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Why the Spread Option Direct Snap anymore?

At one point during his press conference with the Miami media Wednesday, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio was asked one question about the wildcat package. Then another question about the wildcat package. And then he got a little annoyed.

 “Why the infatuation with the Wildcat?" Del Rio grumbled.

And that leads me to this: "Why the infatuation with the Pat White spread option?"

I have been no fan of this package throughout the season but I've been biting my keyboard, trying not to speak against it, deferring to a coaching staff that obviously believes in it because they see it in practice. So I've been waiting for it to, you know, actually work.

But after what we saw last week during the New England game, the thinking here is the so-called WildPat or PatCat or Spread Option or Direct Snap or whatever you want to call it needs to go away. Please!

So what happened last week?

In case you didn't see the game or the replay Wednesday night on NFL Network, you missed another step in quarterback Chad Henne's maturation process. For the first time this season, the Dolphins put the game on his shoulders, asked him to win for them, and he did.

Yes, he won the first meeting versus New York with some timely passing. But that game was won primarily by the Dolphins running up and down the field on the Jets.

Sunday's 22-21 victory over New England was won because Henne threw 52 passes and completed 29 of them for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Henne outplayed Tom Brady in that game.

Henne also didn't have to concern himself with shuttling in and out of the game a dozen or so times while the team ran the Wildcat and the Spread-Option-Direct-Snap-Mumbo-Jumbo.

The Wildcat was on the shelf. And White ran two plays out of his package -- one on which he tossed wildly to Ricky Williams for a fumble and a 15-yard loss, and the other for which he had no gain.

So White's stats this game was two rushes for zero yards and a fumble that resulted in a 15-yard loss. But the stats are not what we're concerned about right now. The point is that as Henne was finding himself, the Dolphins asked him to leave his position twice.

And is that important? Only to Henne, who agreed Wednesday he plays better when he gets into a flow, a rhythm of the game.

“Yes. You definitely do," Henne said. "The more you throw the more I guess consistent (you get). It really puts you in that rhythm and you just feel comfortable out there, you know bang I am going to hit that throw and on the next play you get another pass play and another opportunity. You definitely get in that rhythm.”

Understand that Henne is not complaining about being taken out. He would never do that publicly and probably not privately at this stage in his career. But the fact is taking him out and putting another QB in can be counter-productive. That's not just a reporter telling you that. Coaches say it. Players say it.

The Dolphins have ignored all that this year because they have that conviction that White adds something to the offense. But -- and here is where statistics come into play -- that fact is White has actually added precious little.

He has thrown three passes this year -- one against Atlanta, one against New England in the first meeting, and one against Tampa Bay. He did not complete any of those throws.

He has rushed 14 times in eight games this year for a total of 50 yards. That's not terrible, except when one considers 45 of those yards came in that first New England loss. In the other seven games White has carried the ball, he's rushed eight times for five yards.

Eight times. Five yards.

That is not production worthy of playing time. In fact, that playing time is starting to feel like stubborness on the part of somebody that is expecting White to bust loose more often for the type of gain he had in that first New England meeting.

In that first game against the Pats, White had a 33-yard run. That singular run is the only reason I can see for continuing to use Pat White while shoving aside Chad Henne.

I can, meanwhile, give you 335 passing yards worth of reasons why White should not be on the field any more. He should either be replaced by Tyler Thigpen if the Dolphins want to continue running the Spread Direct Snap, or shelved altogether along with the package that hasn't been working.


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Shelve it all together. In fact shelve pat white PERIOD !. Miami should've drafted de/olb conner barwin liked i wanted them to.

The idea that the wildcat or spread take Henne out of his rythym is bunk because he admitted before that handing the ball off on a running play has the same effect.

Well ive been reading this blog for 4 months and 4 days and 4 minutes. What if we shelve the wild pat spread offense and we Spread eagle?

Put wildpat or pat white on the back burner. Come on how many times has he completed passes to scare any defense?

Put pat in as a wr!!!!

Put pat in as a wr!!!

The option was pretty effective against NE in the first game, leading to a Ricky Williams TD. In the second game, not so much. You know what, though? You can bet Bellicheck spent a lot of time on it in practice, which meant decreased time in other areas. So even though it was a dud during the game, it still likely had a positive effect overall.

I cant wait till next year, when White can throw lol, then you will all be changing your tune.

It's been a dud all year , not just last week's Game.

If they run spread, they should run it with an experienced quarterback such as Thigpen. He did it for years for KC, and he should be the backup quarterback anyway if Henne is hurt. Seems like a no-brainer that if another QB gets some action it would be Thigpen.

So... The guy's been in for less than 8 plays so far and he's considered a bust??? Boy do WE live in a disposable world... Don't you think we should at least wait till about a year from now before concluding he's got no future in the NFL?

With henne emerging as the qb of the future , you'll see even less of white next year too. He's got no future in miami.

I like what they are doing with Pat White. Get a young "raw" QB on the field and get him some experience. How come you did not mention his pitch to Ricky for a touchdown? Pat is young and very raw as a QB. Armando, do you read what you post? Chad Henne threw interceptions against Buffalo, you did not throw him under the bus. C'mon man. Lay of of Pat.

Mando is a fat nothing with ridiculous opinions. God bless this country!

Mando is a fat nothing with ridiculous opinions. God bless this country!

end the white experiment at qb...if the pats can make edellman a wr, why not try white

Pat White is one of the worst draft choices in Dolphin history. At least Ginn has some value as a kick returner and eventually as a punt returner when the geniouses that be realize he was an even better PR in college.

Pat White is also too small to be a good WR or Running back. He is a "tweaner" which in NFL terms means he does not have the ability to be an NFL starter. In other words, he has no value.... a wasted valuable #2 pick.

Meanwhile, the team also traded away a 5th round pick in next year's draft for Thigpen. He is a better option than White in the wildcat and spread offense. He has played a full season in the NFL (heck, he has more experience than Henne). He is a more accurate passer than White. Yet, he is nowhere to be seen in the wildcat or speed offense instead of White.

This team's coaching staff is a VERY slow reacting group of coaches. Does not surprise me how they have been outcoached and outscored in the 4th quarter of practically every game.

Did anyone see Gibril Wilson 5 yards behind the WR's in the New England game. He blew every double coverage opportunity he had. Completely useless. Another great FA move by Morons Incorporated (ie, Trifecta).

Holy cow

wow shula's son that was harsh,any idea how to fix it?

I would like to know your thoughts!?objective I am.

Pat White's body language is not that great. He is unsure and if I can read it, so can everyone else. I am not fond of the spread. It heads out wide on every play forcing the Dolphins east or west and narrowing the field of play. It also forces Pat White to play one on one against an NFL player who is usually bigger and stronger. He does remind me of Ginn

I like the spread option with Pat White even though it has been useless.He can develop into a good backup down the road. But why not move him to WR and make him a qb/wr?.He has speed. I'm glad to see the Wildcat was put on the backburner last week.

get pat ready to play QB if henne goes down. That should be the main focus.Basic football and that's all.

Go Armando Salguero!!! I've been your fan right along because you, as Howard Cosell used to say, "tell it like it is!" You do great work and know what you are talking about. Again, you are the best!

Armando, I'm not a fan of PatCat either. But, in all fairness, Pat White didn't toss "wildly" on that fumble. He got hit on the play...

the pat white pick was frivolous; a wasted 2nd round pick with many very good players still available. we could have gotten him in a later round like 5th or 6th because he had no value to most teams. we were only interested because of the wildcat possibilities. sparano said they are grooming him as a qb; yeah right. the fan base isn't that gullible. he doesn't have the size to be an nfl qb, wr or rb. i sure hope tyler thigpen gets a chance!!! he has already shown what he can bring in K.C. last year when he almost beat us by himself.

I don't want to see Henne come out at all. He is the starter. Quit with the gimmicks and lets play some football.

See if White can catch the ball...it worked for Heines Ward...the former QB from Georgia who has made a career in the NFL catching the ball...White can't throw, he ain't producing any yards running...can he catch the ball? HELLO, We Play to Win the Game! Henne is the man.....keep him on the field. Do you want to use White, then pass him the ball! He's got to be able to catch better than Ginn..LOL..sorry couldn't help myself! Ginn caught a nice pass this past Sunday....ABOUT TIME!

Amen, Armando! And the worst part about it is they always seem to run the Pistol package at the most inopportune times, like in the red zone or after Henne has just completed a big play, when any athlete would be "in the zone." and then we pull him and his adrenaline has time to settle. I would love for Henning to have a conversation with a sport psychologist. I can almost guarantee that they would tell him that it is a completely stupid move!

Armando, I must take umbrage with your statement that "Henne outplayed Tom Brady in that game."

If you follow the logic that, by definition, the winning QB outplayed the losing QB, then, yes, Henne outplayed Brady. But I remember an awful lot of Dan Marino losses when people would claim that Marino outplayed the winning QB but lost due to a porous Dolphin defense and an anemic Dolphin rushing attack.

Let us look at the statistics, shall we? Henne was 29 for 52 (.558) for 335 yards, with 2 TDs and 1 INT.

Brady was 19 for 29 (.655) for 352 yards, with 2 TDs and 2 INTs.

Now, come on. Not knowing the result of the game, which set of stats would you prefer to have? Brady's completion percentage was much higher, and more importantly, his yards per pass attempt was an astronomical 12.1 compared to a very ordinary 6.4 for Henne.

The only statistical advantage for Henne was that he threw 1 INT to Brady's 2.

Brady clearly had the better game (as defined statistically).

Henne had the better game (as defined by wins and losses).


Geeze Armando, you make all these posts, you would think your the offensive coordinator and you know best! I think your a big dummy. White has yet to prove what he can do, since they haven't utilized him in the WildCat with Brown and Williams. With defences bringing up 8 men, a fake to Brown, fake to Williams, pass to either one or a WR, there is your main reason we drafted Pat White. But we haven't shown it. Twice I think Pat threw to a wide open Ginn and just missed. Let's wait and see what happens before judging it to fail, since most people know how to coach better than the ones we have, even after losing our starting QB, our starting RBs, and our starting NT.

This just legitimizes my year long statements that we should have taken one of the good defensive players that were available at that pick.

I think the Wildcat was very successful and useful. It has given Chad time to learn. Now that he has some experience and the lead player in the Wildcat is injured, it is only natural that the Wildcat package should be shelved until either Ronny Brown returns or until Pat White or Tyler Thigpen prove to be capable of running the Wildcat or spread option.

Armando, I will agree with you that the WildPat garbage needs to go away. I hated the pick and I'm obviously still not happy with it at this point in the season. He's had one productive play.

I just want to ask one question though. I, myself, am tired of the wildcat already. It is great when we're inside the 10-5 yrd line but should not be our base offense.

What is the difference of having Henne on the sideline for one play, and having him handoff the ball to a RB? A handoff for a QB is pretty much a play off. Would you not agree?

I believe it was Emerson who said "Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds".

Let's hope we have no hobgoblins.

White was a waste of a pick; but the wildcat works with Brown in there. He's played it enough to make it dangerous. With White, it can be a once every four games gimmick play but that's about it.

Nathaniel.....I totally DISAGREE that Brady had the better game....he had 30 more yards and a higher yard per throw but the extra interception STATISTICALLY means that Henne played a better game. 150 yds of Tom Brady's were actually two BIG TIME CRAP PLAYS that our defense blew...if you take those two big plays to moss and aiken, Henne blew him out of the water...you're an IDIOT if you don't see that.

White was a waste of a high draft pick....period. I know the thought was wildcat him, but the fact is we had other areas that needed greater attention.

okay...okay...that last comment wasn't by mando...it was me.

Review the tape, and see how many of those eight plays were blown up because of a missed blocking assignment by the O-line. He should have eaten the ball on the fumble, but again, blown blocking assignment.

wild pat sucks it was a waste of a draft pick but parcells has to find a way to show it was a good pick because of his giant EGO. If he wanted white so bad he could have gotten him in the fourth round instead of the second OVERALL BAD PICK. P.S CROWDER STILL SUCKS

I like Pat White, and I am a big fan of wildcat, but Pat White has been a drive killer this year. He might develop into a good player, but everytime he comes in its almost like you are throwing away a down.

On the play where he fumble for 15 yard loss, the Dolphins were in Pats territory. Yes it was 2cnd and 17 because of a sack, but nothing you cannot overcome.

Ok you put Pat White in and he fumbles and it is now 3rd and 32 and Dolphins out of Pats territory and the drive is over. Even if he did his usual and gain 1 yard, it is a wasted play and Henne has a even harder 3rd and 17.

What is this if not a drive killer and a person that ever time I see him in the game my blood pressure rise?


The second int that Brady threw cancels out the 25-30 yards he out-threw Henne by...

I think this is Mando's logic

I think time for Wildcat and Wildpat to go. Even though I find them to be useful and fun to watch, I think its Henne time.

1. You can't keep putting him out and then asking for 3 and 7. Just messes things up.

2. The WC has been getting stuffed.

3. The Wildpat is fun and interesting, but you need to build a system around it. And it is most effective when it is run for a whole game or series-not one or two plays.

4. Make it Henne time. Concentrate on getting him weapons, plays, practice time.

All year we were saying that the WRs weren't good enough-I think they are ok. They need 1 big WR playmaker.

Offseason, Ronnie, White, and Porter will be gone.

So Henne's rhythm allowed him to complete 56% of his passes... just less than what he normally completes? I think that anyone who bails on Pat White right now is foolish. Give the kid a chance. He's thrown 3 passes and you're ready to cut him? Did you ever think maybe our blocking hasn't been great on some of the runs? Did you ever think that defenses just bring 8 or 9 into the box when Pat comes in and our coaches need to let Pat pass more to keep defenses honest? Don't blame White for all of the results. When he torches defenses, you can all say you're sorry. All of the negativity is BS. Henne has a bad game - he sucks. White hasn't done anything - he sucks. Oh wait, the Dolphins win a game - Henne's awesome. Porter has 2 sacks - He's still got it. Porter doesn't register a tackle - He's over the hill and should shut up. Every immediate reaction your clowns have is flawed due to emotion & bias (and possibly alcohol). I'm just saying to be realistic & objective.

Nathaniel, The only statistic that matters is W-L. Brady's INT lost the game for his team. Henne had the better game.

On the wildcat/pat, I am sure the coaching staff is working on something to compensate for the loss of Ronnie that we have yet to see. With that said, it will be interesting to see if our offense can move the ball on the ground the next 4 games. They certainly cannot win out throwing 52 times a game.

Watch the play where we lost 15 yards again. If White hands off to Hillard like he faked he gains 10 yards at least. Pats were stacked to play the QB and Pitch. If you watch teams like Navy and Georgia Tech who run the triple option all day long the Dive is what makes it work. HIllard is a good inside runner and teams will be keying on White and Williams mostly. After he gashs the team for a couple of 8-10 yard dives the outside will work much better. Just like the wildcat, you will have some plays that don't work or have minimal gains but the yards are there

My son and I are not Pat White fans. We joked about the plast drive against the Patriots that just as Hene got in a groove they would put PW in. I may be wrong (because I refuse to watch the game again) but wasn't it just after PW came in, and then left with the usual 3rd and long, that Chad H threw the 1st INT in the Bills loss. It was like he came in cold and Fd up and then it all unraveled. We have been saying from the get go that Hene could use a bit of rhythm. We had less issues with the Ronnie and Ricky Cat messing with Henne time, but the PW formation has caused trouble

Off topic--- would this not be the perfect game to have an OLB like Matt Roth to vcome in and stop the JAGs running O. I still don't get the Roth thing and I think this is the game we need him, particularly with JT and JP hurting.

I think we need to do 4 wide with the shotgun again. That was brilliant and it is so fun to watch. I hope Henne can come up big.

I think PW has great ability and is fun to watch and can WIN; however you need a system around him and to make it work like HP in PA says it takes a whole game or series to make it work. This Wildpat/option (whatver) works bc PW can run/throw it/option it to two different runners- so you dont what will happen. But you will minus and plus yards. But when you only run it twice there's less chance. Same thing with rushing or passing-some times it work and sometimes not.

The other thing, is you need the correct system in there for it to work. Yes, we got some of that.

I think you built the system around Henne and make it work. I just dont see how you can have two different systems and make it work from a: Practice time, personnel, playmaking, etc.

And btw, Porter will be gone; Ronnie (love the guy) but he will be traded; white will be traded for something and thigpen moved up and Pennington is 3rd qb or naother vet; Ginn remains as KR/PR.

Thank you Armando! Get rid of that crap! No need to say more.

pat white pick is the worst draft mistake of trifecta. But we've had worst picks. Jason Allen, Moore, Fletcher etc...

You think Thigpen is better than White?

Read this, "Thigpen scored a remarkable 22 touchdowns (18 passing, three rushing and one receiving) against 12 interceptions in just 11 starts, though the Chiefs ultimately went 1-10 on their way to a 2-14 record."

He only got to start because the 1st and 2nd string QBs got injured. 22 TDs for a 1-10 record? That's a crappy 14 points per game average for a 2-14 team.

He runs a 4.78 40 yard dash, White has run it as low as 4.38 sec.

If you compare their college careers records and awards, Thigpen can't hold White's jockstrap.

My prediction is Ricky Williams will break the 1,000 yards rushing mark on sunday in Jacksonville.

Run Ricky Run


If you wanted to use a non-conventional offense to actually gain yards, you would:

(a) Use Pat White who continually fails to gain and usually loses yards as well as putting Henne in a 3rd and long situation.

(b) Use Thigpen who has had some success at it as a veteran.

tampafin, you're comparing apples with oranges. We're talking about using a player in a hand full of option plays not a starting QB.

The Trifecta drafted Pat White for a reason.

Read this excerpt from NFL.com The link for the whole article:


"NFL coaches are copycats by nature, so they recently have looked toward the college game to steal an innovation that's turning quarterbacks into stars.

Fueled by the success of college powerhouses Florida, Texas, Ohio State and Oklahoma, pro teams are beginning to incorporate elements of the spread offense into their playbooks.

The spread, a shotgun-based offense that features many four-receiver sets and empty formations, has become the system of choice in the high school and college ranks because of its ability to create mismatches in space. Some teams also incorporate a triple-option element that's problematic for defenses.

With the endless variations that accompany the spread, it isn't surprising that nearly half of the teams in BCS conferences run some form of the scheme. And that number is sure to increase with spread teams dominating the top of the offensive rankings.Given the impact and overwhelming success of the spread on the college level, it was only a matter of time before savvy NFL coaches started to study the offense and implement some of the basics into their game plans.

Look at any NFL game each week, and the bubble screen, shovel pass or zone-read will pop up throughout the course of the contest. While those plays existed long before the spread became the rage, the innovative system has made them hallmarks of the offense. And their big-play potential has led to their incorporation into most NFL game plans.

Two seasons ago, the New England Patriots shattered several league records using spread-offense basics as part of their game plan. Their countless quick screens to wide receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss were taken right from the pages of a spread offense’s playbook. Moreover, the team’s use of the shovel pass and fly sweep reflect a strategy that has roots in the offense.

With so many quarterbacks entering the NFL having spent their entire college (and high school) careers in the spread, adding elements of the system enables teams to quickly get those players on the field. It also accelerates the transition of the spread quarterbacks set to embark on pro careers.

With Florida's Tim Tebow, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas' Colt McCoy headlining the 2010 draft class, the decision to incorporate some spread principles comes at just the right time for NFL teams. Tebow, Bradford and McCoy are three of the most prolific quarterbacks to play in college, and their extensive experience directing a spread offense could be problematic for pro teams unfamiliar with scheme."

The spread offense or variations of it are the future of the NFL.

Dear Mr. Salguero

Why can't Pat White sit and learn from Chad Pennington for one year like Henne did ?

And somebody please put a bowl of Grits or Rice in front of that kid, Dam kid looks like he is starving to death.

Every time I see Pat White on the field I expect to see Sally Struthers begging for money
for the starving people of Ethiopia.

Soiled :)

I notice that in PigSkin picks Armando has checked from the Jags to Dolphins. I am wondering what prompted that change of heart??

I think PW will be a good QB somewhere, but not here. Is thigpen better, probably not. But we don't need two #1 QBs who run different style offenses.

When the WC came out, it worked and it was fun. And we had no QB and offense. We onlt had ricky and ronnie.

So the FO decided to take it to the next level, Pat White, threw it run it and option it. So they took him. It was a hedge bet at best. The bet was that it could work and the Henne or Penne will fall or suck.

But what happened is that, White is not ready, Penne got hurt early, and Henne stepped up. I would love to see PW run the offense; but for the whole game. Bc you cant run that system on one or two plays. This system is built on deception; to make it effective you need multiple plays/series. And a system, personnel and practice, etc.

The bottomline is Henne is the man; stop the other crap including WC and play.

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