SO WHAT ABOUT THAT PESKY WILDCAT


While the Miami Dolphins have been enjoying their last real hiatus before the grind of the season starts, Dwyane Wade frenzy has taken all of the local media attention. However while the South Florida airwaves were hijacked with NBA free-agency talk some Dolphin Fans were able to sneak a few Phin’s related questions in on local Talk Radio. While there were very few good topics brought up, one that continues to drive me a little crazy is whether the Dolphins will scrap the very successful, but frequently criticized Wildcat offense. The simple answer to this question….. NO WAY!

Everyone thinks the Wildcat was used to make up for a lack of playmakers on the Dolphin’s roster. Now the most popular reasoning people have as to why they think the Phin’s will dump the Wildcat, is because of the addition of WR Brandon Marshall. One of the reasons the Wildcat helped the Phin’s so much was due to the fact that other teams were forced to dedicate 2-3 entire days of practice during any particular game week to try and stop the Wildcat. Do you really think that Sparano and Company want to take away the Wildcat so the opposing defense can spend those days searching for more weaknesses or ways to stifle Brandon Marshall. I think not!

As the Wildcat evolved during the 2009 Season, it got away from the gimmicky offense it became at times during 2008. The Dolphin’s managed to use the Wildcat as a very successful Power Running Formation in ’09. The Wildcat is very similar to a Goal Line or Double Tight End I-Formation, except for the fact that it allows the Phin’s to have more weapons on the field. This means in the Wildcat Formation the Dolphins can line up with the likes of Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Anthony Fasano, either a second Tight End or a Wide Receiver such as Brandon Marshall or Davone Bess, and still keep Chad Henne on the field if they want the added threat. This offers a myriad of match up advantages over the more common Power Running Formations.

As for the Cold Hard Facts which are also known as Stats lets take a look at the 2009 Season. Since the Phin’s all but trashed the Wildcat after the Ronnie Brown injury last season lets compare the 8.5 games played in ’09 with the Wildcat to the 7.5 played after the Ronnie Brown injury. During the first 8.5 games of ’09 the Dolphins Running Game ranked in the top of the league. 164 yards per game, 1.5 TD per game, 4.59 yards per carry, 22 carries per TD. In the 7.5 games without the Wildcat; 112 yards per game, 1 TD per game, 4.08 yards per carry, and 35 carries per TD. That equates to nearly 50 yards per game, 0.5 TD per game, 0.51 yards per carry, and 13 carries per TD. Those are game…. no, no, no SEASON changing statistics, and just another reason why the Wildcat isn’t going anywhere Phin Phans.

So is the Wildcat, or as it’s better known in South Florida “El Gato Loco”, a fad? Is it a gimmick that won’t last? Is it “disrespectful to all Defenses” as Warren Sapp claimed on Showtime’s Inside the NFL? As far as the Miami Dolphins are concerned the answer is an emphatic NO, and I’m sure that Sparano and Company will show that when they head up to Buffalo on September 12th.

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Tags: Miami Dolphins NFL Ricky Williams Ronnie Brown WildCat Wildcat Formation

  • dolfandave

    The Wildcat is here to stay and Pat White will be better at executing it this year. AMEN.

  • Myself

    I actually think the bills will start using the wildcat or some variation of the direct snap offense as they have 3 potential starting rbs and no QB.

  • Big Chris

    It’s going to solely depend on the kind of success this offense has when they’re not running the Wildcat. However. as long as Ronnie and Ricky are in aqua and orange, I highly doubt this coaching staff will ever just scrap it from the playbook. They’ll always has it as an Ace up their sleeve so to speak…GO PHINS!

  • indascreet

    Thanks for the comments guys!!!! I personally think Pat White is going to end up as the odd man out at QB. Thigpen can be a good backup for the foreseeable future, once Pennington is gone, and I don’t think the coaching staff will give that up for 3-5 touches a game! But who knows? A lot can happen between now and then…… I also wanted to add that Lousaka “he’s not” Polite “he’s nasty” is a huge part of the Wildcat (El Gato Loco) as well.

  • Phinion

    The wildcat was not used because we had no playmakers. Quite the opposite it was used to highlight the playmakers we had! They should not dump it becuase Marshall is here and should never entertain dumping it until Brown is no longer effective or on the roster.

    but they need to start throwing from it with success. Pat white is not the answer to that I’m afraid until such time he agrees to become a WR. We need to put Henne in there and lateral to pass with him so he can hit what will be the wide open Marshall after the defense has bitten on the run.

    I would like to see a 2:1 Run to Pass ratio with the wildcat. If they did that it would ultimatly be more effective as the defense will not know what the hell to cover when we go into it.

  • Mikey D

    I agree with Chris, in that the offense needs to prove that they are productive with the basic offense ( run, pass) before they jump into the wild cat. The wild cat has proven to be productive in the past however the numbers steadily decreased once teams began to pay more attention to it. As much as I would want the wild cat to be productive in the pass game, I just don’t foresee that happening with the level of play among today’s defenses, especially in the AFC east. With that being said Miami will try to be a balanced offense before they move into the wild cat in 2010.

  • Phinion

    Yes Mikey they do but the reason the wildcat became less successful was the fact it also became predictable which is counter to the reason for running it in the first place!
    If you see the wildcat and your playing defense, Play it to run! 99% of the time you will be right and stop it! They simply stack the box and ignore the recievers which leaves little room to run and lots of guys ready to stuff it.

    They need to pass from it as well in order for it to work! And Pat white is not the way to do that! Not lining up as a QB anyway.

    It was good in the beginning because we ran from it and then had ronnie connect on a pass! Thats why teams had to prepare for it. But if all your going to do is run from it then there is no need to prepare. Just expect run on defense and you will stop it.

  • Jamie

    What is El Gato Loco? I’ve never heard of that before…sounds like the next big phrase down here.

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