Love it. The Chiefs had a ton of success Sunday when going no huddle at the end of both halves. It also helps with pass protection if pass rushers are exhausted.Haley wants to put more emphasis on successful no-huddle package - Kansas City Star
Whatever happened on the Chiefs’ final drive of regulation Sunday, coach Todd Haley wants to pinpoint and repeat it.
Haley said Monday, during his weekly news conference, that he’s willing to put more emphasis on the no-huddle package that had no business working against Dallas but did anyway — perhaps better than anything has worked all season for Kansas City’s bullied and often-overmatched offense.
“They pulled together, sucked it up,” Haley said. “They made the plays work.”
Somehow, that’s what happened. The Chiefs faced a heavy Cowboys pass rush that sacked Matt Cassel four times and kept him rattled and indecisive for nearly 58 minutes of regulation. To make matters worse, Kansas City’s offensive line was without two starters, left tackle Branden Albert and right guard Mike Goff, both of whom left with injuries. The Cowboys had just scored a quick touchdown to take their first lead, adding comeback pressure to the Chiefs.
With all those factors working against Kansas City, Cassel and that beleaguered, battered and pieced-together offense scored a tying touchdown. Cassel made it look easy, too.
“Guys used technique,” Haley said Monday. “They did it the way we’re coaching them to do.”
The coach has said throughout this season that he prefers, for now, to run an offense that minimizes mistakes and allows the Chiefs to get comfortable in Haley’s system. That, and the team doesn’t yet possess the talent that Haley had in Arizona, where he allowed quarterback Kurt Warner to improvise and find star wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.
Cassel passed the first phase of Haley’s plan, lasting three games and attempting 98 passes without an interception. Cassel protected the ball, but what more did the Chiefs have to show for it? The Chiefs are still winless and ranked 30th among 32 NFL teams in total offense.
“If it’s something that gives us a better chance,” Haley said, “I would be for that. It’s something I’ve had a lot of experience with. Anything that will give us a chance to play good on either side of the ball, we need to do.”
Haley said an added use of no-huddle offense wouldn’t eliminate rushing plays, which largely haven’t worked, but a change in philosophy could flip Kansas City’s emphasis from rushing and power to finesse and surprise.
The question, then, becomes whether Haley can yet trust Cassel to play on command the way he did Sunday out of necessity. For the Chiefs to play no-huddle more often, it would have to come with the understanding that a higher-risk offense means more opportunities for mistakes. Still, the team left Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday wondering where that kind of offensive rhythm had been this season.
The 27-year-old quarterback was asked Sunday why, of all times, it took a difficult situation for the offense to look like something between productive and outstanding — even if it was for just the one drive. The Chiefs lost 26-20 in overtime, after a pair of botched possessions in the extra period. The team went back to the old way, and it again failed.
“That’s just football,” Cassel said.
Regardless, Cassel was sharp. The line blocked. Wide receivers caught even the most difficult passes. Pressure evaporated, and the Chiefs’ many holes seemed invisible for the first time all season. There was no time to think or be intimidated. Maybe that’s why it was successful.
Haley said that because it did work — when so little has — a change is worth looking into. What does Kansas City have to lose?
“They got together in the huddle,” Haley said, “and it was just them out there. It’s something I want to build on and move forward with and understand that if we’re capable of doing that as an offense, we surely ought to be capable of scoring enough points to win.”