New England Patriots: the Wildcat Offense?

Mat CroninContributor IMay 11, 2009

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 23:  Wide receiver Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots breaks free from a tackle attempt by linebacker Akin Ayodele #51 of the Miami Dolphins at Dolphin Stadium on November 23, 2008 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The 2009 New England Patriots are in a position to make a run deep into the post season.  As always, Coach Belichick has added a plethora of talent to his roster by signing free agents and drafting smart, system oriented players. 

After missing the playoffs last year, the New England sports' world is expecting the Patriots to return to the playoffs with a vengance, and the Wildcat offense is a tool that may help them get there.

After the Patriots were shalacked by the Dolphins' Wildcat on September 21, 2008, many NFL teams began giving this evolved Wing-T offense a try (and for good reason).  On six plays, the Dolphins' Wildcat offense was able to produce five touchdowns (four rushing and one passing) in a 38-13 upset victory over New England. 

To say Bellichick has kept the Wing-T in his mind since his defense was shredded by Ronnie Brown is more than likely an understatment.

Drafting Julian Edelman with the 232 pick as a WR may be a sign of things to come.  As a former three year QB for Kent State, Edelman went 385 for 706 passing for 4,997 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions, giving him a rating of 119.2.  Edelman proved himself as a dual threat QB by rushing for 2,484 yards and 22 touchdowns on 501 attempts.  I have to assume that Belichick had more than slot receiver in mind for Julian when he drafted him.

If Belichick uses the Wildcat, WR/QB Edelman (4.50 40 yard dash), WR Welker (4.51` 40 yard dash), WR Tate (4.39 40 yard dash before injury), WR Moss (4.25 40 yard dash years ago, but is still a major deep threat), RB Omar Cuff (4.40 40 yard dash), QB Kevin O'Connell (4.61 40 yard dash), WR White (4.36 40 yard dash) and RB Eric Kettani (4.60 40 yard dash) would be speedy options for a Patriots Wildcat.

Brady is the polar opposite of a Wildcat quarterback, as he is the self proclaimed slowest player in the NFL.  With Edelman's speed and arm, New England could run a fairly successful Wildcat offense in 2009. 

I dismissed the small talk that Vick would ever be an option in New England as his character issues (unfortunetly) now outweigh his talent, and it is still up in the air whether or not Bill would ever go for this unorthodox form of offense. 

As an avid New England fan, it is exciting just to think about how a three-time Superbowl Champion and Hall-of-Fame coach would run such an offense with all of the weapons he has at his disposal.