Fins dust off '08 Wildcat while '09 version lurks

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.

18 responses to “Fins dust off '08 Wildcat while '09 version lurks

  1. Wait, so you’re saying teams don’t like to unveil what secret plays they’re counting on to win them games in the regular season when the games actually matter???
    Huh. I guess we learn something new every day.

  2. A smart coach doesn’t show everything in the preseason. Thank God Wannstache didn’t think of importing the Wildcat.

  3. I love this. All the idiots who are complaining that the Dolphins only run the Wildcat because they don’t have faith in the base offense are the ones that are scared to death to see it used against their team. Guess what? The Wildcat is part of the base offense now. And seeing Pat White progress in the passing game like he did Saturday night has to be giving D-Coordinators on Miamis’ schedule ulcers.

  4. Indeed … you think the Titans punt fake for a TD went unnoticed? Great play … but would have been even better in Week 8.

  5. this team is much improved from last year & the wildcat won’t need to be used as much!!! all these so called “experts” say the Fins won’t do anything, Just like last year, RIGHT, they’ll be wrong again!!! Miami will be the AFC East Champions AGAIN!!! GO FINS 2009!!!

  6. They bring in Pat White. They’re going to go from 4 receivers on the roster to 6 this year.
    Hmmm. What new wrinkles could they be thinking of? Spread option, maybe?
    I don’t know. This mystery is just too hard to figure out.

  7. If the dolphins want to hold back their secrets until they face the patriots this year, they’ll have to wait until game 9. Maybe too late by then.

  8. can’t believe it. I have seen more stories about the dolphins as of late. are the gettin RESPECT or what?????

  9. Al Davis is my Christ says:
    August 24, 2009 10:13 AM
    were those “tapes” provided by the Pats?
    Are you still making Michael Jackson and little boy jokes?

  10. WeMissYouDan says:
    August 24, 2009 9:27 AM
    Fins repeat as division champs – bank on it.
    Like your coach said, everyone has about 95 tapes of the Wildcat now. You don’t think Belichick has a plan to deal with it?
    Maybe the Phish make the playoffs, but New England owns this division once again.

  11. for the Dolphins in 2008, the wildcat formation was used less than 5% of the time.
    ….and they still managed to win the division. Brady’s injury certainly helped, but you don’t win the division based on a play you run *that* infrequently unless you have a buttoned-down team and other things going for you. 😉

  12. patsSB44champs says: August 24, 2009 11:24 AM
    Like your coach said, everyone has about 95 tapes of the Wildcat now. You don’t think Belichick has a plan to deal with it?
    Maybe the Phish make the playoffs, but New England owns this division once again.
    Unlike the media, who seem to love this Wildcat thing, I am not oozing all over it. It’s a great wrinkle, but it’s just that, a wrinkle. My prediction comes from the depth we have at so many positions, as well as the fact that all of our skill positions (except WR) are locked up with solid starters. New England is a good team, I hate them, but that’s just because they are in our division and I am required by fanhood bylaw to hate them. When you really break down the two teams, Brady makes your QB position outweigh ours, but that’s it. At any other position, including just about every one on defense, we either match up well or actually have better than NE. There is no other position, other than QB, that NE is head and shoulders over the Fins, and even that’s debatable, given Pennington’s stellar year last year. We can discuss this all day, but the tale will be told from week 1 to week 17, and you shall see:

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