Uncovering the many myths and truths of the Wildcat offense
Williams was impressed enough to buy the game and now plays on the Internet in complete anonymity, except for one signature tendency: On any third-and-short play, he always runs the Wildcat.
"Works every time,'' the Dolphins running back said. "Pretty much like in our games."
Yet the fallout won't stop falling around the Wildcat. Just this week, Dolphins legend
Question: Were people so grumpy about the forward pass in 1906?
"We're all afraid of what we don't understand,'' says Dolphins running back
That's just one of the misconceptions about the formation. There are others. And they're often loud ones. Here are five simple myths people have about the Wildcat:
Well, that depends on who's running it. Philadelphia is a study in Wildcat frustration with
As for the Dolphins, let's not rely on expert commentary. Let's talk cold, dry statistics. They've run 48 Wildcat plays in five games and average 6.6 yards per play. They average 4.7 yards a play out of their base offense.
That's 40 percent more yards per play out of the Wildcat.
Is that a formation that's not working?
"We've seen defenses do everything against it,'' Dolphins coach
Why? "How the hell you going to throw the ball?" Sapp said. "I'm not even thinking about (defending the throw). I'm going to get everybody in the gap. It's just the "Power O" (play).' You have the running back with the ball already in his hand."
Hmm. It disrespectful, because it's overpowering? Wasn't the "Power O" play what made
Last year, the Dolphins ran an unbalanced line, shifting both tackles to one side. This year the Wildcat has evolved to a conventionally balanced line, though often with two tight ends and fullback
"It's just Power formation upfront,'' Dolphins guard
It's more than that in the backfield. Williams, who is the Wildcat, typically comes in motion on an end run that defenses have to honor. As the Jets found out on the third play of the game, Williams can take a handoff and run for 18 yards around end.
Uh, no. Or, as Sparano says, "There's more meat on the bone."
Namely, there's a passing component to be mined. Sapp was right about that. The Dolphins can throw an occasional changeup to defenses, as they did to the Jets on the second play of their game when Brown threw 21 yards to tight end
"It is purely going against everything out there on their computers,'' Sparano said. "On film right now is, 'no pass,' in the Wildcat."
But to throw open the throttle on the Wildcat they need to come up with a sustainable passing feature. That's why Vick seemed the perfect match. It's also why the Dolphins expended a precious second-round pick on
Look, the Dolphins are all in on the Wildcat. The drafting of White made that statement.
He hasn't shown much yet. Maybe he never will. But the use of the 44th pick overall on a Wildcat specialist underlined their belief in the formation.
"This has nothing to do with our quarterbacks,'' Sparano said of the Wildcat. "We have a pretty quarterback now (
True, Marino and Jaworski are off the charts in football IQ. But you know what else they have in common?
So is Atlanta's
Then there's the other critical section, as vocalized by Jets linebacker
Remember the scene from
Forrest didn't pay any attention to them. He just did what worked for him.
That's all the Dolphins are doing with the Wildcat. Some call it crazy. Some call it gimmicky. Others look how it's adding 40 percent more yards to each play and, so far, call it good football.