Every year The NFL and the game of football itself evolves. The 2008 season though, saw the advent of more and more wrinkles and ideas never seen before, such as the wildcat formation. Furthermore, teams like The Cardinals and even The Chiefs began to use the spread offense more and more.
The Wildcat formation helped the Dolphins reach a division title, and make The Patriots look completely confused in the process. They continued to employ more and more aspects of the wildcat over the course of the season, and The Dolphins had one of the best red zone offenses in the league as a result.
In Arizona, Kurt Warner and company had the highest scoring offense in the league with majority of the snaps coming from the shotgun formation. Kansas City’s Tyler Thigpen threw for more touchdowns than Matt Ryan did this past season from a spread offense, and Tony Gonzalez had one of his best seasons as a pro (96 catches) at age 33 as a result. Though they did not have a good record, it wasn’t due to their offense.
A few years ago, the NFL seemed dead set on never employing the spread offense. These days, teams with the right personnel are thriving with it. Long gone are the days of Bill Parcells’ original teams where it was run, run, then pass on third down.
Teams are doing everything they can to get an edge these days, anything that will force defenses to spend more time in the film room. That’s why West Virginia quarterback Pat White has a place in The NFL.
In the coming season, I wouldn’t rule out seeing White in a wildcat-like offense where he splits time with another quarterback. White can run draws from the shotgun or force the defense to respect his skills on the ground, and then beat them through the air as safeties come towards the line of scrimmage.
White will by no means be Joe Montana, taking every snap and leading his team down the field time after time. But teams will sure enough look to his skills, even in limited snaps, to benefit their team.
He may not be a two or three read quarterback, but he is athletic enough to force teams to respect him and fire the ball down field.
With the way The NFL evolves, it is entirely possible that we may soon see offenses much like the college spread offense. Nothing is out of the question anymore.