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http://www.colts.com/news/article-notebook/Colts-Wednesday-Notebook-What-Is-Andrew-Luck%E2%80%99s-Role-While-He-Sits-Out/762e9811-f993-4b00-bf13-3581c89f0a30

 

That what's Hasselbeck has called the Colts offense, according to an article by Kevin Bowen.

 

Hasselbeck credits Harrison for grasping an offense the quarterback calls the most “complicated” system in the NFL. Things have been cleaned up and the offense has been a bit more simplified, which should ease things for the offense heading into road environments three of the next four weeks.

 

I read this article yesterday, but that part stood out to me. Hasselbeck has been in the NFL for 18 years. He's played on four teams, for 7 head coaches and at least 8 offensive coordinators. He has 165 starts, including playoffs. He's been to a Super Bowl. He has seen a lot around the league in his time.

 

And this seasoned veteran, who has never had an issue grasping the details of any offense he's played in, called the Colts system the most complicated offense in the NFL. Even if that's hyperbole, it's alarming to me. Why should the Colts have such a complicated offense? And what makes it so complicated?

 

I've been arguing since the 2012 Arians' offense that we were a little too complex on offense. Too many formations, too much motion, too many substitutions, too many personnel groupings, etc. Then we hired Pep, and he claimed to be merging the Stanford offense -- which features plenty of personnel groupings itself -- with the Arians' offense. We added unbalanced formations, tackle eligible plays, etc., to an already complex offense.

 

Contrast that with the Peyton Manning / Howard Mudd offense that was always one of the best in the league. It's been said that the Colts ran only a handful of different run plays. The two starting receivers almost always lined up on the same side of the field. There was hardly any motion. The starting TE almost never left the field. They ran no-huddle most of the time, and the play calls were simple enough that they could be communicated with code words and hand signals. And for a decade, that offense was always one of the best and most efficient in the league, setting records along the way. It relied on supreme execution (accurate throws, good route running, etc.). Not without its flaws at times, but always enviable. 

 

Or contrast it with the Eagles under Chip Kelly. Not as enviable an offense, but they've had four different QBs in less than three seasons, and all of them have had at least a measure of success. They've always had an explosive element to their offense. And they don't huddle. They call plays off of signals from the sideline, including audibles. For as gimmicky and goofy as it is, their offense is definitely not complicated.

 

The Colts offense has had plenty of issues with slow starts, and in a lot of those games, the offense was able to get clicking when they scrapped the huddle, let the QB make the calls at the line, and started attacking. The great Green Bay game in 2012, Arians made a conscientious decision to go no-huddle and let the players set the pace. 

 

Hopefully the claim that the offense has been simplified holds true. There was some streamlining in the Denver game. And one of the major differences was that the offensive line was only penalized once (and it was a questionable false start where the defender nearly breached the neutral zone). 

 

TL;DR 

 

My point is that our offense was obviously too complicated, and hopefully it's been simplified to a considerable degree, which will allow the players to make plays. If that's the only adjustment that Chud makes over the rest of the season, it will be a good one.

 

/rant

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This has long been one of my fears.....

 

That Pep would bring the size and scope of the Stanford playbook with him to Indy.

 

Stanford has a 300 play playbook.       Not kidding.

 

Many of the fans (me included) feel it's way too big,  it has some of our players thinking too much and they move around like they're not sure of what they're supposed to do.

 

It's taken our QB till his 5th season before he has come close to mastering it.     And even now,  there are issues with the size.    

 

And I've often wondered if the Colts playbook would be too big.

 

Andrew Luck can handle it.    A bunch of Colts I'm sure can handle it.    But I also suspect that a number of players are overwhelmed by it.

 

I hope Chud can simplify things so the players are more comfortable.    More reacting and less thinking.

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If it's so complicated then how come the defenses seem to know exactly what the Colts will be doing before they even snap the ball?

 

That is because defenses react to alignments and only a very few plays are run out of the same alignments with the Colts' O, it is easier to read the plays??? Just guessing here. :)

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This has long been one of my fears.....

 

That Pep would bring the size and scope of the Stanford playbook with him to Indy.

 

Stanford has a 300 play playbook.       Not kidding.

 

Many of the fans (me included) feel it's way too big,  it has some of our players thinking too much and they move around like they're not sure of what they're supposed to do.

 

It's taken our QB till his 5th season before he has come close to mastering it.     And even now,  there are issues with the size.    

 

And I've often wondered if the Colts playbook would be too big.

 

Andrew Luck can handle it.    A bunch of Colts I'm sure can handle it.    But I also suspect that a number of players are overwhelmed by it.

 

I hope Chud can simplify things so the players are more comfortable.    More reacting and less thinking.

So size does matter then...Sorry, I couldn't resist that joke NCF. Hey, you swung the door wide open. I just walked through it. Just Kidding! 

 

In all seriousness my friend, I agree with your big picture point: More isn't always better in terms of execution or efficiency sometimes, it just more. More things to mess up & get confused by etc. etc. 

 

We need to dilute down the playbook to plays our whole offense grasps & can just react to. No paralysis by over analysis stuff that loses games on the field. Well said.  

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That is because defenses react to alignments and only a very few plays are run out of the same alignments with the Colts' O, it is easier to read the plays??? Just guessing here. :)

Makes more sense than anything else.

 

I am a firm believe in multiple plays from the same formation.  It's one of the main reasons why the stretch play and the PAP off the stretch worked so well all those years with Manning.  Because everyone did exactly the same thing on each play... the line blocked the same, Edge ran the same, the WR ran routes the same.  The only difference was sometimes Manning would hand off and sometimes he wouldn't. 

 

It was not a complicated play but it was effective.

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I know Matt has seen a lot in the NFL but he hasn't seen everything, no one has.  

 

This might be hyperbole.  I always felt Peyton Manning's pre-Kubiak offenses where probably the most complicated ones in the NFL.

 

I will also point out that Matt might see it as the most complicated in the NFL because it's the most complicated he's personally seen. 

 

I would guess NFL offenses have gotten more complicated over time. . . So in the last 5 years Matt has been with the Titans who at the time where trying to start the inexperienced Jake Locker and us.  It would make sense that the Titans would keep their offense on the simple side (in NFL terms) with an inexperienced QB in Locker.

 

We are starting Luck who is known to have a exceptional memory plus he's now in his 4th year.  

 

I just focus in on the deep routes personally.  It seemed like every play we called involved most WR's going deep.  When we stopped doing that when Matt was starting and against Denver after Chud took over, we won.  

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I know Matt has seen a lot in the NFL but he hasn't seen everything, no one has.

This might be hyperbole. I always felt Peyton Manning's pre-Kubiak offenses where probably the most complicated ones in the NFL.

I will also point out that Matt might see it as the most complicated in the NFL because it's the most complicated he's personally seen.

I would guess NFL offenses have gotten more complicated over time. . . So in the last 5 years Matt has been with the Titans who at the time where trying to start the inexperienced Jake Locker and us. It would make sense that the Titans would keep their offense on the simple side (in NFL terms) with an inexperienced QB in Locker.

We are starting Luck who is known to have a exceptional memory plus he's now in his 4th year.

I just focus in on the deep routes personally. It seemed like every play we called involved most WR's going deep. When we stopped doing that when Matt was starting and against Denver after Chud took over, we won.

Regardless of what it is, no one can deny that the Denver game was the most comfortable Andrew has looked all season. The offense as a whole looked the most comfortable. And we fed Frank Gore!

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I know Matt has seen a lot in the NFL but he hasn't seen everything, no one has.  

 

This might be hyperbole.  I always felt Peyton Manning's pre-Kubiak offenses where probably the most complicated ones in the NFL.

 

I will also point out that Matt might see it as the most complicated in the NFL because it's the most complicated he's personally seen. 

 

I would guess NFL offenses have gotten more complicated over time. . . So in the last 5 years Matt has been with the Titans who at the time where trying to start the inexperienced Jake Locker and us.  It would make sense that the Titans would keep their offense on the simple side (in NFL terms) with an inexperienced QB in Locker.

 

We are starting Luck who is known to have a exceptional memory plus he's now in his 4th year.  

 

I just focus in on the deep routes personally.  It seemed like every play we called involved most WR's going deep.  When we stopped doing that when Matt was starting and against Denver after Chud took over, we won.  

 

I don't buy your hyperbole about Matt's hyperbole :).

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Makes more sense than anything else.

 

I am a firm believe in multiple plays from the same formation.  It's one of the main reasons why the stretch play and the PAP off the stretch worked so well all those years with Manning.  Because everyone did exactly the same thing on each play... the line blocked the same, Edge ran the same, the WR ran routes the same.  The only difference was sometimes Manning would hand off and sometimes he wouldn't. 

 

It was not a complicated play but it was effective.

 

That is because defenses react to alignments and only a very few plays are run out of the same alignments with the Colts' O, it is easier to read the plays??? Just guessing here. :)

 

Yup. My complaint about all those formations and motions and packages was exactly that. You use one look 30 times in a season, and teams can easily pick up on the trend. Whenever you go under center with 3 WRs and presnap motion, it's play action. All these little wrinkles lend themselves to being identified with charting. But if you use that same look 150 times a season, that trend begins to be washed out and equalized. Fewer formations and packages ironically leads to less predictability. 

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Makes more sense than anything else.

 

I am a firm believe in multiple plays from the same formation.  It's one of the main reasons why the stretch play and the PAP off the stretch worked so well all those years with Manning.  Because everyone did exactly the same thing on each play... the line blocked the same, Edge ran the same, the WR ran routes the same.  The only difference was sometimes Manning would hand off and sometimes he wouldn't. 

 

It was not a complicated play but it was effective.

Well that and I think Lucks ability to sell play action is not good

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Regardless of what it is, no one can deny that the Denver game was the most comfortable Andrew has looked all season. The offense as a whole looked the most comfortable. And we fed Frank Gore!

 

If you look at some of the big plays from that game too they where short routes.  One of the biggest plays of the game in terms of yardage was TY Hilton on a little crossing route where he got the ball and used his speed to break away and get quite a few yards.

 

This in general was the change that needed to be made.  Sure we don't completely abandon deep routes, we still want to send guys deep, stretch the defense and occasionally find an opening and exploit it.  But you can't put all your eggs in the deep route basket.  Makes it too easy to cover everyone, just tell your CB's to cover soft, don't bite on any moves.

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A great analogy pointed at a problem coupled with the solution, MOS! Simplified playbooks have always dominated in the NFL. Off the top of my head, '60s Packers, '70s Steelers, '80s 49ers (Walsh had more than he ran), '90s Cowboys. I really can't comment on the 2000s Patriots as I'm not as familiar (but it seemed simplified).

What did all of these teams do?

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I know Matt has seen a lot in the NFL but he hasn't seen everything, no one has.  

 

This might be hyperbole.  I always felt Peyton Manning's pre-Kubiak offenses where probably the most complicated ones in the NFL.

 

I will also point out that Matt might see it as the most complicated in the NFL because it's the most complicated he's personally seen. 

 

I would guess NFL offenses have gotten more complicated over time. . . So in the last 5 years Matt has been with the Titans who at the time where trying to start the inexperienced Jake Locker and us.  It would make sense that the Titans would keep their offense on the simple side (in NFL terms) with an inexperienced QB in Locker.

 

We are starting Luck who is known to have a exceptional memory plus he's now in his 4th year.  

 

I just focus in on the deep routes personally.  It seemed like every play we called involved most WR's going deep.  When we stopped doing that when Matt was starting and against Denver after Chud took over, we won.  

 

To the bolded, based on what? The Manning/Moore offense has often been noted for its simplicity.

 

I also have a hard time buying the idea that MH doesn't know what modern pro offenses look like. The guy has worked with a lot of very effective offensive coordinators and head coaches, whose concepts are still popular in the NFL. Mike McCarthy was his QB coach in Green Bay, and McCarthy is still running Holmgren's stuff and Sherman's stuff -- WCO stuff -- from 20 years ago when the Packers won the Super Bowl.

 

Chris Palmer, MH's coordinator in Tennessee, was with Tom Coughlin way back with the Jaguars, and they ran basically the same Erhardt-Perkins stuff 20 years ago with Mark Brunell when Kevin Gilbride was the coordinator, who was the Giants coordinator up until 2013, and it's the same basic stuff the Pats have run since Charlie Weis, and they still use it.

 

Ain't nothin' new under the sun. Same plays, same terminology (Aaron Rodgers is calling "Green 19" just like Favre was ten years ago), same concepts, same routes. You'll get a gimmick every once in a while, or a new wrinkle, but NFL offenses haven't become more complicated. Faster paced, sure, but that's not applicable to the Colts. Even if it was, that's not complicated.

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If you look at some of the big plays from that game too they where short routes. One of the biggest plays of the game in terms of yardage was TY Hilton on a little crossing route where he got the ball and used his speed to break away and get quite a few yards.

This in general was the change that needed to be made. Sure we don't completely abandon deep routes, we still want to send guys deep, stretch the defense and occasionally find an opening and exploit it. But you can't put all your eggs in the deep route basket. Makes it too easy to cover everyone, just tell your CB's to cover soft, don't bite on any moves.

That wheel route to Griff Whalen was so beautiful I cried when he caught it

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This has long been one of my fears.....

 

That Pep would bring the size and scope of the Stanford playbook with him to Indy.

 

Stanford has a 300 play playbook.       Not kidding.

 

Many of the fans (me included) feel it's way too big,  it has some of our players thinking too much and they move around like they're not sure of what they're supposed to do.

 

It's taken our QB till his 5th season before he has come close to mastering it.     And even now,  there are issues with the size.    

 

And I've often wondered if the Colts playbook would be too big.

 

Andrew Luck can handle it.    A bunch of Colts I'm sure can handle it.    But I also suspect that a number of players are overwhelmed by it.

 

I hope Chud can simplify things so the players are more comfortable.    More reacting and less thinking.

 

And it's not just the Stanford offense. It's some sort of hybrid merge of the Stanford offense with the Arians offense that was already in place. Plus, Clyde stuck around, and there was talk of some old Manning/Moore stuff being held over.

 

Frankenstein. It's a monstrosity of an offense that wound up turning on its maker.

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And it's not just the Stanford offense. It's some sort of hybrid merge of the Stanford offense with the Arians offense that was already in place. Plus, Clyde stuck around, and there was talk of some old Manning/Moore stuff being held over.

Frankenstein. It's a monstrosity of an offense that wound up turning on its maker.

That is a perfect description. Hopefully it doesn't kill it's makers wife and he goes and chased him in the artic....I was going somewhere with that I don't know now

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This has long been one of my fears.....

 

That Pep would bring the size and scope of the Stanford playbook with him to Indy.

 

Stanford has a 300 play playbook.       Not kidding.

 

Many of the fans (me included) feel it's way too big,  it has some of our players thinking too much and they move around like they're not sure of what they're supposed to do.

 

It's taken our QB till his 5th season before he has come close to mastering it.     And even now,  there are issues with the size.    

 

And I've often wondered if the Colts playbook would be too big.

 

Andrew Luck can handle it.    A bunch of Colts I'm sure can handle it.    But I also suspect that a number of players are overwhelmed by it.

 

I hope Chud can simplify things so the players are more comfortable.    More reacting and less thinking.

12 has not had a hard time mastering this offense....  he ran it in college.  He was teaching the rest of the team the plays when Pep first arrived.   Maybe the rest of the team have struggled, but Andrew did not

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12 has not had a hard time mastering this offense....  he ran it in college.  He was teaching the rest of the team the plays when Pep first arrived.   Maybe the rest of the team have struggled, but Andrew did not

 

I know....   and I said so two lines below the line you put into bold.

 

I wrote:     Andrew Luck can handle it.    

 

That's never the worry with Luck.

 

The worry is getting the rest of the team on the same page with him.     And that's easier said than done,  especially when you're trying to do it in the middle of the season.

 

It's easier doing it turning the off-season.    But in-season is much harder.

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If it's so complicated then how come the defenses seem to know exactly what the Colts will be doing before they even snap the ball?

 

If I had to guess it's because of a combination of personnel groupings and down and distance.

 

I think there were too many times where sitting at home I could figure out if we were passing or running by those two measures.

 

I didn't know what the pass would be,  or where we'd be running,  but I wasn't comfortable being able to figure out what our pass/run play call would be....

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http://www.colts.com/news/article-notebook/Colts-Wednesday-Notebook-What-Is-Andrew-Luck%E2%80%99s-Role-While-He-Sits-Out/762e9811-f993-4b00-bf13-3581c89f0a30

 

That what's Hasselbeck has called the Colts offense, according to an article by Kevin Bowen.

 

Hasselbeck credits Harrison for grasping an offense the quarterback calls the most “complicated” system in the NFL. Things have been cleaned up and the offense has been a bit more simplified, which should ease things for the offense heading into road environments three of the next four weeks.

 

I read this article yesterday, but that part stood out to me. Hasselbeck has been in the NFL for 18 years. He's played on four teams, for 7 head coaches and at least 8 offensive coordinators. He has 165 starts, including playoffs. He's been to a Super Bowl. He has seen a lot around the league in his time.

 

And this seasoned veteran, who has never had an issue grasping the details of any offense he's played in, called the Colts system the most complicated offense in the NFL. Even if that's hyperbole, it's alarming to me. Why should the Colts have such a complicated offense? And what makes it so complicated?

 

I've been arguing since the 2012 Arians' offense that we were a little too complex on offense. Too many formations, too much motion, too many substitutions, too many personnel groupings, etc. Then we hired Pep, and he claimed to be merging the Stanford offense -- which features plenty of personnel groupings itself -- with the Arians' offense. We added unbalanced formations, tackle eligible plays, etc., to an already complex offense.

 

Contrast that with the Peyton Manning / Howard Mudd offense that was always one of the best in the league. It's been said that the Colts ran only a handful of different run plays. The two starting receivers almost always lined up on the same side of the field. There was hardly any motion. The starting TE almost never left the field. They ran no-huddle most of the time, and the play calls were simple enough that they could be communicated with code words and hand signals. And for a decade, that offense was always one of the best and most efficient in the league, setting records along the way. It relied on supreme execution (accurate throws, good route running, etc.). Not without its flaws at times, but always enviable. 

 

Or contrast it with the Eagles under Chip Kelly. Not as enviable an offense, but they've had four different QBs in less than three seasons, and all of them have had at least a measure of success. They've always had an explosive element to their offense. And they don't huddle. They call plays off of signals from the sideline, including audibles. For as gimmicky and goofy as it is, their offense is definitely not complicated.

 

The Colts offense has had plenty of issues with slow starts, and in a lot of those games, the offense was able to get clicking when they scrapped the huddle, let the QB make the calls at the line, and started attacking. The great Green Bay game in 2012, Arians made a conscientious decision to go no-huddle and let the players set the pace. 

 

Hopefully the claim that the offense has been simplified holds true. There was some streamlining in the Denver game. And one of the major differences was that the offensive line was only penalized once (and it was a questionable false start where the defender nearly breached the neutral zone). 

 

TL;DR 

 

My point is that our offense was obviously too complicated, and hopefully it's been simplified to a considerable degree, which will allow the players to make plays. If that's the only adjustment that Chud makes over the rest of the season, it will be a good one.

 

/rant

When you speak of the Colts offense of the Manning era you're also talking about Tom Moore. Tom is a genius with offenses and was very very successful before coming to Indy so when you combine: the great Tom Moore, the great Peyton Manning, the great Marvin Harrison, and the great Edge James and the great Reggie Wayne you have pieces that have very seldom been rivialed in the annals of NFL history. It was great fun to watch while it lasted.

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Playbooks in the NFL are an ever changing and evolving item.  Teams evaluate at the end of the year what worked, what didn't, and why.  They trim the bad out, and devise nes for next year.  Also new talent acquired on the team figures in to the 'new' playbook.  This is done even without changing coordinators.  (or should be)

 

Here is a Task for the Colts Fan Forum members reading this.  You - have just been selected to play offense on Jon Gruden's Oakland Raiders team.  You have been handed a playbook.  Your job, is to (download this .pdf) read it all and commit to memory all of the 'groupings', 'protections' (especially center, QB, O line) and names of plays.  Then commit to memory all of the 'Alerts' and 'Audibles' for each of those plays; based upon groupings and protections available.

 

http://www.csnbayarea.com/sites/csnbayarea/files/raiders-playbook-gruden.pdf

 

Being a fan is easy.  Complaining about plays and when they are called is easy.  Especially when it is all done without intricate knowledge of the (any) playbook and done in hindsight.  Huge playbooks and rookies are a bad mix.  No matter how talented the player(s).  This is where players are not free flowing... nor playing without thinking.  When a veteran that knows the playbook gets an assignment (playcall), he can commit to executing what is immediately is recognized as being demanded from him on any given play call.  They have performed it so many times in practice and games it becomes second nature as the call is being made by the QB.  When all of the plays are not ingrained into memory  and practiced into a subconscious act to go out and execute, the player is in 'thinking mode'.  The natural ability of the athlete is compromised, and thus a defender (especially one that has read his keys and deciphered the play) has an advantage.  It is conceivable you could even get players with a couple years of service caught off guard with an oversized playbook, if not trimmed to meet the opponent / specific game plan each week.

 

The weekly game plan is a supposed to be a subset of the playbook.  It is used to not only optimize the plays using the strengths of your personnel, but also to target weaknesses in your opponent. The full playbook can be reduced to as little as 80-100 plays, and practice all of them that week in various down / distance / time situations that may be encountered during the game.  The resulting Play Chart for that week is that colorful, laminated card you will see OC's and DC's carrying on the sideline, and using to cover their mouth when sending in plays.  That is the installed and practiced game plays for that week.

 

Coach Brian Billick once wrote -

 

************************************************************************

"The size and complexity of any game plan and the way you install it is not the issue. What is at issue is if you as a coach have taken the time to be as detailed and specific in your game plan preparation as is needed to give your players the best chance to succeed.    {doesn't sound like full playbook available every week, does it?}

 

Summary

 

The key elements in establishing your installation are:

  1. Consolidate each situation and determine the size of each package.
  2. Be very aware of how much overage you have in each area. The ratio of what you need versus what can be practiced is vital.
  3. Structure your game plan discussions and layout so that everyone is on the same page as to what is being done.
  4. Do not be afraid to delegate responsibilities for different aspects of the game plan.
  5. Make sure at weeks end you have practiced what you had intended to practice and have covered all that you have needed to.
  6. Make sure each coach knows what he is responsible for during the game.

***************************************************************

 

To me, it is not the size and complexity of the overall playbook, that can and will  be learned in time.  My concern is the (reduction of) size and complexity of the playbook for 'that week', and what is left needs to be tailored and practiced rigorously in preparation for the upcoming game. That is the responsibility of all the coaches each and every week.  I wonder if Chud is now doing just that, using the current playbook, but trimming it more / differently as necessary each week.  The true playbook could be 1000 plays or better, but maybe only the best 80-100 should be selected based upon the opponent and tendencies, then practiced that week.  Remember, the offense will probably only get in the area of 60 offensive plays called and executed in total during a game.  Practicing for or having 1000 plays available for an upcoming game is not conducive to a finely tuned offense, IMO.  I am not sure how many Pep had on his chart each week, and how many Chud will have.

 

So my final question to Hasselbeck, in just what specific way is our O the most complicated?  Overall size? Weekly size? What else? 

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When you speak of the Colts offense of the Manning era you're also talking about Tom Moore. Tom is a genius with offenses and was very very successful before coming to Indy so when you combine: the great Tom Moore, the great Peyton Manning, the great Marvin Harrison, and the great Edge James and the great Reggie Wayne you have pieces that have very seldom been rivialed in the annals of NFL history. It was great fun to watch while it lasted.

 

I don't know why I said Howard Mudd. I meant Tom Moore.

 

That offense was a hybrid of several different things, and I think it should be called the Manning-Moore offense. But it's credited as being an Air Coryell offense mixed with an Erhardt-Perkins offense. Throw in some WCO stuff, and now you're looking at the Colts offense. 

 

And obviously, we had great talent.

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http://www.colts.com/news/article-notebook/Colts-Wednesday-Notebook-What-Is-Andrew-Luck%E2%80%99s-Role-While-He-Sits-Out/762e9811-f993-4b00-bf13-3581c89f0a30

 

That what's Hasselbeck has called the Colts offense, according to an article by Kevin Bowen.

 

Hasselbeck credits Harrison for grasping an offense the quarterback calls the most “complicated” system in the NFL. Things have been cleaned up and the offense has been a bit more simplified, which should ease things for the offense heading into road environments three of the next four weeks.

 

I read this article yesterday, but that part stood out to me. Hasselbeck has been in the NFL for 18 years. He's played on four teams, for 7 head coaches and at least 8 offensive coordinators. He has 165 starts, including playoffs. He's been to a Super Bowl. He has seen a lot around the league in his time.

 

And this seasoned veteran, who has never had an issue grasping the details of any offense he's played in, called the Colts system the most complicated offense in the NFL. Even if that's hyperbole, it's alarming to me. Why should the Colts have such a complicated offense? And what makes it so complicated?

 

I've been arguing since the 2012 Arians' offense that we were a little too complex on offense. Too many formations, too much motion, too many substitutions, too many personnel groupings, etc. Then we hired Pep, and he claimed to be merging the Stanford offense -- which features plenty of personnel groupings itself -- with the Arians' offense. We added unbalanced formations, tackle eligible plays, etc., to an already complex offense.

 

Contrast that with the Peyton Manning / Howard Mudd offense that was always one of the best in the league. It's been said that the Colts ran only a handful of different run plays. The two starting receivers almost always lined up on the same side of the field. There was hardly any motion. The starting TE almost never left the field. They ran no-huddle most of the time, and the play calls were simple enough that they could be communicated with code words and hand signals. And for a decade, that offense was always one of the best and most efficient in the league, setting records along the way. It relied on supreme execution (accurate throws, good route running, etc.). Not without its flaws at times, but always enviable. 

 

Or contrast it with the Eagles under Chip Kelly. Not as enviable an offense, but they've had four different QBs in less than three seasons, and all of them have had at least a measure of success. They've always had an explosive element to their offense. And they don't huddle. They call plays off of signals from the sideline, including audibles. For as gimmicky and goofy as it is, their offense is definitely not complicated.

 

The Colts offense has had plenty of issues with slow starts, and in a lot of those games, the offense was able to get clicking when they scrapped the huddle, let the QB make the calls at the line, and started attacking. The great Green Bay game in 2012, Arians made a conscientious decision to go no-huddle and let the players set the pace. 

 

Hopefully the claim that the offense has been simplified holds true. There was some streamlining in the Denver game. And one of the major differences was that the offensive line was only penalized once (and it was a questionable false start where the defender nearly breached the neutral zone). 

 

TL;DR 

 

My point is that our offense was obviously too complicated, and hopefully it's been simplified to a considerable degree, which will allow the players to make plays. If that's the only adjustment that Chud makes over the rest of the season, it will be a good one.

 

/rant

I've been saying this for two years.  Just about everything I've posted about this offense has come to fruition.  Repetition creates perfection and we rarely ran the same play twice, it was good to see Chud feature the running game without losing site of capitalizing on our best player's ability.  Simplify and master without becoming predictable, audible out of bad plays and have a gameplan that leverages our talent against their weaknesses!  Pep couldn't grasp these concepts, we were only successful once we were down and threw out the failing concepts for a two-minute offense.

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Tom Moore, the gum-chewing gun-slinging Offensive coordinator turned offensive consultant is still on the sidelines.... could have swore I saw him with the cardinals in a highlight...... I remember when he was wanting to retire and get his full NFL pension / benefits and he and Howard Mudd were a little upset with the Colts but I think they got it all worked out in the end but I'm shocked he is still coaching based on the fact he was retiring ages ago. His offenses were always talked about as being pretty complicated as well.

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Tom Moore, the gum-chewing gun-slinging Offensive coordinator turned offensive consultant is still on the sidelines.... could have swore I saw him with the cardinals in a highlight...... I remember when he was wanting to retire and get his full NFL pension / benefits and he and Howard Mudd were a little upset with the Colts but I think they got it all worked out in the end but I'm shocked he is still coaching based on the fact he was retiring ages ago. His offenses were always talked about as being pretty complicated as well.

 

You're now the second person to say that. I remember the Moore offense as being simple and repetitive, based on execution. Not complicated. Manning's audibles, maybe. 

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You're now the second person to say that. I remember the Moore offense as being simple and repetitive, based on execution. Not complicated. Manning's audibles, maybe. 

Here is a good explanation / article on Tom Moore and his "ways".  You're right, comparatively, he keeps it simple.  Simple to him may not be simple to others but for Peyton is was probably like 1st grade math.

 

Tom Moore long ago figured it out.  Despite being one of the NFL’s best offenses for over a decade, and despite having coached offense for close to fifty years at both the pro and collegiate levels, Tom Moore’s offense was undoubtedly the simplest in the NFL. Obviously having Peyton Manning as quarterback and symbiotic on-field co-offensive coordinator didn’t hurt, but Moore recognized that having ten different ways to do the same thing isn’t confusing the defense, it is merely having ten different ways to do the same thing. As he explained, football coaching is often about not letting your coaching get in the way of the players playing: “There are lots of systems, there are tons of systems,” Moore said. “But the trick is no systems, the trick is players and making sure you take something that the players can do and not get into, ‘Well, this is mine and this is what we’re going to do.’ It’s what’s best for the players.” Moore’s offense with the Colts was, in many ways, unchanged from what he ran at the University of Minnesota decades ago. The running game — which consisted of three to four plays or so, if you count the inside trap they often used — was essentially the same one used by the Colorado Buffaloes in the early 1990s, except simpler as they had fewer line calls and the Buffaloes ran a lot of option. And the passing game is built on some very simple concepts which I’ll get to in a moment. But begin with the formations. I like the whole “multitude of formations” thing as much as the next guy, but there are countervailing factors. First, from a defense’s perspective, there are different formations and then there are just different formations. When you change the strength of a formation — i.e. tight-end left or right, or tight-end and wing to one side or another, or a tight-end to both sides — or you increase or decrease the number of split receivers, and so on, you’ve changed the formation. When you line up in the same structural set — three receivers to one side, one being a tight-end — but you try all kinds of little wrinkles to it, you’ve probably just made it more confusing for your guys, particularly with respect to your pass and run blocking schemes. Sometimes you don’t want a new formation because you want to know where the defense is so you can block them. Second, when you do things like switch your receivers or move guys around, even if they have the same assignment (and in Schottenheimer’s system their assignment often changes), they have to learn a new technique: Running a comeback route on the left or right side is similar, but the techniques are different as the receiver has to push off a different foot and use different techniques. As Bill Walsh said, there is no magic rule in football that says you have to run each play to the left and right sides. If this idea — not running concepts to both sides and leaving receivers where they are — sounds crazy, consider three datapoints: In Mike Leach’s book, Swing Your Sword (my review here), he said that he evolved his offense in that direction after meeting with Baltimore Colts great Raymond Berry, who said he ran all of his routes from the same side, and that Jimmy Orr and John Mackey did the same, and Unitas and those three always practiced everything the same way. The concept worked for them (and for Leach). If it sounds crazy for receivers, remember that (most) every team does the same thing for their offensive line. Unless there is some kind of unbalanced formation, the left tackle always lines up on the left, the right guard on the right, and so on. This is despite the fact that, like receivers and tight-ends, these guys have strengths and weaknesses and presumably you could get ye olde “matchup advantage” by moving them around, but most coaches don’t, and for good reason. Lastly, if the Raymond Berry/Mike Leach example doesn’t move you because the old NFL and the college game are supposedly so different from todays NFL, Moore did it with the Colts for close to a decade, and when he had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne you could count the snaps on one hand where they didn’t line up on their respective sides over the course of several seasons. More specifically, the Colts favored formation and personnel group under Moore was the three-wide, one-back, one-tight end set. To get formation variety, Moore focused on the stuff that mattered and ignored the stuff that didn’t. In that, he left Wayne and Harrison where they were, and would move around the tight-end and slot receiver, sometimes substituting a second tight-end for that guy. Two-tight ends in an "Ace" set, with Pierre Garcon having taken the Marvin Harrison role From there, the playcalling wasn’t anymore complicated. The Colts’ favorite dropback pass concept under Moore was “levels,” which involves a simple high/low read of an interior pass defender. The below image is another diagram of “levels,” courtesy of Understandingthetrickeration — check out that site for more on the Colts’ offense: If you watch a Colts game, especially in the Manning/Moore heyday, you’ll be shocked at how many times they ran this simple concept. Again, Moore understood that football doesn’t need to be any more complicated than it has to be. This is the direction the Jets should go under Moore’s influence: Do what you do, but do less of it; cut out some of the cuteness and focus on execution and putting your players in position to succeed. The best teams don’t beat themselves. Of course, any discussion of Moore’s offense can’t leave out the important role for Peyton Manning, and it’s not fair to ask Sanchez to take over that role. And I don’t think the focus on simplicity, even without Manning’s unprecedented freedom at the line, would hurt Sanchez and the Jets. It may have evolved over time, but my understanding is that Moore did not send in “three plays” to Manning every play, but instead called a play like other offensive coordinators. Where Manning was different, however, was that he could check to almost any play in the Colts playbook (again, a reason to not have too many plays), and when the defense showed certain looks the audible was a built in “alert” and Manning would check to those concepts by gameplan. A good example of that were the play-action passes where the outside receiver faked a stalk-block on a defender before racing deep; that was something Manning checked to at the line. (This still may be the case but I can only speak to what they did a few years ago.) Sanchez won’t get that level of responsibility, so undoubtedly Schottenheimer feels the need to “dress up” the offense a bit more. Moore may be a countervailing influence. Again, I like Schottenheimer’s offense and I think he does many good things; I just think he could do bit fewer of them. The irony in that is that Rex Ryan’s defense is essentially the Tom Moore offense on the other side of the ball. It’s extremely simple, but focuses on the structural problems that really affect an offense; it focuses on execution and putting players in position to succeed; and the more advanced stuff are built around automatic checks at the line based on what the offense is showing. Maybe that’s why Rex hired Moore: He saw more similarities than differences. - See more at: http://smartfootball.com/gameplanning/what-impact-will-tom-moore-have-on-the-new-york-jets-offense#sthash.3sU1ELKR.dpuf

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