CU Camp Countdown: Question 5

Colorado opens its 2008 August camp on Monday. BSN is counting down the days with the 10 biggest questions going into August practices. Inside, Question No. 5.

5) Will the CU offense pick up where it left off in the spring?

The Buffs practiced almost exclusively in a shotgun/no-huddle offense during the spring. It was a successful start to a transition that will likely continue in August. In the spring, CU's offense scored 17 touchdowns in its three scrimmages. Anyone who's kept an eye on CU spring ball in recent years knows that's a vast improvement.

"The guys really took to it this spring," offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said.

But Helfrich is realistic. The spring was only the beginning. There's lots of room for learning and improvement.

"We're going to have to see how it all plays out," he said.

CU wants to have the no-huddle in its arsenal for three main reasons: to take advantage of the altitude in Boulder, to simplify assignments for CU's young players and because it fosters the attack mentality coaches want from their offense.

Sophomore quarterback Cody Hawkins said the no-huddle can allow CU to take advantage of the skill players on offense, including a freshman like Darrell Scott. It actually asks less of its players in terms of reading a defense.

"When you're asking a freshman to go out and run one play against 19 different defenses, it's going to be a little tough," Hawkins said. "But I think we can use a lot of our speed, a lot of our energy that we have from a lot of guys that are coming in.

"The no-huddle aspect allows us to line up and pick a play based on what the defense is doing. Post-snap, a player might have three options instead of almost 20."

Helfrich said the most important thing about the no-huddle is the attitude it started to develop in the offensive players in the spring.

"It's the tone we're trying to set in all aspects — to have an attack mentality the whole time," Helfrich said.

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