Tulsa Hurry-Up, No Huddle Offense

Presented By Bill Blankenship, Running Backs Coach, Tulsa
2009 Cleveland Glazier Clinic

"Who We Are"

  1. 2-Back Run / Play-Action from the Gun team.
  2. Keep constant pressure on the Defense by running at a 2-minute pace.  You must train to do it!
  3. Balanced attack; misdiretion in running and passing.
  4. Stretch the field vertically and horizontally.
  5. Throw the book at them with Specials / Fire Alarms / Wildcat Package

Three Goals of the Hurry-Up No Huddle Offense

  1. Mentally & Physically wear down the opponent.  Be aggressive, be in great sheape, and implement the hurry-up/no huddle pace in practice drills.
  2. Speed up the Game.  Hand the ball to the referee, always - preferably to the Umpire.  Sprint on & off for personnel changes - and they play lots of personnel groups.
  3. Play More Snaps (80 snaps per game!).  Turn the game into 5 Quarters for your offense.  Skill guys get more touches - 7 receivers caught over 30 balls for Tulsa.  This is helpful in recruiting and getting guys out to play.

Advantages of the Hurry-Up No Huddle Offense

  1. Coach has the ability to change the play at the Line of Scrimmage (Coaches change / Check With Me / QB Change)
  2. Fun for players & Fans - helps in attendance and in recruiting.
  3. Score Quickly!  79 TD Drives lasted under 2 minutes in the last 2 years.
  4. More Snaps per Game
  5. Create Defensive problems - they can't simulate it in practice, and you can make them prepare for more crap.
  6. Set the Tempo for the Game

Insights Before Implementing the Hurry-Up No Huddle into your Offense

  1. Must be at least average - if your team sucks, and you snap the ball faster, you just give the ball back faster.  And have more bad plays.  The goal must be to get one first down per drive.
  2. Players have to be in great shape (be sure to run the same amount in practice at the end of the season as at the beginning - and not through conditioning, do it in practice). 
  3. Offensive Coordinator has to be prepared to make quick decisions in the Hurry-Up No Huddle.  Need someone who is used to thinking quick, and then you have to have an effective communication system.
  4. The staff must be committed to running the Hurry-Up No Huddle, as a major part of your offense.  You can't just dabble in it.

Playcalling the Offense with the Hurry-Up No Huddle

The play call sheet is unique.  There is the normal Down & Distance calls, but built in Landmark calls as well.  What play to call on the +40 at the Left Hash, etc.  The landmarks can trigger a play call, and they are prepared before the game rather than in the heat of the moment.  

The first 9 plays are scripted.  On Wednesday, they begin running these 9 plays vs. Air, twice per practice.  Run them vs. the Defense on Thursday.  Be perfect on Friday.  

The Receivers and the Running Backs get the call from the sidelines.  The Quarterback echos the call to the Offensive Line.  For Tulsa's signals, a color will tell players whether to look at a play-call number on the board, or to look at the signal guy.  One of them is always a dummy.  Right and Left will confuse the players, so they use "Spread OVER THERE or OVER HERE" to indicate the sideline or boundary to go to.

The Pace of the Hurry-Up / No-Huddle Offense

The pace is not completely balls out every play.  They have NASCAR / INDY / JET to mean hurry up, go faster.  THey are not changing personnel groupings.  

Each week is a different pace package.  There will be about 3 plays they are prepared to run very fast with no change in formation or personnel.

You can't tell the pace they run at by film exchange.  The Video Coordinator is trainted to cut the type right at the play start and finish in order to disguise the play tempo.

Linemen only have Zone Blocking or Gap Schemes.  Their protection is built around two basic protections.  The Quarterback tells the OL the direction and the play by calling "Color - Play" or "Color - Number."  There are two different colors to indicate each direction, and at least 2 code words per play.  The Running Backs always make the protection calls.  

Don't use real calls as your dummy calls, but the Running Back must call something every time.  If the QB gives a run call, the OL know to ignore the Running Back.  On a pass call, the OL listen to the RB.

Play Checks

The Quarterback looks over to the sideline, and gets a check - if its okay, he runs it.  This is a simple "Confirmation Check."  On plays where the coaches are not concerned what the defense gives them, there is no check.  

They can also line up, go through a false cadence, then stop and look to the side line for a play check.  A third type of check is the Quarterback Audible.  If the QB feels the need to audible, he only has one check off of each play.  

Running the Play

Everyone on the sidelines signals the formation, then there is a live signaller, a dummy signaller, and board guys.  Motion does not have to be signalled, it is simply a part of the play being called if it is necessary.

The Cadence is always Color, Color, GO!  They reinforce the direction of the play to the OL by using the color calls in the cadence.

The Formation dicates personnel that are supposed to be on the field.  Players know when they see the formation being signalled if they are involved in the play or not.  

Practicing the Hurry-Up, No Huddle Offense

  1. Teach the Scout Team the basic structure of the Defense for that week.  One coach calls out a coverage and one coach calls out a coverage.  There is not enough time to use cards during the hurry-up segments.
  2. There are "Execution Segments" when the offense needs to get a good look from the Scout Defense.  During this time, the pace slows down and the Scout Team should use play cards.
  3. Coach off the film, not during on the field during pace periods.  Don't slow down the reps.  
  4. Each week should have a narrow focus.


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