There are tons of great first impressions from the first game of the Crennel/Daboll era. Getting the play calls in early, improved O-Line play, unexpected depth at RB, NT, and also TE.
This post, however, will focus on a few little differences from previous years that haven't gotten much attention, but may prove to be even more important as the Chiefs drive to their next SB victory.
The running back by committee system has been a part of Chiefs football for a long time. But in the Haley years, with TJ and JC, time shares were predominately based on series. In other words, TJ would be the back for a couple of series, and then JC would come in for one, and visa verse. Not so last Friday, the backs flipped within the same series. From play to play, the opposing defense had no idea what they were facing.
Which brings us to point two, not only did the backs flip, the entire personnel package changed crisply and they did it immediately. Watch DMC pop up from a big gain, take a couple of steps towards the huddle, then stop, hold up two fingers and head to the bench. From play to play, the opposing defense had no idea what they were facing.
On to point three: player packages were organized. Almost immediately after a play finished, the QB -- and other players -- held up fingers indicating the next play's personnel package. The huddle formed quickly, then got to the line before the defense had time to react to the play. More importantly, there was sufficient time for the QB to analyze the defense and audible to a predetermined option. From play to play, the opposing defense had no idea what they were facing.
It's little differences... using fingers to make sure everyone knows the package, being crisp in calls, random in personnel... that improve an offense. Not to mention big differences, like a killer o-line, strong depth at RB/TE/WR, and an OC that gets to call a game.