Colts: Week 13 | The “no coast offense.” Here’s what we’ve learned so far…

Quarterback Andrew Luck calls a play at the line of scrimmage (Photo:

Quarterback Andrew Luck calls a play at the line of scrimmage (Photo:

There’s no such thing as an ugly win. But, the Colts came about as close as it gets on Sunday, with a 22-14 victory against the Tennessee Titans that can only be described as really, really, ridiculously unattractive.

The game was won on special teams and defense, the highlights being five Adam Vinatieri field goals and three interceptions (two by Cassius Vaughn and one by Jerrell Freeman).

The offense was…not offensive. But it continues to confuse even the greatest football students. The Colts run a West Coast hybrid, charmingly termed the “no coast offense” by head coach Chuck Pagano (if only it were as charming as its name).

I’m going to be honest. I’ve never seen a West Coast offense I like. It’s never pretty football. And Colts fans are used to pretty. We like pretty. So, right off the bat, this scheme was going to take some getting used to. We’ve been patient. But, I feel like the fans don’t understand the no coast offense. And the problem is, the players don’t seem to either.

It is week 13 though. And although I’m a bit of a slow learner, I have grasped a few things. And I’m sure you have too. So, let’s take the opportunity to review what we’ve learned about the no coast offense so far:

  1. It is a quick offense, with rapid plays. Mostly out of necessity, due to intense pressure on the quarterback.
  2. It features short (ugly) passes, many of them incomplete. And sometimes right on target…to the opposing team.
  3. It is built around a power running game, which oftentimes utilizes negative yardage. Hey, diddle diddle…Trent Richardson up the middle (for minus two yards) really throws off a defense.
  4. Slow starts are essential…in order to set up the next component (see number 5).
  5. The late game comeback (or Andrew Luck hybrid offense) is the key to the no coast offense. This occurs anywhere from the mid-third quarter through the fourth quarter and when activated, negates most of the no coast offense as we know it. This is a relaxed, quarterback driven offense, featuring longer passes, open running lanes, and free receivers. When executed…the Colts win.

The Andrew Luck hybrid offense usually leaves fans wondering why the team didn’t play the whole game that way. But, don’t be fooled. That’s all part of the trickery. Just when the defense buys into the no coast offense and the ugliness that goes with it…the team abandons it altogether for a scheme they’ve never seen and didn’t know they were capable of.

The Colts rarely practice the loose, flowing, (pretty) Andrew Luck offense because, well…it just comes naturally. And everyone knows, you don’t practice what you’re already good at.

I hope this helps you better understand the no coast offense and how it works. Feel free to share this with other fans.

But, there’s one more thing. The last component of the no coast offense is secrecy.

So, shhhhh….

And (loudly)…Go Colts!


  1. brent nowostawski says:

    Heather , you are a football genius !! I was so confused before,I understood somewhat,but not like I do now after your incandescent clarification of the entire no-coast scheme !! I could not have written a more vivid account myself had I sat down w/Coach Pagano !! You nailed it ! Its like you took me through an entire game from kick-off to 00:00 ! Love your articles ! 🙂

    • Heather Lloyd says:

      Glad to help, Brent. I am here for the fans…because I am one! And thanks for reading and commenting. It’s going to be a crazy ride from here. Make sure you’re seated and belted in! Go Colts!!

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