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Tony Sparano defends the Wildcat package

The Wildcat isn't working very well anymore, folks. At least it wasn't working against the Jets to the point it seemed misplaced within Miami's play-calling.

But coach Tony Sparano today defended the use of the scheme that two years ago led to an improbable upset of the New England Patriots and last night seemed to contribute to Miami's downfall.

Sparano said the Wildcat's production was "average," and then he was asked if he believes the package was at any time a hinderance to the flow of the offense?

"No," Sparano said succinctly.

"I would tell you we ran reverse that was a minus play. We probably ran two or three others that were four-yard plays, which is what we're looking for," Sparano said. "I mean, we're not looking for 40-yard plays out of the thing. It's an efficient run. Ronnie had two or three efficient runs out of the thing. He threw a pass out of one of them that, to be quite honest with you, we threw down the field to Brandon, but if we threw the wheel route, it might have been a 30-yard gain. I ain't all stuck on that. Not at all."

The official game book didn't paint quite as rosy a picture of the Wildcat as Sparano did, however. Bottom line, the Dolphins ran out of Wildcat eight times by my count. It gained seven total yards. It accounted for one incomplete pass. Of the eight plays, four accounted for no gain or a loss of yardage.

The plays according to the game book:

Second quarter

First and 10 from the Jets 18 yard line:Ronnie Brown loses one yard.

Second and 11 from the Jets 19 yard line: Brown gains four yards.

Third quarter

Second-and-15 from the Jets 35 yard line. Brown has no gain.

Two plays later on first-and-10 from the Jets 20: Brown gains 5 yards.

On second-and-five from the Jets 15: Brown gains four yards.

On the next possession:

First and goal from the Jets 7 yard line: Brown gains one yard.

On the following possession:

First and 10 from the Miami 24 yard line: Brown throws incomplete to Marshall.

Fourth quarter

First and 10 from the Jets 36: Cobbs on the end around loses six yards.

It should be noted Brown gained 14 yards on five Wildcat carries. His carries out of the base formation accounted for 40 yards on six carries.

So that seems to build a case against Wildcat. But you must remember, the Dolphins lately are using the Wildcat package to even the odds on run plays. Seems most teams on early downs are stacking the box against the Dolphins on run downs. That means Miami is always at a one-man disadvantage in that with the QB under center, the defense always has one more defender than Miami has either blocking or running.

With the QB out of the way in the wildcat package, the Dolphins even the odds. So,yes, Wildcat is a downhill running offense.

Of course, that begs the question, why the reverses to Cobbs or Marshall.

By the way. The Dolphins seem to like Wildcat. Still. They get the only votes on the matter. Everyone else is kinda out-voted.


Sparano was asked the reason cornerback Jason Allen was on receiver Braylon Edwards much of the night -- a matchup that Allen lost -- rather than using superior cornerback Vontae Davis on Edwards. Coach said it was because coaches thought Allen's size made it possible for him to compete better with Edwards.

That didn't excuse Allen's tough outing.

"Jason would tell you he needs to do better," Sparano said.

Jason, by the way, doesn't need to tell me. I saw it. He needs to to much, much, much better to stick Randy Moss or Wes Welker or Brandon Tate next Monday night.


Ah, hidden yardage was no friend of the Dolphins Sunday.

Sparano said the Dolphins yielded 140 yards on special teams. That is the equivalent to a touchdown and then some.


Ricky Williams fumbled once (officially) but had another moment in which he also lost his grip on the ball early enough that it was ruled a fumble before being overturned. Williams has three such losses of the ball in two weeks, although the ball has actually changed possession only once.

That's is enough for Sparano.

"Yes, it concerns me," he said.

Williams needs to keep both hands on the ball unless he is fine with not playing in the fourth quarter of games as he did Sunday night.


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I kind of tend to agree with Mark in Ottawa. Henne is far from elite, or a good, QB. Henne threw a lot but his passes were not sharp as a good (not elite) QB should. His first throw of the game was a sure touchdown to Hartline if Henne did not overthrew it. And this was a crucial pass because had we scored, the Jets would be pressed to catch up and their playcalling would have been altered. His pass to Hartline close to the goal line that was called a pass interference, was underthrown and we were lucky with the call. So were at least a couple of passes to Marshall and a couple to Bess.

Let's be real, folks. We need help in the secondary. We need much better from Henne. We need help at ILB. We need better from the OL. And we need help coaching (how many tackles we missed Sunday night?). Definitely not a playoff team.

First this blog is backwards...Who wants to read the oldest posts first....nobody

Second...Step off Jason Allen. He's come a long way and was put in bad situations against a better and more expreienced player. Period

Third...Make the damn Marlins get their own field already !!! The infield BS is exactly why a Phins game isnt worth paying to go see anymore

Another thing...Henne is a stud and did well.
He will get even better with experience and more control over HIS own offense.

Wildcat...not a suprise anymore to anyone, figure something else out, like how to create running and passing lanes. SERIOUSLY

The OLine if you havent noticed is nothing more than journeymen after all we were "supposed" to be investing into it.

The defense is improved but still has a few issues of its own. IMO theres alot of talent there but the coaches are not matching them up for success.

I liked the return of the 4-3. Would like to see the return of the 4-6 if they are serious about stopping the run.
Live and die by 3-4 means in the end DIE just like it says

If you want to bash the phins go hit the NY forums. Most of them cant read anyway

If Bell and Allen do not fall down playing defense the Dolphins win the game. If the Dolphins had an athletic tight end who could create separation and catch like Dustin Keller the Dolphins would have won. If, if , if......
foget the wildcat it sucks. Drop it please, the Dolphins are giving away a down using what all teams are now prepared for. Perhaps Mickey Shuler will be the more athletic tight end the Dolphins need.


What else do you need ?

cuban, every time i read you i feel used .do you ever write any thing about the fins .try one post of what you thought the wrost thing we did last night .


Mando, what happened THE PLAY BEFORE they whipped out the 'Cat? They often do this after the offense gets a sense of flow.

And look at the field position when we use this.


Are we good enough to lineup 11 on 11 and beat teams? We're not a 1-15 team anymore.

i dont mind using it but we should use it all at once not taking henne in and out of the game

If Sean Smith is too slow to cover TE how is supposed to cover a fast WR? He should be moved to free safety.

Hey Tony please stop destroying the rthym of your offense and the development of your quarterback by running the wildcat at the most ridicolous times. Your offense is marching and you just kill it. You need to be accountable for that, so just please stop!

For all the Henne naysayers out there-are you serious? Really. You must be a Jets fan trolling the blog or retarded...actually both one and the same Jets fans=Retarded.

Actually I take that back. I shouldn;t offend retarded people like that by calling them Jets fans.

I dunno if anyone else has noticed this, but this season I have seen many instances where sparano hears the play call, looks to see what the play is on his sheet, then shakes his head and mumbles under his breath. I think its fair to say/assume that sparanos not a big fan of hennings play calling either, yet really can't make a change right now. He was parcells boy, hence why he's still here. I'm shocked no reporter has picked up on this, its obvious just watching the tv tapes. Anyone else notice this?

When I was watching the game last night and we were in a rhythm on offense I said to myself.

Self: (in a sarcastic voice)Here's a perfect time to install the Wildcat and pick up 2 yards and take Henne and the offense out of rhythm.

And lo and behold they unleashed the KittyCat and stalled our drives. Like ALWAYS

Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

Buckeyefinfan ,

what did you have for dinner tonight ?


New York Strip (medium well) with sauteed mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, and beats.

No desert

While I can agree with some of you there a some issues with this team that we need to address:

1. No speed in the backfield at all. Williams& Brown are the same player. Battering rams who can't take it all the way. And after the first three weeks Ricky looks like LT from last year, old.

2. I totally agree about the Wildcat. Its great for change of pace but when Henne is in groove its stupid. If you don't trust him then find another QB. I think all this talk about being a game manager has made him tentative. Sanchez has thrown a slew of INT's bit he still out there slinging it.

3. No one agrees with Mark from Ottawa but he is right. This was a statement game for the Fins. Win and the division is in thier sights lose and its a crap shoot and what happens ? When you need a play or stop no one appears. You can blame the trifecta all you want but they dont play the game.

4. The defense isn't as good as advertised period. They got outplayed and made mistake after mistake and that is coaching

5. The 2010 Fins look alot like the JJ / Wanny years. Defense looks good for awhile but eventually they get exposed.

6. For those clamoring for Crowder. Go look at any game from the last 2 years and he's missed more tackles than made. This is a business and CC isn't worth the cash he is getting and if he was them why sign Dansbytp replace him?

7. There will be no next year for us as the lockout is going to cause havoc so dont expect a SB title anytime soon.


you ate outside not at home ,right ?

mashed garlic potatoes never done at home .

No at home. My wife is an awesome cook...really.

good battle between GB and Chicago. Hope Henne and company are watching....a lot to be learned here! Pro and con.....

why do I feel Henne is being over coached?

whenever he attempts a pass that he has been told requires "touch" .... I sense a momentary pause and then an unnatural throwing motion that reminds me of a guy at the bar playing darts after one too many beers ....

these receivers are being paid millions (aloco will have to verify the exact numbers) to catch the ball ... I don't read where old man Farve is throwing too hard for his guys ... he just lets it fly .... with mustard ...

I agree in smart QB play, but think this touch thing is out of hand ... I'm not saying let Henne play recklessly, let the kid wing it (intelligently) and let the receivers catch it ....

on first watch, I counted at least five throws that fell into this category (touch) that ended up incomplete or thrown into a poor position ... when he makes his decision he should just rip it ....

PS don't run the wildcat more than once or twice a game ... it is a drive stopper ...

PSS "Bono" is not getting it done with the special teams ....

The WIldcat still has value. But it should be used in 4th quarters when protecting a lead. And it should NOT be used when a sustained drive is in effect using a traditional offensive set. It's a drive killer. Chad had a hot hand on one drive and once in the red zone, switching to the Wildcat killed the drive. ALSO stop the end arounds with the WR, too much time is spent setting up the play and it won't work. FINALLY, you need to have a failsafe pass option to really make the package effective. Otherwise the defense will always know it's a run.


I agree with some of your points. But JJ/Wanny comparison? Umm, I don;t know. I mean I hated losing last night but now I know that if we are down a couple of scores we can come back and rather quickly.

Combine that with a defense that will have Odrick back and move Starks back to NT and we will see how this plays out.

I totally agree with your Crowder statement-well said.

Matt, intelligent comment! Surprising the Defense is key, we always telepraph our plays. When you pull the QB off the field it's a wildcat play...etc. The jets tried to fool our D as much as possible....they were successful! Unfortunatelly, we were not....this loss still hurts! A lot! S#it!!!!

Both Cutler and Rodgers have run for first downs.....pocket awareness and mobility is a key factor. This game is tied at 17 with 2:18 leftt.

What we know:

1. Rex is a better coach than Sparano (You guys remember the Saints game last year? This was right up there in the coaching department)

2. Dolphins D is swiss cheese again. Hey I love the guys but Sanchez to Kellar is hardly Brady to Welker. Sorry but the wins over the Bills and Vikings hardly qualify your D as legit.

3. Dolphins will finish 3rd in the East.

4. Ronnie Brown is a superior back to RW34 but thankfully for the rest of the AFC the Dolphins coaching staff hasn't figured that out (see point 1).

5. Tom Brady is going to feast on your corners next monday. It will be ugly and you will all be officially off the Nolan bandwagon.

3 unbeatens left in NFL, Bears, KC and the Steelers.

Kudos to the Jets for at least sitting Edwards for a quarter. What did the loser fish do to all their legal tards this offseason. Exactly - NOTHING.

Still enjoying the biatch slapping you all took last night.

Where are you now NJ???
You buffooon steroid freak!

What do Beats taste like? Anything like Beets?

Go Phins!


I have noticed the same thing in regards to Sparano shaking his head about the plays.

Go Phins!

martin, jon, sparano is the head coach, he can overrule any call, O or D....

Redsky in theory he could yes, but it would likely cause more harm then good this early in the season, especially with an old war horse like henning. I'd imagine they've had discussions about it, and if things keep going the way they are, henning is toast because parcells isn't their to save him now

#1 question is on Sparano's coaching. If I'm a reporter, I'd ask Sparano again, "So after Jason Allen was beaten several times, why didn't rethink your strategy of having J.Allen cover Edwards or make an adjustment?" Allen is not a terrible corner, he just can't defend one of the better WR in football- no shame in that. On the other side of the ball, you have Vontae Davis, one of the top corners in the game. Also Sean Smith has the size and speed to cover Edwards (he has been covering TEs well this season). After J. Allen got burned numerous times, the D Coordinator and Sparano made NO CHANGE. Just pitiful coaching.

anti nj
probably busy shaving his legs maybe with his with lover tim/bungle/baby12,

by the way nj buffon just got exposed on the slum sent to being tortured dolphin
what a sad sad boy

NJ hating life at the ss. I exposed him for his poser id here. Tortured Dolphan is NJ Flim flam.

Sanchez 6 tds - 0 ints and 2-0 vs. the afc east.

Pathetic Fish fans in for another season of losing.

Henne was 0-6 passing in his last two trips into the red zone last night. Again, pathetic.

This is your retard qb. Embrace him SOFLA.

I exposed him. He spells laughter just like tortured dolphan, blahahahahahaha...... It should be hahahahaha.......

To All you negative Dolphins fans... Go pull for the Jets, Steelers whoever!
If you have nothing positive to say about the team... LEAVE!








Tortured Dolphan(NJ) according to the way you spell laughter this is what Urban Dictionary says about that:

1. bwahahahaha
laugh stating that the person using it has had a sexual relationship with farm animals

Check it out for yourself. No joke.


Can't wait for next Monday. See you all then.








Posted by: TorturedDolphan | September 28, 2010 at 01:39 AM

1. bwahahahaha
buy bwahahahaha mugs, tshirts and magnetsa laugh stating that the person using it has had a sexual-relationship with farm animals







Tortured Dolphan,


Go to above link, it says a person that laughs bwahahahahaha means that person has had sexual relations with a farm animal. No joke. see for yourself. Hahahahaha...........

Tortured Dolphan/NJ does farm animals. If you dont believe me check this link for yourselves.


Wtached the game...

1 Sanchez can rip the ball and throws well.Henne is more controlled but less accurate.Even stevens..both will be ok.
2 Our passing game was pretty good.Our running game was HOPELESS..why?...no lanes.
3 Secondary stinks.
4 I like Tony but his histrionics on the sideline are cringeworthy...stop it Tony..looks pathetic mate...

We have a long way to go....but we are young

Whew! Everybody's got an opinion, it seems!
Ok, so here's mine:
When Henne heads for the sideline, they know it's Wildcat time! Back when we first started running the dang thing, Pennington stayed on the field and lined up as a receiver. So, no one knew it was the Wildcat until the huddle broke. Surprise! They way they're doing it now just gives them a chance to make substitutions and/or gives away the play!
Want to wear out a defense? Try the no-huddle hurry-up offense instead! (Or, at least every now and then). And, every once in a while, let Henne call an audible (or pretend to). Works for Peyton Manning! Brandon Marshall is not a speedster. So, stop using him on reverses! Bess would probably be a better choice. Saw some 4 and 5 wide receiver sets. Great to know they're in the playbook, finally! Play-action pass is great when the other team expects you to run the ball. Not so much on 3rd down though.
Our Special Teams is...well, just a little too "Special" lately! Gotta get that together. Cobb's probably not the answer. Maybe. That Carroll kid would do better.
We gotta learn to zig when they expect us to zag. Play hard-nosed when we need to. Shoot-out when we need to. Keep the other team guessing when we need to. And, we'll be fine. Otherwise, it'll be a long season. And, I may have to start watching the game at a sports bar in order to watch the whole thing through beer-goggles!

Okay, now on to the next game...
A shootout with Brady would be kinda stupid! I expect we'll try and run a lot more. I'm pretty sure that the Pats have figured out that a run blitz shuts down the Wildcat, but Henning seems to love the dang thing. He'll stall some more good drives with it.
You would think that someone would like sit down and find mis-matches against the Pats and try to exploit them, like the Jets did. But, I'm not counting on it from our coaches.
I think Ireland should start accepting resumes for Offensive and Special Teams Coordinators in preparation for next year.
I really hope we can find a TE and a WR (burner) in the draft, but we'll probably be stuffing our roster with RBs instead cause we may only have an R in our R and R!
We've shown we can play a mean D and an up-and-coming pretty good Offense. Too bad they both haven't been able to show up on the same day!
We'd do a lot better if we didn't have to play Special Teams during a game. Someone needs to check the rulebook and see if we just have to.
C'mon Fins! Take all that anger from the Jets loss and shove it down the Pats throat!!!!

Oh, and one last thing (then I'll shut up)...
Hey Henning! You like old school football stuff. Are we gonna see some Wishbone? The Veer? How about the old Power "I"? Or, maybe line Starks up in the backfield like the Bears used to do with the Fridge?
Just a thought. ROFLMAO!!!
You guys are just to serious sometimes!


just because we lost to the Jets at home in game 3 does not mean the season is over. We have a long way to go and are 2-1 in a 3 -way tie. Remember we are a better team than the last 2 years and we won away to the Jets in 2008 and 2009. We have another big game on Monday night vs. the Pats. We need to keep continuous pressure on Brady and the receiving core as their running game is not that great. Problem vs. the Jets was we could not pressure Sanchez enough or sack him. Yes i know it was the Jets and our offense played well but the defense let us down this time.
This can be fixed. We can still be a tough team to beat.
3-1 before the bye week is still a good start cos the next 4 are huge games against tough teams, Packers - Steelers - Bengals - Ravens.

All those Fin fans who still don't believe in their team should give up now and forget the season you morons.

Go Fins

What do you expect Sparano to say: "Well, we mucked it up horribly. The Wildcat was put in the worst situations, and I blame my OC on that. It's the coaches fault we lost, and we take full blame!"

When have you EVER heard that in the last decade or two from anyone: politician, preacher or religious person, athlete in trouble, citizen wanting to be bailed out after over-extending themselves, business executive, etc?

No one takes blame for anything nowadays. It's always someone else's fault or something that couldn't be prevented. The plan is always right (see Iraq War strategy, see credit default swops, see Lindsay Lohan's basic outlook on life).

Basically, in "today speak," what Tony means is: "I'm not going to fall on the sword now and say we had a faulty plan, but I will change the strategy and play-calling, without a lot of discussion why, so as to acknowledge tacitly and symbolically that I thought something was wrong before, and now I've made it right without laying blame on anyone." So, you just have to understand what's going on. There WILL be more passing in this offense (whether Henning wants to or not). There WILL NOT be as much Wildcat "trick" plays in this offense (whether the coach wants to admit to it or not). In the end, this is a PR league (that's why Big Ben is suspended for 4 games, that's why Edwards sat out the 1st quarter in our game), and if the fans, analyst judgment demands something, trust and believe sooner or later the owners, then down to the coaches and players get the message.

Home, once again great job on Sunday night score, your prediction 31-24 was dead on. Only thing you had the fish winning instead of the Jets 31-23. LMAO

Home, could be worse, you could be sitting at your mom`s house in New Jersey with illegal cancer and tumorous causing steroids ravaging through your body with shaved legs and being the lonely A-Hole with no friends rooting for the fish and pretending to own a gym. LMAO !!!!!!

Morning Tortured, my ass is real sore after last night. My turn to be on top tonight.

So many Dolphin fans dropped their loads in my mom's mouth I am jealous. One day mom I will learn to suck c o c k as good as you.

Thank you son, and yes one day we will find your dad. Only a couple hundred more men to DNA test. It's tough being a filthy cumsucking pig like me.

Son, I will be at the glory hole this morning and down at the corner of 5th tonight. Please make sure the trailer is securely locked. Stay away from my panties and don't touch your little brothers pee pee.
Love Mom

See you at the glory hole Mary

I hear alot of people saying that Henne had a great game. But in reality he is one of the many reasons they lost the game. As the leader on the offense he failed to complete an easy td pass twice, once to Hartline in the beginging and later to Marshall in the endzone (if Marshall didn't tip it it would have been an INT). He also threw an INT late in the game. Sure he had 300+ yards, but he didn't lead the offense to a win, he was the weak link that cost the dolphins the game. Until he gets better accuracy (which may be never) I don't see the dolphins contending for a championship. It may be time to consider trading him away for and getting another QB in free agency next year. The best QB would have made those plays to win the game, Henne didn't. He either has to step up wins these types of games or expect to be gone at the end of the year.

Dolphins have one fairly explosive player in Marshall. You can't run reverses to slow un-elusive players and expect to gain yds. Jets showed us how to run the wildcat with a fast..tough...explosive player. Ronnie Brown's vision is terrible as he chose the wrong cut off blocks at least 4 times in that game. He also looks like he is running in a weighted vest with ankle weights on.

I learned we need a TE...fasano is the worst in the NFL. Slow..can't get seperation.

We need another cb to accompany Davis

We need an explosive rb who is a home run threat

We need another wr who can stretch the field ocnsistently

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