Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Falcons' Koetter won't abandon no-huddle offense
By Vaughn McClure
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga -- Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter realizes the challenges ahead of him without top receiver Julio Jones and with No. 2 receiver Roddy White banged up.
Sure, Koetter might have to scale things back a bit to compensate. Regardless, he expects to keep the offense flowing.
And Koetter will keep the no-huddle in his game plan, even if he doesn't use it as much as he did when he had his full arsenal of weapons.
"The no-huddle is still going to be effective," Koetter said Tuesday. "People seem to have misconception that the words 'no-huddle' equal scoring points. You still have to have the right play on and execute the right play."
Having the personnel to run the no-huddle smoothly helps, too. Right now, Koetter doesn't have such a luxury based on the loss of Jones (foot) and the uncertainty with White (hamstring). Tight end Tony Gonzalez instantly becomes Matt Ryan's No. 1 target. But Gonzalez is likely to be surrounded with inexperienced pass catchers outside of primary slot receiver Harry Douglas.
"No huddle is a big part of our package. We're fully committed to it," Koetter said. ` Obviously, when you take experienced guys out, you can't ask inexperienced guys to have ... you can't do as many things.
"Roddy, Matt, Julio, Tony, those guys have been together long enough that just little hand signals ... it builds on itself every week. Now you put new guys in there, you've got to start with the basics and then build on them. We have a basic package of no-huddle that's up every week, and then we build on it."
Ryan spent extra time Tuesday with newly signed Brian Robiskie and the other inexperienced receivers -- Kevin Cone and Drew Davis -- trying to get them up to speed on the no-huddle offense. Wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie (father of Brian) and quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas joined the group.
Koetter said the Falcons used more no-huddle in the last game against the New York Jets than any other time since he took over as offensive coordinator.
"We had a lot," Koetter said. "We just may not be able to have it quite as much."