Arizona Cardinals: No Huddle Approach in Camp


In a game of adjustments, the no huddle offense is a key ingredient in winning the war in the trenches.

After visiting Cardinals camp over the weekend there were a few things I noticed, one of the biggest ones wasn’t who was on the field, who was playing with the number one’s, the two’s or off to the side, it was the offense that was being run.

About midway through practice the number one offense and number one defense practiced the no-huddle offense, something seen as part of the offensive game plan for many teams in the league and a staple of the two-minute-offense.

The no-huddle was worked on earlier in the offseason at OTAs, at that time Arians was quoted, via Marc Sessler at as saying, “You can change the pace of the game. 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.”

The no-huddle offense is something that does, inherently, have advantages and disadvantages to it. As Arians points out in his quote above, using the no-huddle offense allows for you to “wind” the defense, keeping the same 11 guys on the field for a series of plays will wear them down, and you hope for a mistake. Using the personnel you’ve chosen, you hope for mismatches or missed assignments as the defense coordinator has to call in a play to the assigned player on the field with the defensive radio in the short amount of time between snaps. Running an up-tempo, no-huddle can be devastating to both sides of the ball as far as stamina and endurance.

Arizona Cardinals practice no huddle offense at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday, August 1, 2015. Photo by: Erich Becker

Therein lies one of the disadvantages for team, you have the same 11 guys on the field as well, so utility players, like receiving running backs or tight ends, allow you to work from multiple set ups with the same guys.

In Saturday’s practice the no huddle moved down half the field with ease, completing passes to various receivers as the defense frantically called out assignments prior to the catch, for corner backs and safeties their assignments are usually pretty obvious, but if the offense is working from a single back set with multiple wide receivers and tight ends on the field, the defense has to know to drop linebackers into coverage, or, if the defense is running in nickel with five DBs on the field at once, you hope for a mismatch in a big, tall tight end picking up a first down.

The NFL is a game of adjustments and substitutions to give yourself a competitive advantage on the field with the right group of guys. Dual purpose tight ends, running backs and good blocking receivers are important tools in your toolbox in no-huddle.

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