As Washington State's hopes for a winning 2008 football season slipped away last year, nothing was buried quicker than the commitment to...
PULLMAN — As Washington State’s hopes for a winning 2008 football season slipped away last year, nothing was buried quicker than the commitment to the no-huddle offense.
Injuries, inexperience and other factors forced first-year coach Paul Wulff and offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy to jettison the scheme that worked so well for them at Eastern Washington.
But their faith in the system? That survived.
So the no-huddle is back. And, after less than a week of fall practice, it’s already obvious the term execution means something positive in 2009.
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“I think the overall execution has increased,” Sturdy said. “There are a lot of moving parts, obviously, but I think on every play we’re having fewer and fewer breakdowns.”
The offense used the no-huddle to break down its defensive brethren during Friday morning scrimmages, hitting hard and fast at times, slowing the pace at others.
“We have the ability to change the speed of how we are operating,” Sturdy said.
If it’s run right. That was not the case last season. So to help the process along, the offense drilled often during the offseason.
“We didn’t go out just as a position group,” quarterback Marshall Lobbestael said. “We got the whole offense out in the summer and did some work, players-only type of stuff.”
Plus, he added, “It is our second year in the system; the coaches are making it really easy for us.”
Experience is important, but just part of the formula, according to tight end Tony Thompson.
“Combined with us just having a better system on getting the signals,” he said, “as well as our conditioning we did over the summer, that all helps in the end to execute better and to run that no-huddle efficiently.”
But the Cougars know the no-huddle isn’t a panacea. It’s just another weapon in an offense that hopes to be more productive, especially on the ground.
“We have plenty of depth at running back,” Thompson said. “With the fact that we are running no-huddle and constantly going, that can help us in the long run for sure.”