With renowned Wildcat quarterback (except when he’s improvising) Ronnie Brown now a member of the Chargers’ backfield, it makes sense for San Diego to dust off the alternative attack.
And as Ganttt (hell, if one “t” is silent, why not add another?) pointed out in his first effort at the one-liners (I gave him only an “A-” so he won’t get cocky), the Chargers practiced the formation during Wednesday’s OTA session.
As reported by Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Brown, receiver Eddie Royal, running back Ryan Mathews, and receiver Micheal Spurlock each took snaps in the Wildcat.
But while they’ve used it sparingly in the past, it doesn’t make sense for the Wildcat to become a staple of the Chargers’ offense, for the same reason it doesn’t make sense for any other team that has a true franchise quarterback to use it more than once every few games.
True franchise quarterbacks, like Philip Rivers, rarely if ever should come off the field. When the Dolphins began using the Wildcat extensively in 2008, thanks to the efforts of offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterbacks coach David Lee, they didn’t have a franchise quarterback. Any team that ever has used the formation as anything more than a one-shot, out-of-the-blue gimmick play didn’t have a true franchise quarterback.
That’s ultimately why former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb bristled at the use of Mike Vick in that role during his first season in Philly. Franchise quarterbacks rarely, if ever, should play anything other than quarterback. And so by using Vick regularly in the Wildcat package, the Eagles implicitly were letting the world know that they no longer viewed McNabb as a true franchise quarterback. (And, the following year, he was no longer with that franchise.)
If a team has supreme faith in its quarterback, it shouldn’t want to move him away from center, ever. And so if the presence of the Wildcat at practice is anything other than an effort to get the Chargers’ defense ready for teams that may use it against them in 2012 (like the Jets or the Chiefs) or simply a way to keep the defenses they’ll be facing guessing, the Chargers are making a big mistake.
Unless, of course, they no longer believe Philip Rivers is a true franchise quarterback.
If that’s the case, there are plenty of other teams that would embrace him as one.