Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots directs his players during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
The big story on Tuesday came courtesy of the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard, who wrote in great detail about the Patriots' newfangled no-huddle scheme that was inspired (at least in part) by Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who knows a thing or two about explosive, fast-paced offenses.
Kelly is a proponent of the one-word playcall because sideline calls and wristbands take way too long. The collective Patriots' response, according to Bedard, was basically: “You run an entire offense like that? How do you get the players to comprehend that?”
The answers, as explained by former Duck Ed Dickson, now a tight end with the Ravens.
“It’s kind of easy,” Dickson said. “It comes with repetition. A lot of guys learn different. Myself, I just needed to be out there repping those plays. The more comfortable you get, the faster you’ll go. He wants to make it easier to where you’re not thinking about anything, you’re just going fast. Make it as simple as guys can learn it so you can go really fast. That’s the key, making it simple for your players so they can play at top speed.”
The no-huddle was on fully display on Sunday as the Patriots ran up and down the field on the Broncos, jumping out to a 31-7 lead. They ran 89 plays, roughly 25 more than the average offense, because they didn't have to waste time with verbiage.
However, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels says this isn't new.
"I think this isn't something that's brand new for this team, this organization, and certainly not this offense," he said while speaking with reporters on Tuesday. "I know we had done it in the past. I know Billy (O'Brien) had done a great job with it in the last few years."
So all this points to an offensive explosion in Seattle on Sunday, right? Not so fast.
ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss addressed this in his weekly mailbag column.
"(M)y feeling on the up-tempo no-huddle is that it's a changeup. You can't do that every week on a consistent basis. As for the home versus road deal, the Patriots ran a pretty quick no-huddle on the road in week 3 against the Ravens, so it can be done. It's just a little more challenging and stresses the communication a bit more. Just a hunch, but I'd expect more of a conventional approach this week from the Patriots because that up-tempo, no-huddle approach might play into the strength of the fast, attacking Seahawks defense."