Daniel Thomas: "Wild" Pick?


When the Miami Dolphins moved up to the second round giving up the 3 to 1 pick ratio most fans thought that Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas would have his name called out.  That wasn’t the case as the Dolphins moved up to draft Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas. A bruising north and south runner who has size, power, and grit.  He also has an arm.

Thomas has been compared in some circles as a Ronnie Brown type of running back.  While more upfield and less dancing, the biggest question seems to surround Thomas’ ability to throw the ball where Ronnie Brown simply couldn’t with any consistency.  So the question obviously becomes, is Daniel Thomas going to resurrect the “Wild Cat” package?

Let me be the first to say, “In the name of the football Gods, please no!”.

I have had enough of the “Wild Cat”.  I’ve had enough of failures and the successes of it.  It was a gimmick in year one, it’s a gimmick now.  It has no place in a struggling offense and does nothing for the maturation of a QB who is trying to define his future with this team or the coaches who’s jobs hinge on a successful offense.  The “Wild Cat” is not an offense.  It’s misguided concept that teams have figured out regardless of whether Tony Sparano and Brian Daboll find a way to throw out of it.

If Daniel Thomas was drafted over any other RB in last weekends draft simply because he can throw the football better, then the Dolphins wasted draft picks, wasted time, and are wasting Stephen Ross’ money.  Build an offense.  Not a concept of something that hasn’t worked in two years.

The Dolphins were sold on the WC two years ago, so much so that Bill Parcells just had to have that “ace” who could throw the ball down-field out of that formation.  So he drafted Pat White.  In round 2.  Failure.  This year, the Dolphins needed a RB in a big way but instead of taking Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram in round 1, they opted instead to trade back into round 2 to draft a runner who has had issues with fumbling the ball.  But can throw it.  So again, was his arm strength a consideration for his drafting or was it simply the right fitting player into an offensive system that is being built to be more exciting and lateral than back-field dancing and Chad Henne being pulled off the field?

I have nothing against Daniel Thomas and honestly I loved listening to his post-draft comments about how he envisions himself as a Miami Dolphins.  He sees himself as a Larry Johnson or Steven Jackson type.  The Dolphins can only hope.  Following the selection, I received an Email from this networks owner, Zach Best, congratulating me on selecting “his boy from K. State”.   He loved the pick.  He thinks that Thomas is going to be a great addition to the Dolphins offense.

I hope so, I just hope that it’s not for the purpose of resurrecting a dead formation that serves no purpose outside of keeping the offense out of sync and a QB from gaining confidence.

I will say this.  I support Tony Sparano.  I like him as a coach.  But if the Dolphins offense slants once again to that waste of a formation, successfully or not, Stephen Ross needs to find a new HC, new OC, and a new GM.  We need an offense, not a gimmick.

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Tags: Brian Daboll Daniel Thomas Jeff Ireland Larry Johnson Pat White Steven Jackson Tony Sparano Wild Cat

  • dolfandave

    Sorry but it’s not a gimmick. I am w/ the coaches on this one, it is simply another part of the offensive package. You know darn well we will run it bec Daboll ran it in Cleveland. When we add a speed back to run the sweep out of it, settle in the interior O-Line, and have Thomas line up at QB we will be really good w/ it.

  • Brian Miller

    no we won’t, be good at it that is. Teams know how to defend it now. Doesn’t matter if you can throw from it or not…plus we are assuming that our coaches will know how to use it and at what time. Taking the offense off the field, IE…the QB…to run 2 or three plays of WC does not keep the continuity of the offense moving the ball…in other words, expect stalled drives and FG fist pumps. I disagree, it’s a gimmick.

  • dolfandave

    I guess we should hire you as OC then huh? Several teams run it now and they run it for a reason. You’re not being very realistic about it. You do have to be able to throw out of it so that does make a difference. If the D stacks the box you have to throw it over their heads. If teams are so familiar w/ it now which they are how can it be a gimmick? Use some common sense.

    • Bruce

      Name one team that throws out of the wildcat. Plain and simple, it sucks, and I threw up in my mouth everytime Miami ran it last year.

  • markeyh

    I too am sick of the “WILDCAT” but it was because Henning’s timing on the play was way off. It was always when Henne made a good play and you want to see him keep moving the ball and they take him out and call the “Wild Cat”? I just didn’t get it. It seemed to do nothing but delay the game stall the drive and put Henne further behind the 8 ball….

  • dolfandave

    You won’t be sick of it when we EXECUTE it better. That is a function of Henne blowing not the Wildcat itself. I think Thomas will be a very pleasant surprise out of it. You read their comments, we need to create mismatches. The NFL is way too competitive so we need something like this to make it easier for ourselves. When Thomas is able to throw out of the formation we will have such a situation. We will have a run-heavy formation that the defense must address and when they do so by lining up close to the line we must pass. It WILL make a difference.

  • Kangphin

    IMO, it’s generally a mistake to use a first round pick on a running back. That selection should be used for a player whom if not a bust will likely last 9+ years.
    Preferably DL, OT, LB or QB. This has become even more true with the adoption of the two-back system.

  • MassanuttenRef

    First of all, let it be on record that I mocked the Dolphins taking Daniel Thomas on this website. I think he is a great pick. Despite not being 100% at the Combine with a bad hamstring, he carried the rock 545 times in two years with a 5.25 YPA never missing a snap. He IS a N/S runner who doesn’t DANCE WITH THE STARS (like Ronnie which bugs the heck out of me). It is an excellent pick just on the face of running the ball.

    IF, and I say IF, he can also throw the ball, and I hear he can throw it like a running QB, than I am all for sticking in the WildCat every once in a while. The JESTS and BROWNS drive people nuts when they run the WildCat. I think we should have it in the install and make every team spend time each week preparing for it. It takes time away from preparing for the regular install.

  • Wori

    This years WC should be much improved because of the other 2 picks made in the draft. A burn receiver and a TE/RB that can fake the block and take off. It’s apparent that the WC struggled last year because they lacked a solid offensive line, lacked speed receivers and most importantly, were directed by, “LAME A#S HENNING.” He really would call the WC in the most absolutely WRONG situations. I can’t wait to see how this years offense improves.

  • markeyh

    It’s like with any play if it works it’s great if not it sucks….:)

    The fact is lately it’s not worked for Miami…

    I do agree it should still be an option but if the O-Line can block like they should and the running game can play like two years ago and if Henne and Brandon Marshall can kiss and make up I see our offense going in the right direction.

  • thomas loy

    Hopefully the addition of thomas will at least add the pass to the wildcat. I am hoping Miami drops it. I don’t know how many times last season I watch henne move the team and then they run the wildcat, and presto, Miami has to punt. It also breaks up the rhythm of the QB. The addition of Gates and Clay to the offense should make the wildcat unnecessary.

  • beowulf

    The time to attempt a passing package out of the tamepuss was two years ago! If they had actually tweaked it for the 2009 season, I MIGHT have supported it. It’s 2011, and the ONLY team unable to stop the cat last year was US!

  • Johnothan

    Wildcat or no wildcat, I think it’s unfair the writer of this blog and all the comments following are branding Daniel Thomas as just a wildcat theme runner and to let who he is get carried away by everyone’s opinion. If we never ran the wildcat you would look at the facts…he is a 230lb bruiser who has the frame to add more bulk, he was the 2nd leading rusher in college football, you can line him up as receiver, has deceptive speed, and has incredible footwork and is extremely light on his feet, and has been proven to be play through pain and at the same time stay relatively healthy. If that’s not worth moving up in the 2nd round for a player of need when there was a run on running backs ..I don’t know what is.

  • Ian

    You guys are all forgetting that Charles Clay took snaps in the Wildcat format at Tulsa too. I agree the Wildcat SUCKED badly last year, but as you guys stated previously, it was all about timing. It’s supposed to be a surprise. If the Phins throw it out once every 2-3 games, that would be better. There’s nothing worse than taking the rhythm off of a QB – but that’s exactly what the wildcat did to Henne. Having Thomas, Brown and Clay as options for taking snaps…that could really open the Wildcat playbook. And with Daboll as the OC, I’m convinced the wildcat is far from gone. Not that I agree with that, but it needs more of a surprise element to be successful.