No-huddle makes sense, but not all the time

Posted by Darren Urban on September 11, 2012 – 9:33 am

Kevin Kolb likes working in the no-huddle offense. He’s done it his whole life, working in up-tempo schemes in both high school and at the University of Houston. It made sense that it clicked for him against Seattle Sunday during his game-winning drive. But even Kolb understands and believes it can’t be an option 100 percent of the time.

“The downside you don’t give your defense a rest if you do go three-and-out,” Kolb said. “You’re out there for 40 seconds, and the defense is back on the field. You have to be careful with it.”

It’s more than that, of course. The no-huddle frequently features a lot of shotgun, and the run game is minimalized in those situations. The Cards didn’t run it well in the opener, but that certainly isn’t their plan going forward. Like anything else, defenses get a bead on what the offense is doing and adjust, and that includes the no-huddle.

Kolb noted this offense has long embraced the no-huddle, since Kurt Warner had so much success running it. Fans and coaches remember that. “It’s kind of bred into us here,” Kolb said. It will definitely be part of the Cards’ plan going forward, coach Ken Whisenhunt said, but that’s really nothing new. It’s much harder for specialized defensive substitutions in those situations. The defense also gets tired, even if an offense lets the clock run a little bit. Some of the no-huddle benefit isn’t so much the speed as the ability to snap it at any moment. That’s mentally wearing on a defense, even waiting through a large chunk of the play clock.

Kolb said his comfort comes in part because he’s the one often calling a play. “A lot of it I am calling myself, so initially when you look, you know exactly what you are looking for, whereas when a coach gives you something and you are wondered, ‘Is he thinking this, this or this?’ ” Kolb said. “You stop overthinking the game.”

If it works like it did against the Seahawks, with Kolb throwing a TD and jumping into the arms of a happy offensive line, you certainly aren’t going to ignore the possibilities.

“It fits us well, it fits me well,” Kolb said. “But you can’t do it the whole time. You have to use it as a change of pace I think.”


Tags: ,
Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “No-huddle makes sense, but not all the time”

  1. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Kolb is our QB. 😉

  2. By Cards4ever on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Umm, it seemed to work pretty damn well for the Ravens last night, I’ll take 44 points a game.

  3. By D on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    If you break down the tape of this past game, you can see how well Dockett dominated the Oline of Seattle. The problem is, though the AZ Oline was manhandled by Seattle, which is part of the problem AZ couldn’t run the ball….if this team can’t run the ball and the Oline keeps playing poorly, this team won’t finish 8-8 and changes need to be made….
    If they don’t pick up a Vet this week for the Oline, that tells the fans it won’t be pretty as far as the play on the Oline the next few weeks. Might as well give some more of the rookie Oline some playing time to see if they have a legit Left tackle and Right G soon…because the current Left tackle and Right G are not the answers..

  4. By MIKE G on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Nice article on the no-huddle. I would like to see the Card’s use the no huddle at least once a game. They seem to be pretty good at it and is definitely useful especially if the offense is sputtering during the course of the game. To me the best drives are the long ones 6 to 9 minutes where you can run the ball down the defenses throat and score a TD. I thought during Warner’s time in Arizona the no-huddle was the team’s bread and butter on offense. Hey Darren at this point- which QB do you think is more comfortable and productive running a no-huddle– Kolb or Skelton???

  5. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: No-huddle

    I guess I’d say Kolb, but I’d like to see Skelton operate it too if possible.

  6. By Mr Robles on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Darren do you know why Cardinal’s highlights are Not played during Sunday night football? Its every week I wait till halftime & nothing. Is there any beef or something I know Chris doesnt like The Cardinals “worst playoff team ever” & he ate his words. They have to play this weeks highlights cause of Pat’s sake.

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Mr Robles —

    RE: Highlights

    You’d have to ask NBC.

  8. By rdixon50 on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply


    Watched the Raiders implode last night due to injury to long snapper. Who is our backup? Will he get extra reps in case Mike Leach gets hurt?

  9. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    rdixon —

    RE: LS backup

    Not sure. Probably someone like Jim Dray?

  10. By dan on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    How do we beat the Patriots? Line up with 5 wide, we have more talent in the skilled positions than they have in the secondary by far. Even line up with 2 TE’s in the slot and run the ball with Floyd as one of the WRs since he’s a great blocker as well. Put Adub on the Gronk and hope for the best.

  11. By brad oneill on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    D- I think you are being to critical, if we rewind to two weeks ago our team looked like it could run block but not pass block, you can bet in the interim the coaches went 100 percent into getting the pass block down, the key was not letting our qb get killed. This mindset probably threw the timing of the run off just a bit as The runners didnt get as much time to work with what was a new line. The backs were probably drilling their blocks and the coaches and team were relying on the past competence of the run game to carry them. Well Beanie has been out for most of the Pre season and our starter for week 1 is basically a rookie playing in his very first nfl game. He was not patient and did not wait for the blocking to develop at the same time the blocking wasn’t fully developing because the guys just hadn’t put the time in on it.

    this week we are facing a very solid run defense, I am not sure our run game is going to be much better statistically this week than last but you can bet they will be better prepared and if New England makes a mistake we will capitalize on it. I think beanie will be the battering ram and the cards will average 2 yards a carry they may only break out once or twice for big gains but if they go 8 in the box all day on us Kolb will get us into the endzone.

  12. By kreedos on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Give the no huddle a shot Whiz…play to your QBs’ strength and give your team a better chance to win. would hate to see a bad season that ends in a regime change.

  13. By J on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Dude D really?

    I know the O-line isnt great but they only had one sack. That is BIG because last season and all of preseason the QB spent out of the time on the ground. I would love to see the running game get going as well but B-WELLs is still not 100% so give them sometime. I would rather protect the QB then have the best running game in the league.

  14. By drummer-1 on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    @ D

    What Vet is out there today, that wasn’t there when Levi got injured? You seem to think it’s just that easy to go pick up someone.. The o-line did fine, how can they get better if you keep changing them every week..

  15. By D on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    You people need to look at reality and not be over emotional, I know it’s difficult to do, but that Oline performance may have allowed only one sack, but if you watched the game closely, it was getting blown off the ball. The defense of NE has two good tackles, this Oline will have problems up the middle, then the following week against Philly, our young Tackles will need all the help the TE and fullbacks can give because of their two really good pass rushers…..maybe the fans need to act like the players…celebrate the win the day of the game and then look to improve the following Monday….

    P.S. The reason why I say to look to pick up a Vet this week, is because the Vet contracts are not guaranteed now…

  16. By Steve W. on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, this was a timely blog, Daren – I was just wondering why we don’t run the no-huddle more often when it seems so effective. The reasoning makes a lot of sense, and considering how long our defense was already on the field against the Seahawks I can see why Whiz was being conservative with it. Seems like a great time to run it would be after a turnover when our D has already had a recent rest and pumped up.

  17. By mike hadzinski on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply


    Long can you make an article this week about the DANGER A-DUB IS IN SINCE HE CAN’T COVER TIGHT ENDS ?

  18. By Chuck 1 on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Problem areas that need to be fixed if the Cards want to make the playoffs:
    • the inability to have an effective running game. Is it the OL or the RBs or both? The YPC average against the Seahawks won’t cut it for the rest of the season. (an offense can’t be one dimensional and beat good teams)
    • ineffective special team’s kickoff coverage (shortening the field for the opposition will eventually lead to points against)
    • questionable secondary pass coverage (beware of Brady and other good QBs)
    and lastly, of course
    • inconsistent Quarterbacking

    Regarding Skelton vs. Kolb when JS is healthy: Whiz said that “Skelton gave the team the best opportunity to win”. So, I hope that he starts Skelton. Let’s see if Whiz is correct.

  19. By truths4all on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply


    Check your game tapes from last season. Skelton successfully ran the No-Huddle offense in the games he started and finished last season as well as in the 49er game.

  20. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    truths —

    RE: Skelton

    I would need to clarify. I know he ran the hurry-up/two-minute. Believe it or not, there is a difference between the hurry-up and the no-huddle.

  21. By John the draft guy on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    Re: no huddle vs hurry up

    Well said Darren.

    The best example of the no huddle is Peyton. When Peyton gets to the line quickly without a huddle, it is to prevent defensive changes for one, but also, at the line he reads the defense, sends players in motion to see what kind of coverage the defense will use, he bluffs the snap to see where a blitzer might come from. Every thing he does, is for a purpose to give himself an advantage on that play. Usually Manning will use all the play clock in his no huddle.

    Hurry up, you are trying to beat the clock and get the play off as soon as possible. The routes are different depending on the time and timeouts you have. The little qb for Seattle ran a hurry up offense against us in the last 2 min of the game.

    With that being said, what is Kolb talking about saying 3 plays could take 40 seconds? That is a little concerning to hear.

    But to another subject, what is the status of Andre Carter and the cards. He wasn’t great in the skins 3-4 but put up double digit sacks for the patriots and was pretty good for the niners years ago. Would be a nice addition.

  22. By pacardsfan on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    I’m not a huge Kolb fan. Matter of fact, I’m far from a fan of him. I like Skelton, but I must admit, after seeing Kolb the last preseason game and the this past week against the Hawks, he did impress me on the “No Huddle” I do think he is good at that. I haven’t seen Skelton in the No Huddle much, but I can’t hate on Kolb for his play then

  23. By bluepitt on Sep 11, 2012 | Reply

    I thought I was Crazy, dont you think it is way to earley to be talking about the run game.. we played one game They stacked the box….Even I (The most critiacl jerk) ant jumping off the boat yet. Maby 2 or 3 games in then I will make my hastey opinion. Im worrrried about the bigest problem we have THE QB!!!!

  24. By Mr Robles on Sep 12, 2012 | Reply

    Got there number? haha But do you see what im saying were always getting snubbed but they have to this week.

  25. By Bob Riley on Sep 12, 2012 | Reply

    The way I see it, Peyton has played the no huddle offense all the way into the Hall of Fame. Why can’t the Cards do it? If you can throw the ball down the field then the running game will come. this is not the 1990s.

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Sep 11, 2012: Kevin Kolb On The Arizona Cardinals No-Huddle Offense

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: