The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

A Vain Dalliance


The wildcat is a hollow prophet, not the messiah that will liberate football coaches everywhere.

This wave will fade into the background again as defensive coordinators continue to adjust to it, just like the option offense, and the run-and-shoot, and all the gimmicky fads that pass through NFL obsession. But it won't stay away for long. Eventually, some young coach will entirely divorce himself from the idea that the guy who calls the plays in the huddle needs to be the center of the offense. And then, all bets are off.

Imagine a world where the quarterback's job doesn't necessarily include a progression of receivers, or even throwing the ball at all. Where the QB merely calls the play, reads the defense and then plays some undetermined role, big or small. And teams without a Manning, Brady, Brees or McNabb could still hope to win with some other, more egalitarian scheme.

Would you want to live in such a world. I know Michael Vick would.

For now, the wildcat is already showing its age. For instance, the Eagles haven't been able to make it work for big gains yet, despite a lot of effort, and personnel seemingly tailor made for the formation. Defenses just aren't surprised anymore, especially since the guy getting the direct snap almost never does anything but runs.

Like the advent of Bill Walsh and his West Coast offense nearly 30 years ago, the next big innovation will rethink the offense from the ground up, with some commitment. The wildcat is a vain dalliance by comparison.

By Sean McCann  |  September 30, 2009; 12:14 PM ET  | Category:  Miami Dolphins , NFL , Philadelphia Eagles Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Wildcat No WCO, but no gimmick either | Next: Just a New/Old Formation

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