our offense," noting that his skill position players were "not picking it up fast enough." By now the Cardinals are littered with pass-catchers and runners who know the playbook, allowing Arians to get frisky with tempo.

"You can change the pace of the game," Arians said. "Obviously, you get (the defense) in a substitution pattern and they're stuck with whatever's on the field. There's advantages to it and there's disadvantages to it."

Second-year wideout John Brown said the Cardinals shied away from using the no-huddle in game-time situations last season, but "hopefully we can come out at the beginning of a game and go and wear a defense out."

As Chris Wesseling noted in his feature on The Ohio River Offense, Cincinnati's Sam Wyche became the first coach to employ the no-huddle as a standard method of attack in the NFL's mid-1980s. What was alien then has become commonplace.

Behind a rebuilt line, Arizona's offensive roster boasts an intriguing array of speed with Brown catching passes and Andre Ellington operating out of the backfield. Against top-heavy defenses in Seattle and St. Louis, the no-huddle makes plenty of sense as a tool to freeze adjustments and create mismatches.

That said, it won't mean much if Palmer can't stay healthy come September.

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