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Film Session: Andy Reid’s motion mastery

Motion– the process of something moving or changing place, or even just changing position. There are a lot of factors involved every time something moves. There are fewer factors involved if an object moves at the same speed in a straight line.

Andy Reid is the Zen Master of the NFL, and like a fine wine, he just becomes better with time. His use of core west coast offense principles has been a staple of every offense he has coached, dating back to his days in Philadelphia as well as when he was the QB coach for the Green Bay Packers. Reid has used the west coast system for most of all his career but in the past few years, he has added a few more wrinkles to his play-calling, primarily his use of pre-snap motions and how they affect change in the defense and allow for certain plays to open up.

One of the most interesting plays the Chiefs ran is in the clip below, and it shows the motion jet sweep by LeSean McCoy steal the eyes of the defenders while Mecole Hardman buzzes underneath the play on the snap creating a double read for the defense at the snap which causes mass miscommunication. But where it becomes special is the ability of Mahomes to bait them perfectly.

With his track team, we have seen Reid open up the creativity and motions in ways that no team has ever run before, and with a QB as imaginative and talented as Patrick Mahomes, it has given opposing defenders nightmares when trying to find a way to stop the Chiefs offense. With Matt Moore filling in for an injured Mahomes the offense needed an extra boost and Reid had an answer vs the Green Bay Packers.

Andy Reid has not only shown his capability to call motion in the passing game to confuse defensive coverages but he also had to employ the misdirection to help the Chiefs in an area they struggled in which was the run game, and the rep below shows how even a poor team at running the ball on the goal line like the Chiefs can be rewarded with imaginative play calling.

Given the weapons the Chiefs have it should be expected that double teams will come at some point, and no player sees more consistent doubles on a regular basis than Travis Kelce. Reid and the Chiefs know a double team in the red zone is coming so with a slight motion they are able to take away a whole side of the field. Kelce knew what was coming before the play was even over.

Early in the season there was buzz all round the NFL about the San Francisco 49ers creative use of motion in the run game to create different run seams and set up better angles for their blockers. The Chiefs struggled to run the ball all year but in the biggest game of the year the Chiefs dished out a helping of their own motion run game.

Even with all the creative use of motion, Reid was still true to the root function of the play which is to get some kind of an indicator based on how the defense reacts to the motion. The play below was executed to perfection against the Titans in the AFCCG.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a lifetime. In the past, we have seen Andy Reid coached teams win far more games than they should have, and beat overwhelmingly more talented rosters just by out scheming teams, but now that the Chiefs are on the top, and have a roster jammed with the talent we have only seen the beginning of Andy Reid’s offensive genius. By taking the core concepts of football and combining the west coast principles with imagination and execution the Chiefs have found something truly special.

Caleb James

Football has dominated my life for the last decade. I would like to dominate the next several decades.

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