Patriots wearing out the no-huddle offense

Patriots wearing out the no-huddle offense
November 17, 2011, 8:09 pm
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FOXBORO -- If the Patriots plan on running the no-huddle offense on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, they're not going to tell anybody about it beforehand.

But facts are facts. And the fact is, New England seems to enjoy running the the offense in no-huddle mode, as seen in Sunday night's win over the New York Jets.

Some Patriots players talked about the effects of their no-huddle style. Others -- like veteran running back Kevin Faulk -- grew frustrated by continued questions about the certain style that may or may not be used against the Chiefs' defense.

"The speed of the game changes for us," said Faulk, when first asked about it.

He then said, "I think it's just a change-up that we try to do as an offensive team. The effectiveness shows on the football field. If you're not moving the ball, it's not effective . . . It's just something you try to surprise people with."

And when a third question about the no-huddle came, Faulk showed his impatience and discomfort in speaking about the topic.

"There's no need to talk about the no-huddle right now," he said. "Let's go. Anything else?"

Whether or not that response means he doesn't want to reveal any of the Patriots' game plan to the Chiefs remains to be seen.

But one thing we do know is, they enjoy the no-huddle.

"It gets pretty tiring, but theyre getting tired too, so thats the main thing," said offensive lineman Logan Mankins. "Its nice to do it occasionally when its 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 dont have the rest between plays like in the huddle."

Wide receiver Deion Branch was a beneficiary of the no-huddle offense on Sunday against the Jets. The speed of New England's no-huddle had New York's defense -- at times -- in a state of confusion. And at least on one play, Branch found himself wide open on the right sideline off Tom Brady's quick snap, as Jets defenders hadn't even jumped out of their huddle.

Brady found Branch with a quick, easy pass, and it was just another example of why they do it.

"Guys get fatigued," said Branch on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. "We're going to get tired, and hopefully we're going to make their defense as tired as we are.

"For the most part, we're pretty sound with the stuff that we're doing. Coach Belichick is not going to give us an overhaul of plays. I think you can try to go into that no-huddle situation, and put 40, 50 plays in, and that's a big challenge as well. I think coach does a good job of making sure we have the right amount of plays. It's just based on us. making sure we're staying focused and doing what we're supposed to do."

There is a negative side to the no-huddle, however. As Branch explained on Thursday, while it works to help catch a fatigued defense off-guard, it also can result in some sloppy false starts on the offensive end.

"We've been having a lot of flags, false starts, things of that nature," said Branch. "That stuff comes into play when you're physically or mentally tired, or something like that. That's something that happens during the course of running a no-huddle."

Mankins agreed, but said that some of those false start calls are unavoidable.

"Sometimes it is focus and concentration," said Mankins. "Sometimes you just barely twitch just a tiny little bit and youre going to get called. There are so many referees or umpires, whatever you want to call them, watching the O-line now, especially with the other guy moved behind. Theres two guys just sitting there staring at us. Theyre going to catch any little thing."

But if it means catching the Chiefs defense snoozing, the Patriots will continue to take that risk on Monday night.