Chiefs Focusing on Efficiency of Two-Minute Offense, Communication

The Chiefs have been working to clean up some things on offense

The Kansas City Chiefs averaged 25.3 points per game last season, which ranked ninth best in the NFL and fourth best in the AFC.

They did this without one of the NFL's most electrifying playmakers in running back Jamaal Charles, and with an offensive line that saw nine different starting combinations throughout the year because of various injuries.

Despite the return of Charles and moves made over the offseason to fortify the offensive line, the Chiefs know there are areas they need to improve heading into the upcoming season.

One of those is the two-minute offense, where despite the fact that only seven teams in the NFL had fewer opportunities than the Chiefs last season, the ability to put points on the board quickly at the end of a half or the end of a game could mean the difference between a win or a loss.

In just 20 opportunities last season, the Chiefs scored 10 points in the two-minute offense, which tied them for 22nd in the league with the Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers.

The NFL average was 20 points.

While three missed field goals and an 80-yard touchdown drive that began with 2:29 against Buffalo would have change these numbers for the better—as could be the case with all teams looking at missed opportunities—there's still room to get better.

In order to improve this area, coach Andy Reid and his two new co-offensive coordinators—Brad Childress and Matt Nagy—spent part of the offseason revising the language of the two-minute offense.

"It probably did get a little wordy," Reid explained. "Obviously, we didn't put on a great show that last game (against the New England Patriots). We had an opportunity to get it in and we didn't do that.

"This is the time of the year that you work on that."

It has been a normal thing for the Chiefs to practice their two-minute offense during OTAs over the past few years, but with the way last season ended, there have been plenty of questions about the preparation for those situations during their offseason routine.

"We do this every year," Reid noted. "It's an important part of the game. So many games are determined in that last part of the game in the fourth quarter, and the parity in the league has really made that become an important part of your game."

Part of the reason for the verbose language they had to work through and trim down this offseason was simply the number of plays that were included in the package, which built up over time as Reid and Smith were in their third year together and comfortable with the offense.

"All of a sudden, the package – menu so to speak – got really, really big," Smith explained. "There were some inefficiencies that kind of showed with lack of communication and breakdown (in the loss to the Patriots)."

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When Smith arrived back in Kansas City at the beginning of this offseason, the plan to help fix this was already in motion.

"The coaches came back and had been on it," Smith added. "I think it was an area of focus to clean it all up. Clean up some language and communication as far as cutting words out and things like that – just operate a little faster."

Another one of the big changes from last year to this year is that former offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, who had a heavy hand in the two-minute situations and in relaying all play-calls, is no longer here and has since moved on to become the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

When it comes to relaying the call to the quarterback, which isn't just as simple as repeating what Reid says as he's calling the plays—it's setting the hash and formation for every call—new co-offensive coordinator Matt Nagy has been getting plenty of practice throughout OTAs as he takes over Pederson's role.

"He's doing a good job," Reid said of Nagy. "Both he and (fellow co-offensive coordinator) Brad (Childress) are doing a good job. You see them feeding each other the plays and then [Nagy] puts them in and gives them to the quarterback, so I think that's a good situation and they work well together."

Nagy has been in this offense now for seven years and knows it well, so it's just a matter of getting the reps.   

"He's acting like it's a game for him," quarterback Aaron Murray said of Nagy during OTAs. "So he'll get the play from coach Reid and then he's in his head trying to think, 'Where are we at? Let me put the formation and call it,' instead of just looking down at his script sheet.

"So it's not only practice for us, but its practice for these coaches as well."

The Chiefs will continue to practice this and everything else as their three-day minicamp begins on Tuesday.

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