Reporting Levan Reid
FOXBORO (CBS) – When the Patriots offense has needed a bit of a jolt this season, they jump into their no huddle and usually turn it into points.
The Pats have been extremely successful with the no huddle, especially in the second half of games. As defenses are tiring down, the offense ups the tempo.
“The speed of the game changes for us,” said running back Kevin Faulk when asked about the no huddle.
The Patriots have gone out of the no huddle 113 times this season, 22-percent of their offensive snaps. Last Sunday against the Jets, they went to it 12 times, all in the second half.
Gresh & Zo Whiteboard: Pats Zero Set Offense
But running the no huddle is not predetermined says to the guy calling the plays; it is more of going with the flow of the game.
“It depends on what we think that we’re going to get. It depends what we think of the other defense – how they’ll be able to handle it. It depends on a lot of factors,” quarterback Tom Brady said this week. “I don’t think we go in there and say ‘We’re not going to run no-huddle this week.’ I think there’s times we may say ‘We may run it, we may not, we’ll see how the game goes.’ When you get into two-minute situations, you’re definitely in no-huddle. It’s just part of a carryover from that group for us. Really it’s no-huddle, but you have a little bit more time when you’re not really in a two-minute situation.”
And if it seems like the Pats are relying more on the no huddle this season, that is not true according to offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
“I really don’t think that we’re using it any more than we have used it in the past. Even the first year that I was here in ’07, we used it quite a bit that year,” said O’Brien. “Really what it is, in the NFL, having come from college, you’re able to speak directly to the quarterback up to a certain point so the mechanics of just huddling basically on the ball, which is really just what we’re doing, is fairly, I wouldn’t say easy, but there’s not a lot of mechanics to it. I wouldn’t say that we’ve used it any more than we’ve used in the past.”
“Again, it’s just something that our players have executed well to this point, for the most part, I wouldn’t say it’s been great all year,” said O’Brien. “But at times, it’s been good for us and it’s basically because the players have done a good job with it.”
Deion Branch got an easy touchdown last week against the Jets, courtesy of the no huddle. It was clear that even the Jets D had no answer for it.
Bottom line is: the Pats jump into the no huddle, the defense is at a huge disadvantage. No substitutions means tired defensive lineman and linebackers. Advantage Patriots.
But that tiring also gets to the New England side as well.
“It gets pretty tiring, but they’re getting tired too, so that’s the main thing,” said offensive lineman Logan Mankins. “It’s nice to do it occasionally when it’s working good. We like it. The D-line, I think they get more tired than we actually do because they have to chase the ball. But it does get pretty tiring in there. You don’t have the rest between plays like in the huddle.”
Expect to see more of the no huddle Monday night, because the Chiefs are unfamiliar with it. They have only seen 11 no huddle snaps this season.
Tune in to the Patriots-Chiefs Monday Night showdown on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pregame coverage begins at 5 pm, and after the game tune in to the postgame show on 98.5, and Patriots Fifth Quarter on My TV38.