The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

Smith Needs to Win, Or Else


The Falcons have a mulligan this year, but Mike Smith will have to produce some wins sooner than later. If he doesn't, he can expect Arthur Blank to take a more intense day-to-day interest in the team. As we have seen, that's not a recipe for success.

Tony Sparano has my early vote as the "next Belichick," because he's already one-upped the man himself! His use of three different "Wildcat" formations (direct snaps to running back Ronnie Brown) left the New England defense ... well, defenseless.

In this Football Outsiders article, I detailed the plays, and the fact that Miami quarterbacks coach David Lee, who spent 2007 as Arkansas' offensive coordinator, actually drew up all three formations used against the Pats in a segment for college sports channel CSTV -- that wound up on YouTube! The Razorbacks used the Wildcat to great effect with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones; now the 'Fins have their own versions with Brown and Ricky Williams.

Like Belichick, Sparano and Lee got their pro starts under Bill Parcells -- both current Miami coaches worked under the Tuna in Dallas. When the new generation of Parcells apprentices beats the old, and does it with a little razzle-dazzle, that's good stuff.

By Doug Farrar  |  September 30, 2008; 10:40 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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