To understand this type of style, you must first understand the goals of it. The main goals of this offensive approach is not to sling the ball all over the field like many spread offenses you see in today’s game. The goals are simple:
1. Allow the offense to set the pace of the game. Keep defenses on their heels.
2. Give the offense more opportunities to get the ball in play makers hands.
3. Score quick to get opposing team to get away from game plan early
4. Play sideline to sideline and end-zone to end-zone At least 3 shots down field a quarter!
5. Make the game 5 quarters. Take a game from 60 offensive plays to 80+.
The common misunderstanding to this offense is that it is a spread offense because it is fast paced. While it has certain characteristics of a spread, it is really more of a combination of the old wing-t, zone read option offenses meet the run and shoot. The only difference you will see is more motion and different looks. The no huddle uses a lot of H-back/TE sets, 3 RB formations, and you will also see more 3 and 4 Wide Receiver sets also. The offense likes to be 50% run and 50% pass and likes to pound the defense with counters, traps, zone read option with the QB, and then hit you with a jet sweep or a play action pass down field.
Most spreads use the pass to set up the run. This offense uses the run to set up the pass just like the old school run and shoot but the difference is they do it at lightning pace. Almost all passes are based off play action. The goal is to get the snap off within 5 seconds of the ball being spotted. This makes it very difficult for a defensive coordinator to have time to look at down and distance tendencies so the defense has a hard time getting into the correct call. This allows the offense to dictate the pace of play and get the defense into the looks they want. When thinking about it, one may wonder why more teams do not implement the offense! Well, the same thing goes for the offense as the defense. It takes a sharp mind to get the play calls into the offense fast enough to properly execute. The play caller has to be quick and precise with their calls in order to get the play signaled in to the QB. The QB from the sidelines has to be a confident play caller.
This is one reason there are not many plays in this offense. The key to it is to be simple for the offense to execute but difficult for the defense to understand. A fast paced can throw many different looks at a defense but can run very simple and traditional plays. This offense is very difficult for an opposing team to replicate in practice because of the tempo, speed, and the many different formations. The fast pace basically adds a 5th quarter to the game. The defense must maintain focus for longer than the typical 4 quarter game. When you get physically tired, it is harder to be mentally tough.
Why the Hurry-up No-Huddle; Plays are verbally Alerted Using Codes
Reasons for considering the Hurry-up, no-huddle.
How it affects linemen. If linemen move seven and one-half yards from the ball to the huddle and jog that same distance back to the LOS, by the end of each play they have traveled fifteen yards. Multiply that by a minimum 60 plays and you can see we save our linemen approximately 900 yards per game. Therefore, they should be fresher in the fourth quarter.
By not using a huddle, you can run approximately one-third more plays in practice. (For example, we used to a team goal of running 2 1/2 plays per minute now we have advanced to 3 1/2 plays minute. Now we run 35 plays in a 15-minute approximately during group and team periods.
How it affects our QB by verbally alerting calls to him at the LOS, our QB gains an extra three or four seconds to scan the defense. This gives him a better understanding of what the defense is doing.
How no huddle huury-up over drive affects the tempo of the game. Tempo is one of the most obvious offensive advantages because it limits defensive personel packages and challenges the defenses conditioning factor. This changes the tempo with the no-huddle, you can control the tempo at any time. by hurry-up run the play or hurry-up and wait now you have the ability to speed up the game or slow it down according to your game plan not theirs. This keeps the defense off balance.
How it affects the defense. The defense needs to prepare differently for a no-huddle offense. They must shift into a whole other gear when trying to duplicate their opponents no huddle over drive offense. As the offensive coordinator and head coach I also use an extreme unbalanced formation to make the defense take additional time away from our plays and approach to just get their players lined up correctly.
During defensive preparation time several other factors come into play when preparing for a no huddle offense. First, as coaches we teach what is important. Since the huddle has nothing to do with winning or losing the game, we end up spending more time on fundamentals and the actual
plays we use.
Next, the no-huddle allows coaches to make corrections visually. Often in a huddle, we try to explain how we want something done – a blocking scheme, back’s cut, etc. For us, all corrections are done at the LOS, and the players see exactly what we want. The defense is right in front of
Again, since we can run more plays in practice, a lot more conditioning occurs during the entire practice. Therefore, we are able to cut back on the amount of sprint work as the season continues. During the game, since more plays are being run and we are at the LOS for every play, our
concentration has improved, especially when we are tired.
Finally, we have found that communication and execution of our over drive no huddle offense is much easier. Our players are accustomed to hearing the play called from the LOS and are better able to handle the hurry-up situation. Also, speeding up play at times in our regular offense gives them a better concept of the faster pace we want in or over drive situations.
Hurry-Up No Huddle Offense Using Verbal Alert Codes
No Huddle Procedures
Our goal for running a no huddle offense is to press the tempo and keep our opponent from running personnel in and out and to limit their defensive package to only couple of alignment options.
Our goal when we go into a game is to run 3 1/2 plays per minute and in order to do this several things must take place such as:
1. Once the official blows a play dead the offense will hustle to the ball with the offensive line getting aligned in their two point stance and ready to receive a verbal play alert from our quarterback.
2. Z and X Receivers will always lineup in their designated position. “Z” Receiver will always align to the right side of the formation with, the “X” Receiver always aligning to the left side of the formation. We will not flip-flop the Z & X receivers.
3. The Quarterback will receive verbal commands from the side line and then will give verbal play alert to the offensive team. At this point we use a fast snap count which, is “Set Go”. Ball will be snapped as soon as the first sound comes out of the QB’s mouth.
4. Motion does not have to be alerted it is automatic to the play called. The receivers are always looking inward towards the quarterback and the QB will point to the offensive player he wants in motion.
5.Motion begins as soon as the quarterback raises his arms up from his side.
About the Author of this post:
Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.