On Sept. 21, 2008 the Dolphins unveiled a newfangled offense that helped David defeat Goliath and has affected the thinking of NFL offenses and defenses ever since.
The Dolphins pulled back the curtain on Wildcat and -- six plays and four TDs later -- the surprise package helped Miami win for only the second time in 21 games while snapping New England's 21-game regular-season win streak.
Wildcat was a hit.
A year later, Wildcat is a core offensive look for the Dolphins and no surprise to anyone else. That means with the Dolphins game versus New England looming Sunday, this is the perfect game for the Dolphins to spring a new Wildcat surprise on the Patriots.
How about WildPat or WildPen?
As the Patriots are coming off a bye, they've had two weeks to prepare for the Dolphins and Wildcat. It behooves the Dolphins to use a new wrinkle in the attack to make that extra preparation time of no effect.
As the Patriots have studied that both New Orleans and the New York Jets shut down Miami's Wildcat the past two weeks with risky, but effective cornerback blitzes, and by crowding the line of scrimmage with up to nine defenders, the strategies beg the Dolphins to answer with an unexpected passing game out of Wildcat.
So here is what I propose:
The Dolphins should pass more out of Wildcat than the Patriots could ever expect. And doing it with Tyler Thigpen (my choice, just watch the video) or Pat White would be a great way to do accomplish that.
Understand this is not revealing any Dolphins secrets. Practices are closed and so I have no clue whether the Dolphins will actually put this possibility into action. But as loyal reader Jeff F. of Long Island, N.Y., saw and agreed, any right thinking football observer would say throwing the ball is the best way to make defenses pay for blitzing cornerbacks and trying to stop the run by outnumbering the offensive front.
The defenses the past two weeks begged the Dolphins to throw out of Wildcat. And the Dolphins tried to kinda, sorta respond, by attempting passes in both games.
The fact is the Dolphins seem to be warming to the idea of throwing out of the Wildcat as they've thrown four passes out of the formation the past three games.
But, let's face it, Ronnie Brown is a running back. He might be quite versatile and athletically gifted but there's a reason he's not playing QB. So the answer is to put a QB in there and burn the pants out of the disrespectful defense that blitzes Wildcat.
The answer, obvious to anyone with a brain, is to let Thigpen or White take over the Wildcat triggerman spot and heave-ho downfield.
Talk about a surprise. That would be a great wrinkle that New England is unlikely to be ready to defend against. And the beauty of the idea is that Thigpen or White would be throwing to Brown or Ricky Williams or Greg Camarillo, who are typically the most dependable Miami receivers.
On Thursday I asked coach Tony Sparano if all the blitzes against Wildcat didn't beg more passing as way to beat those blitzes.
Sparano paused for a couple of pregnant seconds after my question. And then he said, "maybe."
At least it's not an outright, "No."
At least there is hope the Dolphins might spring the WildPat or WildPen on the Patriots.