Send that Wildcat Back to 1938

29 Nov

Great win today, behind enemy lines. Henne looked very solid, and Mike Nolan’s defense was strong yet again. The SoFlo Sea Mammals rumbled for 186 yards and held the ball for almost 42 minutes. But amid the high-fives and smiles, one question remained in our minds: What is the Wildcat doing for us these days?

The Bottlenose felt our offensive flow was disrupted when we ran it. We blew at least one time out during personnel confusion caused by it. At least once it yanked Henne right out of a serious zone. But above all, it was nowhere near as productive as running from our normal formation.

The numbers don’t lie. 12 Wildcat plays, for a grand total of 34 yards. Just about 2.8 a carry. Our non-Wildcat running plays went for more than 4 yards a touch. So, if the Wildcat is earning fewer yards, knocking Henne off his game, wreaking havoc in the substitution department, and costing us time outs, why are we still running it?

Don’t get us wrong, it’s nice for defensive coordinators to have to prep for our Wildcat formation, but we’re not convinced that it should be run more than a couple of times a game, especially when it takes the ball away from our hottest hand.

Henne looked pretty good out there. He forced one that he should have thrown away, no doubt. But 300 yards and 2 TDs without our stud wideout even on the flight to Oaktown? Let’s leave the kid under center. Especially since it makes our running game better too.

That wideout on the left is Chad Henne, not fooling anybody.

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4 Responses to “Send that Wildcat Back to 1938”

  1. BC November 29, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    We don’t seem to run the wildcat the way we used to so effectively – need the option factor out of it with Ricky W in motion and Ronnie Brown either giving or keeping. That was when it was very effecdtive. Now it is just a qb draw with no motion most of the time.

    • danewen November 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

      Unfortunately defenses seem to be picking up on those Ricky in motion plays to. Ricky had 5 carries in motion from the Wildcat, for only 10 yards. Ronnie kept it on the other 7 Wildcat plays, for 24 yards (3.4 ypc). Just wondering if we need to get so cutesy, considering when we lined up in the pro set and slugged the Raiders in the mouth it worked better.

      Thanks so much for stopping by The Bottlenose.

  2. kdock November 29, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    Not that I’m defending the Wildcat formation because i really do despise it, but it seems that Sparano wanted to alleviate some possible further wear and tear on Henne’s knee. This is why we had the curious Thigpen draw packages, as well.

    As Henne’s knee heals further, those plays should lessen. I hope. You really don’t know which direction that stubborn old mule Dan Henning will go with this.

    But the positives greatly outweighed the negatives for us against the Raiders.

    • danewen November 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

      No doubt, many more positives than negatives. I don’t know if I buy the Wildcat being used to save Henne’s knees though. Those Wildcat calls were all running plays. Two steps back and a handoff for Henne, if he were at QB in a normal formation. Do they anticipate a knee injury during his two steps backwards? Any less dangerous than splitting out wide? Or running on and off the field? And Thigpen only had one carry.

      I think it speaks more to a lack of confidence in Henne, which the Trifecta has clearly demonstrated recently. Hopefully, as their confidence in him grows, the Wildcat will become just a rare wrinkle for opposing defenses to prepare for.

      Thanks so much for your comments, and for dropping by The Bottlenose.

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