In Tim Layden’s new book, Blood, Sweat and Chalk, an excellent look at various football offenses and defenses from an Xs and Os perspective, Bills coach Chan Gailey predicts that the Wildcat offense — essentially, the resurrected single wing — “is going to become more the norm in the future.”
It’s going to happen not because every team will feel compelled to run it (although most now do), but because the college game is producing quarterbacks who both run and throw, the key attributes of the guy who takes the snaps in the single wing, an attack premised on complex blocking maneuvers, backfield motion, and an ensuing atmosphere of chaos as to where the ball is — and where it’s going.
“You don’t find a ton of the six-three, six-four, drop-back, stand-up passers,” Gailey told Layden. “They’re not in college, so we’re not getting them up here.”
Until that happens, teams with statuesque quarterbacks will be using the single wing based on the personnel they have, usually with the running back taking the snaps.
In New York, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News points out on Twitter that the Jets (whose quarterback is surprisingly athletic but not athletic enough to run the single wing at the NFL level) spent Saturday morning working on their own version of the offense, with LaDainian Tomlinson getting the ball directly from the center.
Last year, the Jets initially used Leon Washington in the package. After he suffered a season-ending broken leg, the job fell to Brad Smith.
For 2010, Tomlinson is the natural choice. For starters, it gets him involved, which keeps him from pulling a Fragile Frankie Merman, finding a spot on the end of the bench and sulking. Then there’s the fact that L.T. has thrown 12 career passes on halfback-option plays, completing eight of them.
Of the eight completions, seven went for touchdowns.
The Jets are calling it, per Mehta, the Wild Horn Frog. The name obviously comes from the fact that Tomlinson played at TCU, on a team known as the Horned Frogs.
Still, with Rex Ryan coaching the team, we think it’s only a matter of time before he slips and calls the thing the “Wild Corn Dog.” And then drools all over himself.
And then says, “Ah, f–k. I just drooled all over my f–king self again.”