The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Here to Stay, But It Needs Some Work

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While teams can find consistent production with the Wildcat and all its offshoots (yes, it's here to stay), I don't think we're to the point where you'll see a team build an offense around it. The limitations are obvious; first of all, the modern NFL is a passing league, and you can't single-wing your way to the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks like Michael Vick and Pat White have not yet provided the aerial component that would raise the specter of the Wildcat to main formation status. In addition, the play group already has its Kryptonite.

Last season, the Miami Dolphins, the NFL's prime Wildcat purveyors, played the Baltimore Ravens twice and gained a total of six yards on seven Wildcat plays. Defenses with speed on the edges and good gap control have the advantage at this point. Miami gained seven yards per play against every other team, but the lack of a true and consistent aerial component dooms it to secondary status.

This might change as offensive coordinators work in new permutations and features, but until those teams are able to solve the issue of the obvious substitution issue (how do you replace the all-important element of surprise when you bring in your designated Wildcat quarterback for designated Wildcat plays -- you might as well hold up a sign), the formations will be relegated to a small percentage of the playbooks of the most open-minded teams.

By Doug Farrar  |  September 30, 2009; 8:39 AM ET  | Category:  Miami Dolphins , Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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