Brandon Marshall Signing Great, but Can He Fit into the Wildcat Formation?

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2010

The deal is done, the papers are signed and finally, after all the talk and controversy, Brandon Marshall is a Miami Dolphin.

It didn't come as a surprise on Wednesday to wake up and see the bold headline on ESPN.com that Brandon Marshall had indeed singed a four year deal with the Phins, but I think I speak for everybody in saying that we didn't expect Marshall to make his mind up quite so early.

However, now that the speculation is well and truly behind us, it's time to look forward to the present, and more importantly evaluate just how Brandon Marshall will do in a Dolphins uniform.

When looking at the 2009 Miami Dolphins, two points emerge, the first being quarterback play.  In 2008, Chad Pennington looked to be the sole future of the Miami Dolphins, as his signing from the New York Jets to the Miami Dolphins worked wonders for head coach Tony Sparano. 

Unfortunately, Chad got hurt and was replaced with Chad Henne, and we all know how that story unfolded.  Sure, Chad Henne isn't the greatest quarterback in the league by any stretch of the imagination, but for the most part he got the job done in Miami and managed to keep an explosive and sometimes loose offense together going forward.

Now though, the Dolphins have Brandon Marshall, one the most exciting young players in the game today.  There's no doubt in anybodies mind that he is a great receiver, but how will Brandon fair when it comes time to putting his experience and skill to the test down south in Florida?

Well realistically, Brandon Marshall will fair just fine in all area's of the game.  Marshall is used to having average quarterbacks pass the ball to him, and after spending time in Denver under hardy coach Josh McDaniels, Marshall will know when and when not to keep his big mouth closed.

Aside from Marshall's usual skillset though that we have become accustomed to seeing, there is the issue of the wildcat formation, and a question that does need answering.  Can Brandon Marshall fit in with a team that has become famous for the wildcat formation?  And can he execute it just as well?

To answer the first question, I can't see why Brandon Marshall won't fit in nicely with the wildcat.  On paper, Marshall's 1,120-yard season in 2009 speaks for itself, and when watching tape of Marshall it's clear that he is an all rounded athlete that can fit in at just about any position on the field.

The only real concern with Marshall fitting into the Wildcat is if he is asked to throw.  Has any NFL spectator seen Marshall throw?  I think not, so that could raise a few concerns given that Marshall has no prior ability on how to throw a 40-yard lob into the endzone.

Besides that, the switch or reverse option in the wildcat will suit Marshall just fine.  He's quick on his feet and as long as the play develops early, Marshall is a threat to take the ball to the house.

The AFC East is fast becoming the toughest division in football.  Yes it is no NFC East or NFC North just yet, but with the New York Jets, New England Patriots and now the Miami Dolphins all acquiring their fair share of talent, it will be a shoot out to see who can take home the number one seed in the playoffs.

For Brandon Marshall alone, the wildcat shouldn't be his number one concern at this point in time, but it is a play he must familiarise himself with if he hopes to make an impact for the Miami Dolphins.

NFL fans, get ready for a barrage of points and exciting plays on the Miami Dolphins behalf.  Marshall is in blue and orange now, and if he suits up for the wildcat play next season, pay close attention to how Marshall plays.  Touchdowns or positive yards gained are a certainty for Marshall in 2010, and whether it comes from his usual ways or the new found wildcat, expect him to be re-energized and enthused as he steps into Tuna Town.


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