Daboll wants to install attacking, up-tempo offense in KC

Posted Feb 7, 2012

New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll outlines his plans for the Chiefs offense

New Chiefs offensive coordinator Brian Daboll wants to install an offense that will attack the opposition. He wants to go up-tempo, flood defenses with multiple personnel packages and keep defenders off-balance.

Daboll and his ties to the New England Patriots look familiar at the surface, but he’s bringing a change in offensive approach with him to Kansas City.

“When you’re an offensive football coach, you want to try to really set precedent on defense and attack the defense,” said Daboll, who broke into the NFL as a defensive assistant under Romeo Crennel with the Patriots in 2000. “I think it’s important to be balanced to help the quarterback out in the run and the pass, utilize different personnel groups, different formations.

“Sometimes we’ll move and shift, sometimes we’ll be stationary. I think you need to have ability to get to an up-tempo scheme where you’re in a no-huddle package, threatening runs, passes, all those types of different things. You have to try to keep a defense as off-balance as you can.”

Quarterback Matt Cassel has often looked his best when operating out of a no-huddle offense, but the Chiefs have been reluctant to use the scheme outside of its traditional two-minute setting. Former head coach Todd Haley often hinted that the hurry-up mode didn’t fit Cassel’s strengths when utilized on a consistent basis.

“Red Ball,” as the Chiefs liked to call their no-huddle package last season, didn’t fully hatch until Tyler Palko took over as the team’s starting quarterback.

At that point, the Chiefs had no other choice. With Palko struggling to find consistency, the Chiefs were looking for ways to jumpstart a lethargic offense.

“I think that one of the most important things that you can do as a coach is to really try to put your players in positions where they do things very, very well,” Daboll said. “I’m not one to just have one play and this is how we’re going to run it. Sometimes that doesn’t fit with the players that you have.

“We’re going to wait and kind of evaluate and do a really thorough job of watching these guys and being in OTAs and being in the mini-camps and put together the best thing that we can put together collectively.”

Daboll will make his own conclusion this spring regarding Cassel’s ability to operate in an up-tempo attack. The two know each other from Daboll’s time serving as a wide receivers coach during Cassel’s first two seasons in New England.

“I have a lot of confidence in Matt,” Daboll said. “I’ve watched him on tape, I know the player and I’ve also been on different teams that have played against him and heard some of the things that the defensive coordinators have said about him.”

The offseason will provide an opportunity for Daboll to tinker with the Chiefs offensive personnel.

Season-ending injuries to Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki limited the personnel packages available to former offensive coordinator Bill Muir last season, but Daboll should be operating with a full cupboard at the skill positions.

Daboll did an admirable job with Miami’s skill players last season, rejuvenating the career of RB Reggie Bush and guiding QB Matt Moore to his best year as a pro. Big-play WR Brandon Marshall also posted his fifth-straight 1,000-yard campaign.

The most successful pieces of the Dolphins offense resemble the personnel Daboll inherits with the Chiefs.

“I think at the skill spots, we have some young, dynamic players with [Dexter] McCluster and [Jamaal] Charles and [Dwayne] Bowe is an [unrestricted free agent], but he’s a heck of a receiver,” Daboll said. “Then there’s the [Jonathan] Baldwin kid from Pittsburgh, big, he can make acrobatic catches, and Tony [Moeaki], who’s been injured, but I remember doing work on him coming out of college from Iowa and I think he’s a very skillful tight end.

“Skill-wise, I think we have some stuff to work with.”

In a snapshot of Daboll’s play-calling style, the Dolphins successfully mixed and matched offensive personnel to out-scheme the Chiefs in a 31-3 victory at Arrowhead Stadium last season.

Miami ended Kansas City’s four-game winning streak by averaging 7.5 yards per snap with seven plays going for 20 or more yards. Bush averaged 7.1 yards per carry, Moore finished with a 147.5 passer rating and Marshall posted a 100-yard outing in Miami’s blowout victory.

“I think that in this league, if you’ve got a quarterback that can perform, that helps you,” Crennel said. “And so he understands about the quarterback position, he understands about the complimentary positions that go with it and so you can see a little bit of everything. I think that the offense will be all-encompassing. You could see some no huddle, you could see some multiple tight ends, you can see two-back and you can see one-back. We can see it all.

“It’s probably more similar to what Miami was doing last year than anything else. You saw runs, you saw play-action, you saw shock plays and I think that’s what we’ll have in an offense.”

Daboll, it seems, was one of Crennel’s top targets all along. He was the only person Crennel offered the position to and the Chiefs month-long search for an offensive coordinator was tied directly to Daboll’s job status with the Dolphins.

Miami waited until late January, after Joe Philbin had been hired to replace Tony Sparano as head coach, to release Daboll from his contract with the club.

“I think Miami wanted to try and keep Brian and they didn’t want to let him go and so we had to wait to work through that process,” Crennel said. “In the mean time we did talk to other people about it, about the position but when Brian became available and after talking with him we felt like he was the best for the Chief and I made the decision to hire the guy.”

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