Death of the Wildcat Formation: NFL Fad Should Be Put to Rest Permanently

Rob Brown@RobBrown3Correspondent IMarch 7, 2011

Ronnie Brown is considered a "Wildcat Specialist" by many
Ronnie Brown is considered a "Wildcat Specialist" by many

We’re gathered here today to mourn the death of the latest football craze: the wildcat offensive formation.

Let’s be honest. This is a copycat league; we all know it and acknowledge it.

As a head coach, you’re pressured by the suit and ties (who, by the way, don’t know a thing about coaching) to try these trick plays because Team X does it and it works. It sells tickets, brings excitement and wins games. Everyone wins, right?

Give me a break.

The only teams that use the wildcat often are teams who don’t have a quarterback. The Dolphins are the example that jumps to everyone’s minds. They have two good running backs and zero good quarterbacks.

Name me a team with an elite quarterback that relies on the wildcat formation.

Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

None. Because when the ball is snapped, I want it in the hands of the player that’ll win me the football game.

You don’t see Bill Belichick direct-snapping the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis 15 times a game, do you? How about James Starks getting the football while Aaron Rodgers lines up as a wideout for 20 snaps? Even Joshua Cribbs’ wildcat snaps went down because the world saw Colt McCoy was giving his team a chance to win games. Too bad Miami doesn’t have a similar story to tell.

In a league where you can’t touch the receivers or quarterbacks, it’s more ideal to throw the ball rather than run anyway. But teams who don’t have a good option under center will find ways to get guys like Ronnie Brown.

The wildcat is like when your older brother use to pick on you as a kid. He’d extend his arm out and put his hand on your forehead while you swung your fists wildly and couldn’t hit him. But after he did it a few times, you learned what to do and simply shoved his hand off your forehead.

When the Dolphins, along with other teams, started doing the wildcat, it caught teams off-guard. They had never seen it before. It was like showing a caveman an automobile; they didn’t know what to do. But now as we move towards the 2011 season (whenever it starts), defenses have seen enough of the wildcat to game-plan against it and limit its success.

I listen to radio shows from across the nation and hear different fans in different cities ask about the wildcat and why their team isn’t using it more. The high risk/reward is no different than the reverse play, but nobody is screaming to run that multiple times a game.

Defenses continue to get better, suit and ties start to slowly creep away from calling plays and coaches learn that keeping their quarterback under center is always smarter than having a running back under center.

Goodbye, wildcat offense. You’ll go down with fads like the Macarena, chat rooms and Pogs. Just like those three, I say to you, wildcat—good riddance.


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