Re: The Greatest Irony of the Dolphins Game
- <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 SheafferPS: Check out the first blurb on this newer addition of Keuffel's book WINNING SINGLE WING FOOTBALL.
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