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Mailbag: The No Huddle and the Run Game

Posted Oct 17, 2013

Check out this week's edition of Ricky Henne's Fan Mailbag.

Q: Why was there barely any no huddle Monday night?  I know we won, but that is my favorite thing about our offense.  Is it gone for good, especially since we won?  Thank you – Gary Butler

A:  Don’t worry, it will still be there.  Many players said the game plan heading into the match was to huddle up more as that was the way they foresaw the game being dictated.  And it is hard to argue with the results. That being said, the no huddle is still very much in the mix. Here is what Head Coach Mike McCoy had to say about it:

“Last week was a great example of us doing whatever we can to win a football game week in and week out. There are going to be certain things you want to take advantage of against an opponent. That is going to change from week to week or it might change from quarter to quarter….There are going to be certain games where you go out in the no huddle early, get going, go up and down the field and you stick with it, even if you might have said you are going to try to pound this football team. If they’re not stopping it, why would you stop doing it? That’s our job as coaches; do what your players are doing best and if we’re struggling with something then it’s time to make some changes. I’m never going to say it’s going to be a no huddle game the entire time. We’re going to do what is working and if it’s not working then we will have to make changes quickly.”

Q: Do you think the run game will be the key to the Chargers success moving forward? – Cameron Caba

A: I do, Cameron, but I think that is the case for every single team in the league.  A strong run game opens up the offense in so many ways.  What I was most impressed with was how the Chargers responded with their best rushing attack in over a year after emphasizing the need to establish it all week long.  The 147 yards gained were the best since Week 2 of 2012 and the team averaged an impressive 4.0 yards per carry.  With 102 yards on the ground, Ryan Mathews had his first 100-yard day since 2011.  But the important thing now is to keep it going.  Establishing it for one game is great, but it is imperative to keep it going every week from now until the end of the season.  With the stable of backs the Bolts have and the way the offensive line was blocking, I think the team has a good chance to keep it up.

Q: I read your article on Novak. Loved it. How is it possible a kicker so good went so long between teams?  - Gail Dazinger

A: That’s a good question.  Basically, there’s only one kicker per roster as teams usually don’t go with backups, so it’s pretty tough to land one of only 32 spots.  It truly is the cream of the crop, and Nick Novak has proven he belongs in the exclusive fraternity. To be honest, I never really thought of it that way until listening to McCoy talk about Novak and the struggle many kickers go through before landing a gig:

“I think with every position in the NFL it’s hard to get a job, but a kicker is very similar to being a starting quarterback in the NFL. Each team has one of them, for the most part. Teams in the past have maybe carried two for certain situations, but in those positions there are only 32 jobs out there. Punters and kickers don’t come around very often. You have to make sure; when you have the opportunity you jump out there and get (a good one). He’s done a great job.

Q: Justin Blackmon.  Maurice Jones-Drew.  Is it just me or do the Jags have some real good weapons on offense? – Stephen Harrison

A: You are right, they do.  MoJo has been one of the better backs in the league from the moment he was drafted. Blackmon has had two phenomenal games since returning from a four-game suspension with 19 catches for 326 yards.  And don’t forget about Cecil Shorts who has 31 catches for 411 yards.  Then there is Chad Henne (no relation) who is a very capable quarterback that McCoy warned you can’t let get in a groove.  The Jaguars offense does have some real good weapons, so the Bolts will have to respond with another strong defensive effort.

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