“I think the Patriots do a great job,” Dickson said. “The key is getting up on the ball, getting set, getting the ref to spot the ball and getting the play called. The Patriots do a great job of keeping people unbalanced by getting on the ball and finding little dinks and dunks, inside routes and it kills teams. Those little 3-yard routes, you catch them, the defense has to run all over there, they’re going to be tired.”
Brady said he doesn’t see a time in which the Patriots are always operating a no-huddle offense.
“There’s advantages, there’s disadvantages,” he said. “There’s an advantage when it works. If your defense is back on the field in 14 seconds, it’s not good. So I think you always have to be able to do both [huddle and no-huddle], because the tempo of the game always changes. If they’re going no-huddle, and you’re going no-huddle and it’s a no-huddle game and each team is going to have 17 possessions, sometimes teams don’t want that. I think it’s good for an offense, but also defenses are getting better at it, too. One’s always ahead of the other.”
For now, the Patriots are ahead of the game.
Simplified play calls are all the rage on the college level, where O’Brien has transferred the Patriots’ package — dubbed “NASCAR” at Penn State — to the Nittany Lions, who ran 39 plays in just more than a quarter to erase a 28-17 deficit to defeat Northwestern, 39-28, Saturday.
That previously mentioned lengthy West Coast play call? It’s the same one ESPN analyst Jon Gruden threw at former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton on his QB Camp television special.
Newton was at a loss to equate an Auburn play to an NFL play. Newton was ridiculed nationally because critics thought it showed that Newton couldn’t handle a pro offense.
But what people didn’t realize at the time was Newton’s subsequent answer, when Gruden talked about Auburn using the no-huddle a lot, was actually more telling.
“Our method is ‘simplistic equals fast,” Newton said. “It’s so simple as far as, you look to the sideline [and] you see ‘36’ on the board. And that’s a play. And we’re off.”
What people didn’t get, because the NFL is slow to evolve, is that Newton was actually showing them a glimpse of the future.
The NFL is a copycat league, so only when someone with job security — like Belichick — tries something new and it works does it spread across the professional ranks.
Belichick has learned that if it’s going on in college, then it’s coming to the NFL. That’s the talent pool, and you should accentuate the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of that talent.
Thanks to guys like Kelly, college players entering the NFL are playing offensive football faster than ever. So that means more teams are going to go faster and faster on offense.
The Patriots are already there, as everyone saw against the Broncos, thanks to one word.
Yes, powerful indeed.