Will a Vince Young "Wildcat" Be the Tennessee Titans' Playoff Wildcard?

John LorgeSenior Writer IJanuary 7, 2009

The “Wildcat.”

With the help of QB Coach David Lee and the shotgun spread offense he ran at Arkansas, Miami Dolphins' head coach Tony Sparano rejuvenated playbooks across the NFL. It was not the first time the "Wildcat" look had been attempted, but it was the first time it was successful enough to be worth practicing.

In Week 3, it started with Ronnie Brown stealing the show against the New England Patriots. Soon enough Tyler Thigpen was catching touchdowns, Joshua Cribbs was running like mad, and DeSean Jackson was throwing interceptions. The entire league was caught ablaze by a college style option attack—something that the NFL was supposed to be too fast for.

This NFL season was a handful of wildcards, but now we're in the playoffs.


Yes, Coach Mora, the playoffs are here, and if you think getting back to traditional offense will pave the road to Tampa, you are mistaken.

Every team has a wrinkle in their playbook that the coaches’ believe could put them over the edge. No team has a better opportunity for a defining wrinkle as the Tennessee Titans.

Do you remember what Vince Young did at Texas in the shotgun spread offense?  As my friend YouTube just showed you, Vince Young is the prototype athlete for the NFL's "Wildcat" offense. 

In the red zone, how is a defense going to decide if they should key on the bowling ball LenDale White or the elusive Young?  Between the 40's, they can incorporate Chris Johnson running the fly-motion for the leagues most dangerous triple-option attack.  

In addition to the running possibilities, Young is a better passer than anyone else who has been “Wildcat-ed” this season. By subbing in Young for Kerry Collins, you get rid of the QB decoy, and have five legitimate receiving options on every play.

Or, the Titans could have Young and Collins on the field at once, keeping defensive coordinators in limbo. With Young split out wide, a defense has to respect his ability to get deep, and the Titans could run their traditional sets.

Now, I am not suggesting that the Titans don't play Collins in the playoffs; in 15 starts, Collins only threw seven interceptions and was sacked a league-low eight times. His game management has been a huge part of the Titans' success.

What I am suggesting is that Jeff Fisher put Vince Young at QB for 7-10 plays of offense, or around 15 percent of their offensive plays. 

The Titans still feel Young is their quarterback of the future, and there is an injury-risk involved when you have a quarterback running around in the "Wildcat." However, there is an injury-risk when you are in the pocket, ask Tom Brady or Carson Palmer. There is an injury-risk when celebrating a touchdown, ask Gus Frerotte or Ted Ginn. Even the sideline, where Young currently rests, presents an injury-risk, just as Charlie Weis.

The Titans should not be concerned about saving Young to be the quarterback of the future, their time to win the Super Bowl is now. In Week 17, Young looked sharp, completing 9-of-13 passes. 

Young is one of the most passionate quarterbacks to ever get behind center. In his NFL career, he has shown the ability to will the Titans to victories in crunch time. He is a winner, and when the offense is stagnant, they can rally behind his change-of-pace style.

So I ask you Coach Fisher—the coach who OK'd the "Home Run Throw-Back" that resulted in the "Music City Miracle"—will you call on the former Longhorn to be your "Wildcat" wildcard?