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The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game

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  • kmacalp@aol.com
    You know, when I saw Ronnie Brown taking a shotgun snap from center, I kept thinking single wing. But then, I thought that couldn t be right. Isn t there
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 26, 2008
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      You know, when I saw Ronnie Brown taking a shotgun snap from center, I kept thinking "single wing." But then, I thought that couldn't be right. Isn't there supposed to be more than one back in the backfield in the single wing? Besides, I would have assumed the single wing would be elementary to Bill Belichick. Sure, virtually no one above the high school level uses it that much these days, and I don't think it's super popular in high school either, but there's a reason I figured Belichick would know it well, and know what to do against it. In many versions of the single wing, the fullback is the guy who takes the snaps and handles the ball every play. It could be the tailback too. The QB is often a blocking back who could also go out for a pass. The QB and another back could be wingbacks up near the line of scrimmage. The O-Line might be shifted, instead of having two guys on each side of the center, there might be three linemen plus another blocker on one side of the center, plus two on the other. Anyway, it turns out that there are variations of the single wing with just one guy in the backfield. (From what I could see on TV, Brown was in the backfield by himself, Pennington and Williams were up near the line of scrimmage.) And the Dolphins WERE running a version of the single wing called Wildcat used sometimes in recent years by the Arkansas Razorbacks.
       
      So why do I find this ironic? The Single Wing was once used as a regular offense by some NFL teams. Back in 1941, the Lions were using it under head coach Bill Edwards. The Lions needed a fullback with good hands since he would take snaps and handle the ball on virtually every play kind of like a QB today. Milt Piepul who'd been All-American at Notre Dame was the starting fullback, but he wasn't good at the ball handling required of the fullback in Edwards's version of the single wing. As a college coach, Edwards had, had a player whom he called "the best fullback I ever coached." Even though America didn't get into W.W. II until December, the draft was in effect at the time, and with a low draft number, the young fullback was very likely to be drafted soon. Edwards brought him to Detroit as an equipment manager, but eventually got him to play fullback for the Lions. That fullback ended up leading the Lions in rushing average with 4.2 yards per attempt. He got drafted though and his NFL career came to an end. After the war, the young fullback went into coaching. He was reunited with Bill Edwards and his single wing offense. The fullback became an assistant for Edwards at various schools including Vanderbilt in the early 1950s. While there, the fullback had a son and named him after Bill Edwards. Eventually, the fullback got into scouting and became one of the great scouts in the history of the game. The fullback's name? Steve Belichick.
       
      Scott
       
      PS: The irony doesn't stop there. Check out pgs 40-41 of Halberstam's THE EDUCATION OF A COACH. Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams played together at Andover. Like Belichick, Adams had a passionate interest in football strategy. Many regard Adams as a genius, and he has some kind of nebulous job with the Patriots. If I remember right, he advises Belichick on when to throw the challenge flag among other things, and is able to call down to Belichick during games. If Belichick needed help figuring out how to stop an unexpected formation, Adams could help out. So, you'd think if Adams knew the single wing, he'd be able to tell Belichick anything he needed to know. Well, pages 40-41 mentions a story from when Adams played at Andover. After a game against Lawrenceville, Adams went to the Lawrenceville locker room because Lawrenceville's coach, Ken Keuffel was an expert on a certain offense and had even written a book about it. Adams asked Keuffel to autograph a copy of the book - SIMPLIFIED SINGLE-WING FOOTBALL. ARRRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!




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    • Jane Smyth
      Great story, Scott. You re a regular Paul Harvey! ... From: kmacalp@aol.com Subject: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game To:
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 28, 2008
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        Great story, Scott. You're a regular Paul Harvey!

        --- On Fri, 9/26/08, kmacalp@... <kmacalp@...> wrote:
        From: kmacalp@... <kmacalp@...>
        Subject: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
        To: patriotzip@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 9:42 PM

        You know, when I saw Ronnie Brown taking a shotgun snap from center, I kept thinking "single wing." But then, I thought that couldn't be right. Isn't there supposed to be more than one back in the backfield in the single wing? Besides, I would have assumed the single wing would be elementary to Bill Belichick. Sure, virtually no one above the high school level uses it that much these days, and I don't think it's super popular in high school either, but there's a reason I figured Belichick would know it well, and know what to do against it. In many versions of the single wing, the fullback is the guy who takes the snaps and handles the ball every play. It could be the tailback too. The QB is often a blocking back who could also go out for a pass. The QB and another back could be wingbacks up near the line of scrimmage. The O-Line might be shifted, instead of having two guys on each side of the center, there might be three linemen plus another blocker on one side of the center, plus two on the other. Anyway, it turns out that there are variations of the single wing with just one guy in the backfield. (From what I could see on TV, Brown was in the backfield by himself, Pennington and Williams were up near the line of scrimmage.) And the Dolphins WERE running a version of the single wing called Wildcat used sometimes in recent years by the Arkansas Razorbacks.
         
        So why do I find this ironic? The Single Wing was once used as a regular offense by some NFL teams. Back in 1941, the Lions were using it under head coach Bill Edwards. The Lions needed a fullback with good hands since he would take snaps and handle the ball on virtually every play kind of like a QB today. Milt Piepul who'd been All-American at Notre Dame was the starting fullback, but he wasn't good at the ball handling required of the fullback in Edwards's version of the single wing. As a college coach, Edwards had, had a player whom he called "the best fullback I ever coached." Even though America didn't get into W.W. II until December, the draft was in effect at the time, and with a low draft number, the young fullback was very likely to be drafted soon. Edwards brought him to Detroit as an equipment manager, but eventually got him to play fullback for the Lions. That fullback ended up leading the Lions in rushing average with 4.2 yards per attempt. He got drafted though and his NFL career came to an end. After the war, the young fullback went into coaching. He was reunited with Bill Edwards and his single wing offense. The fullback became an assistant for Edwards at various schools including Vanderbilt in the early 1950s. While there, the fullback had a son and named him after Bill Edwards. Eventually, the fullback got into scouting and became one of the great scouts in the history of the game. The fullback's name? Steve Belichick.
         
        Scott
         
        PS: The irony doesn't stop there. Check out pgs 40-41 of Halberstam's THE EDUCATION OF A COACH. Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams played together at Andover. Like Belichick, Adams had a passionate interest in football strategy. Many regard Adams as a genius, and he has some kind of nebulous job with the Patriots. If I remember right, he advises Belichick on when to throw the challenge flag among other things, and is able to call down to Belichick during games. If Belichick needed help figuring out how to stop an unexpected formation, Adams could help out. So, you'd think if Adams knew the single wing, he'd be able to tell Belichick anything he needed to know. Well, pages 40-41 mentions a story from when Adams played at Andover. After a game against Lawrenceville, Adams went to the Lawrenceville locker room because Lawrenceville' s coach, Ken Keuffel was an expert on a certain offense and had even written a book about it. Adams asked Keuffel to autograph a copy of the book - SIMPLIFIED SINGLE-WING FOOTBALL. ARRRRGGGHHH! !!!!!!!




        Looking for simple solutions to your real-life financial challenges? Check out WalletPop for the latest news and information, tips and calculators.

      • Diane
        Who are we watching today since the Pats have the bye? ... From: Jane Smyth To: patriotzip@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, September 28,
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 28, 2008
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          Who are we watching today since the Pats have the bye?

          ----- Original Message ----
          From: Jane Smyth <jane000001@...>
          To: patriotzip@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2008 11:45:36 AM
          Subject: Re: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game

          Great story, Scott. You're a regular Paul Harvey!

          --- On Fri, 9/26/08, kmacalp@aol. com <kmacalp@aol. com> wrote:
          From: kmacalp@aol. com <kmacalp@aol. com>
          Subject: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
          To: patriotzip@yahoogro ups.com
          Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 9:42 PM

          You know, when I saw Ronnie Brown taking a shotgun snap from center, I kept thinking "single wing." But then, I thought that couldn't be right. Isn't there supposed to be more than one back in the backfield in the single wing? Besides, I would have assumed the single wing would be elementary to Bill Belichick. Sure, virtually no one above the high school level uses it that much these days, and I don't think it's super popular in high school either, but there's a reason I figured Belichick would know it well, and know what to do against it. In many versions of the single wing, the fullback is the guy who takes the snaps and handles the ball every play. It could be the tailback too. The QB is often a blocking back who could also go out for a pass. The QB and another back could be wingbacks up near the line of scrimmage. The O-Line might be shifted, instead of having two guys on each side of the center, there might be three linemen plus another blocker on one side of the center, plus two on the other. Anyway, it turns out that there are variations of the single wing with just one guy in the backfield. (From what I could see on TV, Brown was in the backfield by himself, Pennington and Williams were up near the line of scrimmage.) And the Dolphins WERE running a version of the single wing called Wildcat used sometimes in recent years by the Arkansas Razorbacks.
           
          So why do I find this ironic? The Single Wing was once used as a regular offense by some NFL teams. Back in 1941, the Lions were using it under head coach Bill Edwards. The Lions needed a fullback with good hands since he would take snaps and handle the ball on virtually every play kind of like a QB today. Milt Piepul who'd been All-American at Notre Dame was the starting fullback, but he wasn't good at the ball handling required of the fullback in Edwards's version of the single wing. As a college coach, Edwards had, had a player whom he called "the best fullback I ever coached." Even though America didn't get into W.W. II until December, the draft was in effect at the time, and with a low draft number, the young fullback was very likely to be drafted soon. Edwards brought him to Detroit as an equipment manager, but eventually got him to play fullback for the Lions. That fullback ended up leading the Lions in rushing average with 4.2 yards per attempt. He got drafted though and his NFL career came to an end. After the war, the young fullback went into coaching. He was reunited with Bill Edwards and his single wing offense. The fullback became an assistant for Edwards at various schools including Vanderbilt in the early 1950s. While there, the fullback had a son and named him after Bill Edwards. Eventually, the fullback got into scouting and became one of the great scouts in the history of the game. The fullback's name? Steve Belichick.
           
          Scott
           
          PS: The irony doesn't stop there. Check out pgs 40-41 of Halberstam's THE EDUCATION OF A COACH. Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams played together at Andover. Like Belichick, Adams had a passionate interest in football strategy. Many regard Adams as a genius, and he has some kind of nebulous job with the Patriots. If I remember right, he advises Belichick on when to throw the challenge flag among other things, and is able to call down to Belichick during games. If Belichick needed help figuring out how to stop an unexpected formation, Adams could help out. So, you'd think if Adams knew the single wing, he'd be able to tell Belichick anything he needed to know. Well, pages 40-41 mentions a story from when Adams played at Andover. After a game against Lawrenceville, Adams went to the Lawrenceville locker room because Lawrenceville' s coach, Ken Keuffel was an expert on a certain offense and had even written a book about it. Adams asked Keuffel to autograph a copy of the book - SIMPLIFIED SINGLE-WING FOOTBALL. ARRRRGGGHHH! !!!!!!!




          Looking for simple solutions to your real-life financial challenges? Check out WalletPop for the latest news and information, tips and calculators.


        • sean carmichael
          NBC had Bronchos/Chiefs,  Fox had Cardinals/Jets ... From: Diane Subject: Re: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 28, 2008
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            NBC had Bronchos/Chiefs,  Fox had Cardinals/Jets

            --- On Sun, 9/28/08, Diane <purrrolicious69@...> wrote:
            From: Diane <purrrolicious69@...>
            Subject: Re: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
            To: patriotzip@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 12:34 PM

            Who are we watching today since the Pats have the bye?

            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Jane Smyth <jane000001@yahoo. com>
            To: patriotzip@yahoogro ups.com
            Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2008 11:45:36 AM
            Subject: Re: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game

            Great story, Scott. You're a regular Paul Harvey!

            --- On Fri, 9/26/08, kmacalp@aol. com <kmacalp@aol. com> wrote:
            From: kmacalp@aol. com <kmacalp@aol. com>
            Subject: [patriotzip] The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
            To: patriotzip@yahoogro ups.com
            Date: Friday, September 26, 2008, 9:42 PM

            You know, when I saw Ronnie Brown taking a shotgun snap from center, I kept thinking "single wing." But then, I thought that couldn't be right. Isn't there supposed to be more than one back in the backfield in the single wing? Besides, I would have assumed the single wing would be elementary to Bill Belichick. Sure, virtually no one above the high school level uses it that much these days, and I don't think it's super popular in high school either, but there's a reason I figured Belichick would know it well, and know what to do against it. In many versions of the single wing, the fullback is the guy who takes the snaps and handles the ball every play. It could be the tailback too. The QB is often a blocking back who could also go out for a pass. The QB and another back could be wingbacks up near the line of scrimmage. The O-Line might be shifted, instead of having two guys on each side of the center, there might be three linemen plus another blocker on one side of the center, plus two on the other. Anyway, it turns out that there are variations of the single wing with just one guy in the backfield. (From what I could see on TV, Brown was in the backfield by himself, Pennington and Williams were up near the line of scrimmage.) And the Dolphins WERE running a version of the single wing called Wildcat used sometimes in recent years by the Arkansas Razorbacks.
             
            So why do I find this ironic? The Single Wing was once used as a regular offense by some NFL teams. Back in 1941, the Lions were using it under head coach Bill Edwards. The Lions needed a fullback with good hands since he would take snaps and handle the ball on virtually every play kind of like a QB today. Milt Piepul who'd been All-American at Notre Dame was the starting fullback, but he wasn't good at the ball handling required of the fullback in Edwards's version of the single wing. As a college coach, Edwards had, had a player whom he called "the best fullback I ever coached." Even though America didn't get into W.W. II until December, the draft was in effect at the time, and with a low draft number, the young fullback was very likely to be drafted soon. Edwards brought him to Detroit as an equipment manager, but eventually got him to play fullback for the Lions. That fullback ended up leading the Lions in rushing average with 4.2 yards per attempt. He got drafted though and his NFL career came to an end. After the war, the young fullback went into coaching. He was reunited with Bill Edwards and his single wing offense. The fullback became an assistant for Edwards at various schools including Vanderbilt in the early 1950s. While there, the fullback had a son and named him after Bill Edwards. Eventually, the fullback got into scouting and became one of the great scouts in the history of the game. The fullback's name? Steve Belichick.
             
            Scott
             
            PS: The irony doesn't stop there. Check out pgs 40-41 of Halberstam's THE EDUCATION OF A COACH. Bill Belichick and Ernie Adams played together at Andover. Like Belichick, Adams had a passionate interest in football strategy. Many regard Adams as a genius, and he has some kind of nebulous job with the Patriots. If I remember right, he advises Belichick on when to throw the challenge flag among other things, and is able to call down to Belichick during games. If Belichick needed help figuring out how to stop an unexpected formation, Adams could help out. So, you'd think if Adams knew the single wing, he'd be able to tell Belichick anything he needed to know. Well, pages 40-41 mentions a story from when Adams played at Andover. After a game against Lawrenceville, Adams went to the Lawrenceville locker room because Lawrenceville' s coach, Ken Keuffel was an expert on a certain offense and had even written a book about it. Adams asked Keuffel to autograph a copy of the book - SIMPLIFIED SINGLE-WING FOOTBALL. ARRRRGGGHHH! !!!!!!!




            Looking for simple solutions to your real-life financial challenges? Check out WalletPop for the latest news and information, tips and calculators.



          • kmacalp@aol.com
            Great story, Scott. You re a regular Paul Harvey! Thanks, Jane. At least you didn t compare me to Lonesome Rhodes from A FACE IN THE CROWD. The
            Message 5 of 5 , Oct 2, 2008
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              <Jane> Great story, Scott. You're a regular Paul Harvey!
              <Scott> Thanks, Jane. At least you didn't compare me to Lonesome Rhodes from A FACE IN THE CROWD.
               
              The Dolphins' use of the single wing captured my imagination. I'd love to see the Patriots put in a package of plays utilizing it. They have the personal for it with Faulk, a running back who's taken direct snaps in a number of games and who can throw, Cassel, a QB who actually played at tight end a little in college. Would you put Cassel at TE in the NFL on a regular basis? No way! He may look fast compared to Brady, but he's too slow, and too small. But if I had to choose between Pennington and Cassel for a QB to shift outside the way the Dolphins did with Pennington . . . . So Cassel has some experience blocking and going out for passes. I think ideally, it would be nice to have a bigger back than Faulk for those carries up the middle, but I think Faulk would do well if the formation was only used a few times per game.
               
              In looking up "Wildcat" I found a double wing version where the QB stays in behind center too. The QB and the running back line up next to each other 2 yards behind the center and the center can give the ball to either one on a "soft snap." The soft snap sounds kind of risky because sometimes the ball will actually be rolled on the ground to either back, but supposedly, this actually reduces risk. Also, because a wide receiver has the job of consistently running his man off the line by going on deep routes AND the best way of defending the formation is by crowding the line of scrimmage, AND the QB could be taking the snap on any play, it seems like a good way to get Moss open deep.
               
              Who knows? The Patriots could take something really useful away from the Dolphins game. It could be our version of the AFC Championship game between the Bills and Bengals in the late 80s. In that game, a Bengals gimmick threw the Bills defense into chaos. It caused Buffalo to get caught with too many players on the field a number of times. The Bengals won the game. The Bills were so furious that in the off-season, they lobbied for a rule change that would ban the Bengals' tactic. See the thing that caused Buffalo so many problems is that the Bengals would occasionally run their offense with out a huddle! Now I forget when the league changed the rules, but they didn't ban what the Bengals did. They only made sure that if the offense substituted, the defense would have a chance to substitute as well. (That's why the Bills had so many penalties. When Buffalo tried to substitute, the Bengals snapped the ball.) The Bills eventually adopted the tactic, and then after another season when they realized their offense was a lot more potent in a hurry up/ two minute mode, they made the "No Huddle Offense" their regular offense. It was a key factor in their four consecutive trips to the Super Bowl. All from a gimmick used against them by the Bengals.
               
              Of course, you'd probably want to shelve this stuff when Tom Brady returns sometime next season. But, I'd keep it in mind for the future especially if the speedy Kevin O'Connell succeeds Brady at QB. In fact, O'Connell who ran a spread option offense in college could be a real threat from that Wyatt version of the Wildcat. 
               
              Scott Sheaffer 
               
              PS: Check out the first blurb on this newer addition of Keuffel's book WINNING SINGLE WING FOOTBALL.




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