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Wildcat uses unbalanced line to confuse Pats

The folks in New England are aflutter with confusion because they don't know about their quarterback situation now and they still don't know how it is the Dolphins ran for 216 yards Sunday -- most of those coming out of the gadget "Wildcat" formation.

And it is a gadget formation. Aside from getting Ronnie Brown lined up in shotgun to take the direct snap, or hand off or pass, Wildcat also does some unorthodox things up front.

Consider that on every Wildcat formation, left tackle Jake Long lined up on the right side and outside of Vernon Carey. In other words, the line going right to left was Long, Carey, Ikechuku Ndukwe, Samson Satele and Justin Smiley, who is then flanked by a tight end, typically Anthony Fasano.

That is called an unbalanced line and, believe it or not, the Dolphins used it at times last year. It just wasn't as successful as it was Sunday when Miami scored four of its five TDs out of the package.

"They ran some unbalanced formation that it didn't seem that we had any answers for," defensive end Richard Seymour said. "You have to give them a lot of credit. They made the plays that they needed to make. We were a step behind and a step late all day. It felt like we were just reacting to what they were doing and didn't really have any answers."

There were no answers to be found by the Patriots because both Long and Carey had excellent days blocking. On the 62-yard Ronnie Brown TD run, Long and Carey both wiped out a defender while Smiley pulled and also laid a great block on somebody.

Brown was not touched much of the day until he got into the secondary.

"It was something that we didn't use on a consistent basis," quarterback Chad Pennington said. "It's a different look, it really is."

No lie.

[Update: Tony Sparano said Monday the Dolphins have only "scratched the surface" with the package and that even when it was orginally discussed there were other people in mind to be used in the package. So expect to see more of Wildcat and expect to see different things in it.] 


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well it worked but rest assured other teams will be ready for it next time. They need to use ronnie and ricky together on more downs. Its a great combo

Ithought I saw something strange in how they lined up but searched the net for somebody to break it down and couldn't find anything until now. Great breakdown, Arrrrrmando.

what happened to my comment??? why did it get deleted armando??

I don't care if other teams are ready for it or not, we should keep using it. We might not get big yards with it all the time in the future, but if it forces teams to spend time game-planning or gives us a way to mix things up, it is valuable. Teams are ready for standard rushing formations or passing formations but those plays still work sometimes, too.

We used it six plays, three rushing TD's, a passing TD, and two good gains from a hand off to Ricky. I believe we will use the formation about the same from this point on. It is something other teams will have to plan for, and try to counter, giving them less time for the regular set in practice. You stretch out a what a team has to prepare for, and you have a better shot at catching them UNprepared. Can you see Ronnie running towards that hole where he scored three times, then pitching out like an option to Ricky? Or sweep left, end around to Penny, deep throw down the right sideline? Well... maybe with Henne, not Penny.lol.

On that front, he threw a couple of nice balls deep yesterday! One over 30 yards in the air! If he can continue like that, R&R will be able to rush for even more yards.

The real Randy Moss stood up. Did you see the lack of effort he showed yesterday? He may as well have been wearing the Silver, and Black still. I saw at least one time where a ball was thrown to him, that he quit on. Jaybar had three catches that I saw, including the TD, but I also saw him turn way to late on a short route, then duck out of the way of a ball to keep from getting hit by the D. The Patsies mailed this one in, once they got down. Definite improvement from our team, but realistically, that wasn't the Patsies from the past couple of years. They are showing their age on the offensive line, and their age, and lack of speed on D.

Folks, there have been some glitches in the blog today -- most of you would blame me, I'm sure. Anyway, if you lost a comment, I did not delete it. Just repost. And I assure you the comment section is not locked up.

I wasn't blaming you, I just knew that you had a better shot of fixing the problem on your blog, than I would, as a guest.lol.

Hey the Dolphins are one play away from being a 2-1 football team!! Maybe they are closer than most people think!!

Gotta give major props to the guy who fed the game on that justintv.com or something. Being a fin fan far away i rarely get a chance to see the dolphins play, much less get a chance to see the phins WIN!!!!! MAN! i enjoyed the hell out of that game. On a personal note, i benched ronnie brown in favor of darren sproles in my fantasy league...those 41 points he scored would have led me to a win against the undefeated guy in my league. THANKS RONNIE!!!!

No, Nick, they aren't. Be happy, be up, be optimistic, but don't start calling us anything but a work in progress. If we start expecting too much from this season, we will be disappointed. If we expect to struggle, anything better will be a welcome, and joyous surprise. Just as I was calling for patience from those already ready to chuck it all again, I am calling for patience from those who are overly exuberant. We still have gaps that can't be filled this year. I am satisfied with competitive.

Spent a little time on the Boston Globe earlier...lol, lots of crying and whining. Many excuses being given for what "could have been".
As well, a real classy fan base booing their team after 21 wins and leaving so early. They don't deserve what they've gotten...but they DO deserve what they will get from now on!

I couldn't have been more pleased with the creativity and execution of the "Wildcat" against the Pats on Sunday. I do believe there is room to continue running this formation; however, I hope we're creative enough to come up with more gadget plays/formations that teams won't be prepared for. The fact that the Pats didn't practice for such a scheme really benefited us, so the more unbalanced looks we give a defense on Sunday the better.

Ok, "well next week they will be ready" YES.

But: The other team now has to waste time preparing for it while the Dolphins coudl then go back to bread and butter offense.

Bottom line; this gambit is huge and has defenses off balance.

If I am Mr. Sparano, I come out in base formations next week with Ronnie dotting the "i" and start off with a separate QB, Chad Henne, throwing a bomb to Teddy Ginn on play 1, as all defenders will be way up on them looking for Ronnie Brown.

Keep confusing and confounding them./


If you look at the live game log from week two I did say they had improved in exactly the places that coach said they would work on. You were too busy with hating the team to think or say anything positive. I should have y our job.
Its easy. Just go along with the hating fans and then claim you were right and the fans were wrong.

This One Had All The Markings Of The Big Tuna Himself On This One,finally The Sun Is Finally Shining Back On The Fish,remember Folks The Wannstadt Curse Ends This Year.so Look Out Nfl In 09

I'm sure at one time Landry's 4-3 defense was a "gimmick." Let's also mention Arnsparger's 53 Defense that has become today's 3-4 defense. How 'bout Buddy Ryan's designs that the '85 Bears used to break the rhythm of the great Joe Montana.

On offense, was Lombardi's "power sweep" a gimmick? How 'bout the way Sid Gilman designed our modern passing game that gave us "Air Coryell" and Walsh's "West Coast Offense?"

Coaches always devise schemes and adjustments are made. It may have been a offensive scheme very few NFL people see today except in college.

My point is the the following:

1. It was well executed. If it wasn't, everybody would be calling Sparano, Henning, & Lee a bunch of morons for thinking of this "hare-brained" scheme.

2. No matter how well coaches design schemes, you got to have the players to carry it out.

The Dolphins under this new regime has my confidence. They did their thinking outside the box. They're rebuilding. They're finding ways to win. I hope the players keep buying into this.

Now I believe this team really had a chance against Brett Favre and the Jets. They stunk up the joint against the Cards.

They learned that the game still comes down to out-executing the players on the other team. Let's build on this.

I don't want to hear anyone else utter that Ronnie Brown is a bust or is just average. Don't want to hear how he is a mistake and we would be better served with Braylon Edwards or Marion Barber or whatever. His critics should have all been silenced last year...it was not his fault he got injured on a busted play trying to help. He is just continuing on from last year. He showed burst, versatility, power , and breakaway speed. Lets go Ronnie and Ricky.

Tree - Sorry but I was just being sarcastic!!

I started Ronnie for the first time on my ff and thanks to him I'll get my FIRST win!! lol.

Rswgoforit Wow U R Bringing Up Some Real History There,what Do U Thing We Should Call This Reancarnation ? Maybe The Badabing ?

Just a thought. We beat them so badly yesterday, I am wondering if Belicheat is still cheating. Normally they know what play we are going to run before we run it. It has been like that for years.
This week they didn't do a complete job and they got burned. The looked like the Dolphins last year.

klndry...makes you wonder what was on the tapes the league destroyed huh? Belicheat didn't have the video to make himself the genius that everyone seems to think he is. I swear the network talking heads would give oral sex to the Patsies if they, the Patsies, could come together as one penis and the network as one big mouth. Seems the league was protecting itself from the cheating that has been going on for YEARS by this team.

There's a reason why Ronnie Brown has never had a day like Sunday. The reason he did is because of the wildcat/wildhog package they used to get him the ball and confuse the defense.

Defenses can study the 3 basic run plays from it all they want, they still won't know if it's going to go to the inside, outside or if it will be a counter or a pass. Even if they had never seen a Razorback football game, by halftime the Patriots coaches had seen enough of it to be able to at least know what to look for but they still couldn't stop it.

It's a brilliant scheme to take advantage of Ricky and Ronnie's talent on the field at the same time. Milk it for all it's worth!

Chris S. and anyone else who doesn't sign in. Your comments to Armando in the last blog about "having the wrong Chris S." can be easily fixed. Just simply sign in before you post. Only one person is allowed to have a name because you have to sign up for it. That's why I chose NYScott a while back. There were a few Scotts and I didn't want anyone getting our posts confused. That is why my name ALWAYS shows up in blue. There is never any confusion and I am accountable for every single one of my posts. If I am wrong or go over the line Armando or other contributors can call me out. If people want to be taken seriously we have to know who we are talking to otherwise you can just come in here, spew a bunch of crap, and then dissapear into the night only to show up the next day as someone else and start fresh. Everyone should man up and sign in.

Brown is back in form...I love it. He's a freaking beast. There was that one run where as he approached the end zone one of the Pats defensive backs made a half-hearted effort to tackle him...Ronnie lowered his head and the dude what just like..uh no thanks...BEASTLY!

let's not forget that it was the "change" to pass first then run that I was pushing for that set up the run and the wildcat. the hurry up that worked so well for henne worked well duning the game.

I was so happy to see "change" from the first two game-plans. and look what happened.

the D looked pretty darn strong as well. how many 3 and outs? how many tight coverages? they stopped a pretty strong receiver corps and it wasn't their poor qb play as much as it was alot of front line PRESSURE forcing him to look so rookie-like.

I think that what the dolphins did sunday to the patriots was both long overdue and exciting.to see them use a college formation and execute it to perfection,should alert all coaches worldwide that college plays can work in the nfl.i think that gives credit to college head coaches,really giving fans something to be excited about.i think that play a big role in who goes 1st or worse in the nfl draft.that would keep teams constantly off balanced.just my opinion.

1st Post after Armando: How are other teams going to prepare for this formation? The great Bill Bellichek couldn't come close to stopping it!

What makes the Wildcat so effective is:
A] teams never know when it's coming
(a2) this will eat up game-planning
time for Miami's opponents!
B] they don't know which RB will get the ball.
C] Ronnie can throw if they crash the line.

The only thing that worries me is something Tom Jackson said last night. If it happened agaisnt his teams they would DESTROY chad pennington while lined up @ WR. This strategy could give up a big play but Miami's QB might miss the rest of the game.

A College play demolished a dynasty on Sunday. Love it. Have Faith in the Big Tuna Crew.

The coaches helped game plan sundays victory period!!! Damn this trifecta's good. Mind you though this is still a young team that lacks consistancy. Dont be surprised if they come back from the by week and get smashed by the Chargers and turn around and beat the Bills only to lose to the Broncos the following week. Thats ok its gonna take a year to fix. I would be more concerned if they beat the weaker teams and lost huge to the real good teams. This team has not tapped thier true potential yet. This is a good thing.

It has gone on for years. How many times did we see the Statue of Liberty last year, after Boise ST used it so well against OU? NCAA innovates, and NFL refines. Someone called for Bess, or Ginn in Ricky's spot, I asked about an option pitch, or a reverse, bomb from the "WR", someone asked about maybe taking the QB out all together on some of those plays, for an extra down field receiver. You can run counters, pitch outs to the left, the possibilities are staggering. No it won't ever make it as the primary offense, but as a change of pace, it will be here for a while. Truly, the more innovative part of the set was the unbalanced line. I have seen teams split the QB wide, in a traditional set quite a few times, over the years, but the unbalanced line is different. I would like to see is us using the unbalanced line, with Penny, or Henne at QB. Obviously they wouldn't pose the threat to run, but it would make for some interesting possibilities for a mobile pocket, with a roll out, or with a side of the field overloaded with WR's, and a swing pass to the opposite side, with huge linemen in position to block down field. Ooooh the mind boggles!

To have achieved this great win you need good players and great coaching and motivation. We all need to be positive about our team, we already have the basic fundamentals to be a winning team. Go forward Dolphins !

NE1 else hoping we try to find a place for Lane Kiffin when he is fired? I don't care what we do with him, he is a GREAT coach, and could only help. Davis is an idiot.

Maybe we can change the NAME of the team to the Wildcats (like Arizona) ... sounds more imposing than Dolphins + will be a new start. Then we can run this every play. Whaddya think?

I watched one team age and one team mature in one game. The genius of the formation is it exploits the strengths of the personnel (young talent of the OL and the backfield) and the age of the opponent. I suspect that NE did have an answer and new exactly how to counter it but simply could not perform because their age has caught up with them. Dolphin coaches perhaps saw the Pat's counter was ineffective and RAMMED ID DOWN THEIR THROATS. AGAIN. AND AGAIN. AND AGAIN.

i cant wait to c what they come up with...if we can keep this momentum going until the chargers we might have a chance!! GO DOLPHINS!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont know about you guys, but I don't like the name "wildcat." Maybe if team were the Panthers or something. I suggest naming it the "Wildphin" Formation. The Dolphins should make this thing their own. The analyst on ESPN don't even know what to call it.

Hahaha, Wildphin! The formation was originally called Wildcat when Gus Malzahn came up with it at Arkansas, then they changed it to WildHog when David Lee took over as offense coordinator there. Wildphin or "WildDolphin" sounds good to me!

What a great win. Wildphin sounds like Mitch Williams(?) the Cubs reliever from the 1990's. This win reminded me a little of a win the Dolphins had at the Bengals early in 1989 (?). The Dolphins had a horrible year in 1988, the Bengals had been to the Superbowl, but Miami exposed a weakness in the Bengals run defense, and grabbed a hugely significant win to show they were a team on the rise. Within a couple of years they hosted the AFC championship game (Sadly the pinnacle of the last 23 years). Bengals haven't been anywhere as good since.

I know that big 62 yrd run by Browna dn a few others but is it really true that "most of those [216 yards] coming out of the gadget "Wildcat" formation"

I thought most of the yrds came out of other formations. Ricky only had one of those or were there more?

I had forgotten what it felt like for the Dolphins to win a game that actually meant something. What a nice feeling.

Hopefully this win will go a long way to silencing some of the fans and media types. Remember what was heard last week? Fire Parcells, fire Sparano, trade for Boldin, Improvement won't be coming soon for Miami Dolphins, Miami Dolphins' 'New Beginning' seems as scary as nightmare of '07. Now maybe we will all shut up and let the guys that were brought here to turn this thing around do what they do?

Anyone else laugh as hard as I do when I see the name "Ikechuku Ndukwe"?

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