There's been an on-going debate in the Monday Night Football booth this year about the Dolphins' Wildcat package. Former coach Jon Gruden loves it. Former quarterback Ron Jaworski hates it.
How much does Jaws hate the thing?
According to what he said today on ESPN radio, apparently a lot.
Asked if Wildcat can be relied upon heavily by a team that rides it to the Super Bowl, Jaworski said, "No, I don't believe so. I still believe it's a gimmick and a gadget."
"Clearly, no one does it better than the Miami Dolphins, but I really believe that at the end of the season they're going to have to find a way to get some explosive plays out of the passing game," Jaworski said. "It was crystal clear in the Colts' game, they controlled the ball 45 minutes but when you run the football that well you're not going to score a lot of points."
Wait a second, there Jaws. You rock buddy (and thanks for that free buffet breakfast you treated me to at your hotel in Philadelphia in 2001) but you got this all wrong.
The Dolphins just scored 21 points in the fourth quarter against the Jets using Wildcat. Those three touchdowns in one quarter are more points than the 14 points the Jets were allowing per game before Monday night.
And about that Colts game: The Dolphins didn't lose that game because of Wildcat. The Dolphins lost that game because Peyton Manning lit up the Miami defense that could not hold lead after lead after lead. Were it not for Wildcat that game would have been a blowout in favor of the Colts.
And as far as Wildcat being a gimmick and gadget, please consider the words of guard Justin Smiley, who told me this week, "In Wildcat, you have one or two plays that are kind of trick plays. But without going into specifics, we still have straight-ahead run plays out of that that those guys have to defend and until somebody stop us, that's going to be the deal."
Finally, to judge the Dolphins as a complete work is not fair. The team has a quarterback coming off only his second start. Maybe the Dolphins keep the collar on Chad Henne. But maybe not.
And if not, and Henne is what everyone expects, then what will the Dolphins offense have? A quarterback that can make all the throws and Wildcat.
Hard to stop.
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