A year ago, any football fan who heard the term “Wildcat” would have scratched his or her noggin in an effort to remember which CFL team bears that name.
Today, most observers of the NFL realize that it’s the moniker that has been applied to the revival of the single-wing formation, which the Dolphins sprung unexpectedly last season on the Pats in a 38-13 Week Three romp at Foxborough.
This year, quarterback Pat White was drafted in round two, presumably to replace (or at least supplement) running back Ronnie Brown as the snap-taker in that package. But the Fins have been keeping their specific plans for White tightly under wraps, using him only as an in-the-rotation quarterback during the first two preseason games.
But as David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel points out, the Dolphins rolled out the Ronnie Brown version of the Wildcat on Saturday night against the Panthers.
“We ran the same four plays that every team in the league has about 95 [videotapes] of,” Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said after the game. “The same four
plays. There’s really no secrets there.”
The secrets relate to the team’s plans for using Brown or White or someone else in the Wildcat offense for the coming year. Though White participated in one drive on Saturday night, completing two of three passes and rushing for 11 yards on two attempts and flashing some Wildcat elements, it wasn’t the same thing as White waltzing onto the field in the middle of a game that counts and throwing the innards of the opposing defensive coordinator instantly into knots.
So the reality is that no one will know what the Dolphins plan to do with White or the Wildcat until the regular season begins. Even then, the precise arrival of the 2009 version of the trendy attack from 2008 will continue to be cloaked in mystery.
And that’s exactly how Sparano wants it.