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Wildcat package may not be foreign to Chargers

All true Dolphins fans know the Miami Dolphins offense used something called the Wildcat package to confuse the New England  defense last week. Did you know the Dolphins were not the only team to use a Wildcat-type package last week?

The Oakland Raiders also used a similar offensive set against the Buffalo Bills with good success last week. The package, which the University of Arkansas ran last year as its base offense, is a natural for Miami because quarterback coach David Lee came from the Arkansas program.

It is also a natural for Oakland because Darren McFadden, Oakland's first round pick this year, was the trigger man for the offense at Arkansas.

So what does that have to do with next week's Dolphins game against San Diego?

Simple. The Raiders play the Chargers today. So the Chargers are certain to have prepared for the possibility of seeing the package today -- assuming McFadden, who is questionable for the game, is in the lineup.

And if the Raiders actually use their version of the Arkansas offense, then the Chargers will not only have seen it on tape, but also have gotten some work against it in an actual game.

That suggests it will be far less than a surprise versus San Diego than it was against New England last week. It also suggests the Dolphins will have to find new wrinkles out of the set and improve already-good execution for it to work against San Diego next week.


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Look at me I'm first!!! Every time I see this I think about how stupid it is but now I am doing it?

And I'm second!!! Yippee, hooray for me!!!

Good insight Salguero

ahhhhhhhh, i hate not playing

Some Dolphins fans seem to be too optimistic about this offensive strategy working long-term. We caught the Patriots by surprise and executed it to near-perfection, but that will not always be the case. We're certainly going to ride this as long as we can, but defenses will adjust and the Dolphins will have to as well.

Good point except for the fact that whether McFadden is in the lineup or not is irrelevant because the Chargers still have to prepare for it.

The Raiders already ran a version of it with McFadden on a keeper and were stuffed by the Chargers. Their version looked to be more like the racehorse than the wildhog/cat where D-Mac lined up at QB in the shotgun while Jamarcus was on the sideline. Hard to tell from the TV coverage.

In any case McFadden is all about speed, not power. He wasn't known for breaking tackles in college. That is the difference between the Raiders and most everyone else's version and Ricky and Ronnie. R and R can both run past, over and through defenders. Where McFadden or a WR may not be able to break through a small hole in the defensive line or a defender tying to bring them down, Ricky and Ronnie can. I think that's where the Dolphins have a decided advantage with the 2 top five RB draft picks. If they can work on their passing, even better.

I hope they don't start changing the personnel too much like putting Ginn in at QB or someone else because as much publicity as the formation has gotten lately, I think the success of it has more to do with who's carrying the ball and blocking rather than the 'magical' formation.

If it were just the formation which could be generically applied to any team, it wouldn't have taken this long to see a team score 4 tds from it and a lot more college teams would be having success with it.

this week sucks with out the fins. the one good thing was seeing all the pats fans at the weekly football game. it was even better when i used theat same formation in the game. they wernt to happy seeing it all over agian the best part was everytime i used it we scored so i guess the pats fans are the same as the players. DUMB

The Wildcat doesn't matter if Pennington doesn't scare defenses downfield......and he doesn't. Belicheat simply was smug to think he didn't need to simply copy the successful D imployed by the Jets and Cards.

The Chargers will stuff 8-9 in the box and dare CP to make plays. He wont and the Chargers will role.

The real tragedy here is Henne or Beck has the arm to stretch Defenses enough to make the running game work. Nothing Offensively will work with Charmin Arm Pennington behind center. Even if he is 2-ply this year.

Agreed that CP won't and can't make the WRs effective or the vertical passing game work. Just wait till Henne gets in there, which will be sometime in the near future, I just have a feeling. Having Henne make a sudden appearance would most definitely catch the Chargers off-guard. Still, we need to keep being crafty with new twists and stunts, becuase our straight-up offense is so easy to defend it's not even funny. We are nothing this year, so keep forcing Dan Henning to read from the BACK of the playbook!

I was much more impressed by the Dolphin's regular offensive set rather than the Wildcat. Pennington ran a very good offense, which by itself could have beaten New England thanks to the great defensive play.

In San Diego...not so much; how Miami's defense handles the Chargers will dictate Miami's offensive presence.

There are sooooo many wrinkles they can run out of the set, that I don't think the Chargers will have covered all the options. I really want to see Penny on the end around/ home run ball. I would rather see Henne, or Beck throwing it, but Penny has been the QB in there so far. Heck, I could even see Ricky passing after a hand off, or having Ginn on the side that Penny has been on, running the end around pass. You can run just about everything out of the formation that you can run in a "normal set", it's just a matter of having an extreme threat to run the ball at QB, rather than a QB. One could say that the Falcons used to run the package, before their low numbered RB went to prison. In fact, I bet Kordell Stewart is cursing up a blue streak about why noone thought of the package while HE was in position to run it.lol.

What ever happens next Sunday everyone watch the Tightends are going to have the games of their lives.

One thing is the Dolphins played as a team against the Pats. They have had 2 weeks to prepare for SD and those coaches will be smart enough to use different schemes. The players have had a taste of success. The rookies have found some rythm and Joey Porter has found his niche. I can't wait! Even if we lose next week (I don't think we will) we have hit on something. Plus we don't have to worry about no wins. the future looks bright. Let's get it started in here!! Go Fins!!

What everyone in the media keeps forgetting to mention is the fact that just by having the wildcat package it will keep the other team off balance and less aggressive, so it won't just be measured by the plays when the offense is in said package.

Here’s a funny tale I would like to relate to the group that I think is relevant… While I was at my favorite watering hole watching the Cardinals disseminate the Dolphins I was sitting next to a group of Pats fans watching the Pats versus the Jets. I know all these people because we’re friends during the week but enemies on Sunday. Someone asked who the Dolphins were playing the following week and I said the Patriots. One of the Patriot fans turned around and said, “awesome, we have a bye week!” What a laugh that got as you can imagine. A week later about the end of the third quarter of the Dolphins vs Pats game I turned to the same guy and said, “so how’s the bye week going for you!” I got a good laugh out of that!

The point is, I think the Patriots had the same thought… Belichick probably brought in some lobster taps but the players were on cruise control. All another coach has to do now is throw up the film of the Patriot game as warning enough not to take us lightly. We can’t expect another team to be caught by surprise.

The Wildcat formation was the talk of the game but as someone mentioned, it was Pennington’s ability to start the game consistently completing mid to long range passes that ultimately pulled the eighth man out of the box providing the running lanes. A look at the stats from that game shows a very balanced attack. Whether the Wildcat is used again is less important than the offense not becoming one dimensional. Throwing on first down, scoring early and keeping the defense honest was what made the Wildcat work. Also playing a team on their bye week helped a lot and that won’t happen again.

There are a ton of things that can happen out of the wildcat. If they don't cover Penny throw him the ball.
Ricky right, Ronnie left. Ricky and Ronnie right or left. Pass option to tight end, delay run up the middle, etc etc ronnie is actually back there watching the play develop. So if the dline goes right then he takes it left. If it stays still we go right or left wide, if the o line is opening a hole then it is up the middle. And also Penne is probably waiting for a pass.
I am sure the NE looked at the formation and said WTF each time we ran it. Everything looks totally out of control and the D was back on its heels wondering where the ball was going to go. No rush, just standing and responding to the play.
I would use it on the first play from scrimmage with SD and then go for a bomb on the second play. And back to it on play 3. Execution of the play is paramount to set the tone.


Dont get your feeling hurt and erase what i wrote. I am speaking the truth and you know it. You make a exmaple of San Diego being ready for the "Wildcat" but reality is the whole NFL knows about it now. So they all have to prepare not just San Diago.

I read alot of blogs for diffrent teams around the NFL and I have to admit, you are most negative of them all. Even when The fins do something good, you find a way to write negative about them.

You blasted the fins prior to the New England game and after they whopped that a--, you wrote and realized DAMMM I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT FOOTBALL, WHICH YOU DONT.

Now you know why the fins dont give to much access to the media, because people like you that dont know the game dont deserve it.

You come on here and blast the fins day in and day out, like the fins are super bowl contenders, will fraud I got news for you "THEY ARE REBUILDING" which means it takes 3 or 4 years to be a legit contender. I am a moron and you are the same dude that predicted a 10-6 under freaking CAM (Dont ever forget that. But yet you know about the game of football??

I'm still thinking of that pic over the back of the jets wideout by Cromartie. Wow....that's a special player.

However, a few years ago the Chargers came down here (favored) and was shut-out so....you never know.

I agree with Patrick and Tony DiCesare. Our regular O opened up the game for the Wildcat. The Chargers have been erractic so far and their D isn't the best. Those are our best chances. Their O will probably maul us so lets see if we can keep up the offensive pressure and get some TOs.

Sparano said that they had barely scratched the surface with the Wildcat. 2 weeks to prepare should be plenty of time to host the Chargers with some new schemes. I think we have a chance, but we'll see. Hopefully we win so I don't have to cryin' over to Mama McNabb's for Chunky Soup after a loss. We'll see what this team is made of after the Chargers game.

I get so tired of hearing about Pennington's arm strength. The guy is #1 ALL TIME in accuracy with a minimum of 1,500 passes. I will take that any day over someone who can "stretch the field" with only 30% completions. If the running game is working, then you do not have to pass deep all the time. Given the talent at recieving, short to mid range passes with (YOC)yards after catch, will give us time comsuming BALL CONTROL offense.

I have spoken!



Fish Boy, Pennington doesn't need a strong arm as long as he can anticipate where the receivers will be. Mid to long range passing early is the key to springing the running game because it doesn't allow the defense to cheat 8 men in the box. If they do they pay. NE came out and stacked the box allowing Pennington to complete some nice moderately deep passes early. If SD comes out and respects our passing game then we can let Ricky and Ronnie run. If they stack we have to respond. it is imperative to not be forced into being one dimensional. Scoring early really helps.

Are all you fin fans crazy. just listen to yourselves talk about the "wildcat offense" and how you'll use it every week. this is the NFL, not the collegiate level. you fooled new england (who will go nowhere without brady) using this gimmick, but get real, it will be a one hit wonder. and keep believing that chad (#1 completion % in nfl history) will help you win. i could complete just as many passes as he does when you throw the ball 4 yards or less. hey fishboy, name a QB who can "stretch the field" but only completes 30% of his throws. you can't because he wouldn't be in the NFL. best of luck to you all, but you'll be lucky to win another game this season!!!!!

Hope y'all are watching Flacco & the Ravens--that's what Beck & our offense woulda lokked like if Wayne had shown some patience & judgment w/ Cam! Sad to be a Cam-less Dolfan.


Bite me Fish Fry… The resurgence of the fins has only just begun. In a year or two we will be laughing at you like we have so often in the past. Enjoy your moment of ridicule it only fuels our fire. We will take great pleasure kicking you’re butt when the time comes.

the only thing i must say is You Dolphin Fans down there gotta start packing the stadium. wheres our home field advantage? especially jets games. when i watch on tv its like its thier stadium. im 1 1/2 hours away from philly and i get the eagles crammed down my throat. as much as eagles fans are a-holes they turn out to support the team (and the weather sucks up here) ive even flown down there to see game so i dont see what excuse the locals there have. Lets show up and get that 12th man back.

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