NFL

Why KC Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has the best screen game in the NFL

On Monday morning, Warren Sharp posted a cut-up of some of the screen designs that Andy Reid utilized this year. The video became a hot topic on Chiefs social media Monday.

Whether you’re a career game manager like Alex Smith or an MVP like Patrick Mahomes, the free yards that Reid provides his quarterbacks are more than welcome.

It’s unfair for Reid’s scheme to combine with a talent like Mahomes, and it’s part of the reason the Reid-Mahomes tandem was so enticing when Mahomes was drafted: a unique talent in a program built on maximizing a player’s strengths.

I’ve been writing about Reid’s scheme over the last few years, and one thing has always stuck out: he’ll play the instincts and preparation of the opposing against them.

The window dressing (shifts and motions) forces a defense to think fast and process the information they’re receiving as the ball is being snapped. The pump to Hill on the orbit motion sells a screen left, the running backs releasing into the boundary to the right widens the defense to both sides of the field and one of the best tight ends in football, Travis Kelce, gets lost in the middle of the field with blockers and space.

The logical progression to this play off the pump to Hill would have been a swing screen to the running back, and Smith looks out there before going to Kelce. The speed and timing at which this play is run help create space for Kelce. The defense doesn’t have time to think—it can only react.

It’s a smart, well designed and plays against the instincts of the defense.

Coaches prepare for offenses based upon history: what they have seen an offense do and what they can do to defend it. Good play-callers have sequencing to their play-calling and use their history to build plays that go off what defenses have seen.

Earlier this year, we did a video on the Arrowhead Pride YouTube channel discussing how a look the Chiefs gave a week prior help set up a touchdown on a screen to Kareem Hunt.

There are only so many things you can prepare for in a week. Good play-callers are always looking at ways to use their history to find a creative way to generate a good play. Reid is a master at that. This video is a prime example.

Reid has consistently built solid sequences, creative progressions to his offensive design and utilized the creativity with excellent timing. It’s part of what has made him so successful as a play-caller and why his offense evolves so much year to year.

He does not settle, and his constant attempt to identify the next progression to his play design has made him an innovator few can match. I’m looking forward to the next generation of his offense with Mahomes under center.





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