The League

Dick Vermeil
Former Head Coach

Dick Vermeil

Has won the Super Bowl, the Rose Bowl and multiple coaching accolades.

Don't Get Tricked Out


In my career I've had more trick plays blow up in my face than make a difference in winning. Perhaps because of that, I believe that if you're better than your opponent, you don't screw around.

There is always room in the NFL, for surprises, and when they pay off, they can really change the momentum of games. But I've always felt that gimmicks like onside kicks and double passes and the like, are best utilized when you don't think you're good enough to beat somebody. If you feel like you're equal to or better than your opponent, you don't try it.

Look at the Saints' 30-27 loss last night to the Vikings. If the Saints hadn't gone for the onside kick they would have won the game. Instead they tried to catch Minnesota off guard, it backfired and Ryan Longwell was able to kick a field goal. New Orleans was a better team and they lost because of their gamble.

But that's what trick plays are -- a gamble. If you're getting beat anyway, then why not take a shot? What do you have to lose? What you don't want to end up doing is hurting your team if you don't need to.

As far as Miami's wild cat goes, it's not so much a trick play as it is a college formation. It's a throw back to the old single-wing tail back and it's a wonderful concept if you have the players to do it.

As we've seen the past few weeks, it can give opponents trouble and defensive coordinators will have to adjust. What I would do to counter is start stacking seven or eight in the box. This will take away or limit the rush option, forcing the running back to pass the ball instead. After a few interceptions, the wild cat won't seem as intimidating. Still I'd like to see the evolution of these collegiate formations in the NFL, they're hardly gimmick plays.

By Dick Vermeil  |  October 7, 2008; 11:35 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Minnesota beat the New Orleans Saints last night, not the Atlanta Falcons. Glad the Washington Post editors are reviewing these posts carefully.

Posted by: Hoboken, NJ | October 7, 2008 12:19 PM

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