We all have been saying that time is a luxury that Ernest Wilford had little of. A foregone conclusion to be on the free agent market sometime between today and the start of the season. A hefty 6 million dollar bust last year and the single biggest mistake that Bill Parcells and Co. have made. Now, I’m not so sure.
Does Wilford have a spot on the Miami Dolphins? Can he really stick it out another season and dare I say it…be productive? The only thing that Wilford has done so far as a Miami Dolphins is draw a paycheck and sit the bench.
In his only season with the Phins, he was activated for 1maybe 2 games. Watching the game from the non-active player seats or the locker room…maybe even at home.
I’m not holding my breath by any means that Wilford could somehow finally “get it”. Ask me if Wilford will be on the roster come training camp and I will tell you yes but not much longer. Then…this.
An OTA blurb in the Omar Kelly Sun-Sentinel blog today has me wondering if Wilford may finally have a place.
Here is what Omar had to say.
Ernest Wilford worked as a tight end/H-back a lot today, and when he went into motion he caused a lot of confusion for the defense. While he didn’t catch anything during the session, he personally contributed to two touchdowns because of breakdowns. I can finally see where the coaches are going with this experiment.
With Wilford, who worked with the second and third team offense today, it’s hard to determine what to defend him with.When he goes into motion he messed up the match up the defense has fabricated. It allows running backs to be WIDE open in the flat, or speedy receivers to potentially have a linebacker assigned to them.
Maybe there is hope for the fifth-year veteran after all. It appears the Dolphins and Wilford are going all-in with this tight end/H-back experiment.
An H-Back/TE huh? Well the first thought I was “come on, we have enough TE’s” and let’s face facts, Wilford is a poor receiver with loads of talent but nothing more. So why not let Fasano or another TE run it? For starters, they are not built like Wilford. Wilford has the big over 6′ body and frame that attracted the Phins to him last year. He has the speed that TE’s don’t have and as Omar put it, he causes failures in the defensive system.
With the Phins committed to the “Wildcat” scheme it’s only logical that it moves forward. Evolves. It’s a child that is still an infant in the NFL, a toddler so to speak. This could be the final point to Bill Parcells legacy.
With the drafting of Pat White who fits the scheme perfectly and recent reports from local media that in these new formations the RB’s are finding themselves wide open, this new twist could have say…the inexperienced LB’s of New England scratching their heads. Or how about rookie Darius Butler and rookie Patrick Chung who will be defending from the secondary?
Imagine Wilford actually fitting into this scheme and making an impact. How do opposing teams defend it? Do they float to the right side where Jake Long is lined up outside Vernon Carey to watch the rush of Ronnie Brown or Pat White? Do they float outside to double up Camarillo or Ted Ginn? Now, they have to worry about Ernest Wilford as well?
Wilford will pull the LB’s with him creating a mismatch. If the LB’s stay up to cover the RB’s who will be open in the flats, then Wilford will be either covered by a safety or a 3rd CB. No matter what it creates a mismatch as now the RB is being covered by a RB and all this while Pat White or whoever the QB is can still run.
This is the evolution of the “Wildcat” and it’s still only an OTA. When the team finally meets with pads and hitting in July, it should be a completely unrecognizable entity. The Phins open with 3 very tough opponents and 3 very tough QB’s. Atlanta and Matt Ryan, Indy and Peyton Manning, and SD with Phillip Rivers. By the time the NFL kicks off it’s season though, Miami fans may be talking about nothing else…not the Wildcat but how maybe, just maybe, Ernest Wilford found a way to not only make the team, but found a productive way to be a big part of it.