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View Full Version : Ronnie Brown & Miami's "wildcat" offense


Double Barrel
10-09-2008, 10:46 AM
As the Dolphins expand their playbook, it's becoming more apparent their intent is to develop an offense that revolves even more around the versatile talents of Ronnie Brown.

The second overall pick of the 2005 Draft has become the triggerman in Miami's version of the "Wildcat" offense, and the results have been staggering. Brown has scored five times, thrown a 19-yard touchdown pass and twice topped the century mark in rushing in back-to-back upsets over the Patriots and Chargers.

The plan to cleverly deploy Brown was formulated in training camp, but his thumb injury delayed the process. With Brown healthy, the team is maximizing his unique set of skills by using him in various ways as the point in the single-wing formation.

In the Dolphins' version of the "Wildcat" offense, Brown takes a direct snap from center, and runs a read-option with the wingback (Ricky Williams), who is often in motion prior to the snap. The Dolphins further complicate the read by using one or two pulling linemen from an unbalanced formation.

The exotic formation puts defenses in a quandary. If they focus exclusively on Brown, he simply hands the ball off to Williams on a fly sweep around the corner. If they pay too much attention to Williams on the fly sweep, Brown keeps the ball and picks a hole up the middle. In addition, the Dolphins have sprinkled in some misdirection plays that allow Brown to run away from the side of the motion. Thus, it's not surprising the Dolphins have totaled 167 yards and five touchdowns in the 16 plays that have featured the formation in the past two games.

Rest of story (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/bucky_brooks/10/07/awards.watch/)

It is interesting to see a re-emergence of this 'old school' offense, and I wonder if Richard Smith is up to the challenge.

Brown appears to be healthy and running strong, so it's not going to be a walk in the park next Sunday.

We need to give our D another 12th man boost! :d: :texflag: :redtowel:

drewmar74
10-09-2008, 10:48 AM
We need to give our D another 12th man boost! :d: :texflag: :redtowel:

Or just figure out a way to get a 12th man actually on the field. Maybe Hoculi will ref that game... there's a good chance he'd miss that (or possibly call the 12th man foul on Miam-uh)

Polo
10-09-2008, 10:57 AM
I wouldn't be too worried about that formation if I were Richard Smith...Of course you have to touch on it and find a way to stop it when they do line up in it...

If they've only run it 16 times for 167yards times in 5 games that's less than 4 times a game for a little over ten yards a pop...I haven't watched a whole lot of Miami, but the clips I've seen of them running it seem to mostly be close to the goal line...

I'm more worried about their defense...

Double Barrel
10-09-2008, 11:29 AM
True, it is not an often used formation. But, Richard Smith is not a DC that seems to pick up on offensive wrinkles, as evidenced by his inability to establish plays a couple of weeks ago against Gerrard's runs up the middle (it was only a playoff game that he did it against the Steelers last season).

Miami's defense is improved and should give us concerns. But our offense seems to be coming together the past couple of weeks, so hopefully they can move the chains and keep up their momentum with some early scores.

Polo
10-09-2008, 11:39 AM
True, it is not an often used formation. But, Richard Smith is not a DC that seems to pick up on offensive wrinkles, as evidenced by his inability to establish plays a couple of weeks ago against Gerrard's runs up the middle (it was only a playoff game that he did it against the Steelers last season).

Miami's defense is improved and should give us concerns. But our offense seems to be coming together the past couple of weeks, so hopefully they can move the chains and keep up their momentum with some early scores.


I definitely see what you're saying...

One question though:

We as fans have a sort of self-centered view when it comes to our sports teams. We think that our coaches and our players should be the ones to come out on top and if they don't then most of the time it's something we did wrong...

Is there ever a point where the other team was just better ?

Basically, is there anything differently that Richard Smith could have done to account for Garrad and all of his recievers with the talent that was on the field vs. the talent we were playing against ?

I didn't watch that part of the game, but I was listening to it on the radio and from my understanding he had a spy on Garrad, but some tackles were missed. Garrad has been a decent QB and he's done some good things against some good defenses.

Not trying to argue just asking if you think there is ever a time where something just couldn't have been schemed any better for given the talent we have on the roster.

RipTraxx
10-09-2008, 11:54 AM
We cant stop the regular run as is. This is even worse! :jogger:

El Tejano
10-09-2008, 12:13 PM
I'm worried about Miami's D because they run a 3-4 and we typically don't do well against 3-4 defenses. Now we have been running up the middle lately and so maybe we can exploit that part of their D.

Polo
10-09-2008, 12:16 PM
Sloton's done well against 3-4's ;)

eriadoc
10-09-2008, 12:21 PM
I definitely see what you're saying...

One question though:

We as fans have a sort of self-centered view when it comes to our sports teams. We think that our coaches and our players should be the ones to come out on top and if they don't then most of the time it's something we did wrong...

Is there ever a point where the other team was just better ?

Basically, is there anything differently that Richard Smith could have done to account for Garrad and all of his recievers with the talent that was on the field vs. the talent we were playing against ?

I didn't watch that part of the game, but I was listening to it on the radio and from my understanding he had a spy on Garrad, but some tackles were missed. Garrad has been a decent QB and he's done some good things against some good defenses.

Not trying to argue just asking if you think there is ever a time where something just couldn't have been schemed any better for given the talent we have on the roster.

It's usually a combination of both, actually, but I'd say there are plenty of times when it's recognized that the other team just made a good play and that's that. Example - Reggie Wayne's TD catch on the end-zone sideline on Sunday. We all bash on Reeves and to some extent Bennett, for the mistakes that they make, or when they don't even turn around for the ball when they're not looking at the WR, etc. In the play I'm referencing, however, Reggie Wayne just made a great catch. The CB could have maybe made a better play, but I doubt even that would have made a difference. That is one reason (of the many) I can't fault the defense for giving up that TD.

However, when you see Matt Jones just gash us on slant after slant after slant, you have to start asking, at what point does Richard Smith pick up on the fact they they're going to run a slant, and maybe drop an OLB into the area? How many times does Kerry Collins or Garrard have to take off running before you assign a spy? Smith sucks at making adjustments.

KEYE SUX
10-09-2008, 12:24 PM
We should do fine against the wildcat offense since they only run it a few times per game? I mean, teams hardly ever run OBVIOUS fake kicks and we shut that down easy.

Polo
10-09-2008, 12:29 PM
It's usually a combination of both, actually, but I'd say there are plenty of times when it's recognized that the other team just made a good play and that's that. Example - Reggie Wayne's TD catch on the end-zone sideline on Sunday. We all bash on Reeves and to some extent Bennett, for the mistakes that they make, or when they don't even turn around for the ball when they're not looking at the WR, etc. In the play I'm referencing, however, Reggie Wayne just made a great catch. The CB could have maybe made a better play, but I doubt even that would have made a difference. That is one reason (of the many) I can't fault the defense for giving up that TD.

However, when you see Matt Jones just gash us on slant after slant after slant, you have to start asking, at what point does Richard Smith pick up on the fact they they're going to run a slant, and maybe drop an OLB into the area? How many times does Kerry Collins or Garrard have to take off running before you assign a spy? Smith sucks at making adjustments.

I understand what you're saying, but how much of that is based on your perception of the situation?

How do we know that it was the defensive scheme that was allowing Matt Jones to continuously make catches?

You talk about dropping linebackers into that area, but that means you're going to make yourself vulnerable somewhere else...

We've got a lot of players on defense that have been lacking some key components to their game (speed, strength, smarts,aggresiveness, cohesiveness)...How can he scheme around all of that with his lack of resources against good offenses, when good defenses have their own troubles with these same offenses ?



How many times did Kerry collins abuse us by running the ball ?

And there was a spy on Garrard...

Mr. White
10-09-2008, 12:31 PM
Wildcat offense or not, I don't think that the idea of facing a Richard Smith defense is keeping any OC's up at night.

Goldensilence
10-09-2008, 12:33 PM
Wildcat offense or not, I don't think that the idea of facing a Richard Smith defense is keeping any OC's up at night.

I think so. But unfortunately he keeps them up for all the wrong reasons.

Double Barrel
10-09-2008, 12:41 PM
Is there ever a point where the other team was just better ?

It's a very good question, and reminds me of a recent radio show interview with DeMeco Ryans within the past couple of weeks. Somebody called in and asked why we don't blitz more. DeMeco basically said that we don't have the personnel to get away with a more aggressive blitz-oriented playcalling. It didn't come across like he was calling out his fellow defenders. It sounded (to me) like an honest answer that we shouldn't try to play a style that we are not geared towards.

So, yeah, the Gerrard play is definitely one that could be considered as being beaten by a better team. And that fact was driven home after watching a replay of last year's playoff game with the Jaguars and Steelers. 4th and 2 inside the two minute warning, Jax trailing by 1, and Gerrard ran the exact same play of dropping back, finding no open man, and running. He ended up getting around 30 yards on that play to set up the FG. Obviously, the Steelers are a much better team than the Texans and they got beat by the same play, too. I have a lot of respect for Gerrard. It is probably saying something about our team that we were able to hang with them into an OT situation.

Brando
10-09-2008, 12:47 PM
And there was a spy on Garrard...


I finally looked back(sometimes it's hard to watch after a loss) on the Jax game and your right on the TD play it looks like they had Demps and Okoye spying on Garrard but Okoye just missed the tackle. On the 4th and 8th play they didn't though.

Polo
10-09-2008, 12:54 PM
It's a very good question, and reminds me of a recent radio show interview with DeMeco Ryans within the past couple of weeks. Somebody called in and asked why we don't blitz more. DeMeco basically said that we don't have the personnel to get away with a more aggressive blitz-oriented playcalling. It didn't come across like he was calling out his fellow defenders. It sounded (to me) like an honest answer that we shouldn't try to play a style that we are not geared towards.

So, yeah, the Gerrard play is definitely one that could be considered as being beaten by a better team. And that fact was driven home after watching a replay of last year's playoff game with the Jaguars and Steelers. 4th and 2 inside the two minute warning, Jax trailing by 1, and Gerrard ran the exact same play of dropping back, finding no open man, and running. He ended up getting around 30 yards on that play to set up the FG. Obviously, the Steelers are a much better team than the Texans and they got beat by the same play, too. I have a lot of respect for Gerrard. It is probably saying something about our team that we were able to hang with them into an OT situation.

Coaches depend on players on game day more than people realize I think...
My coach used to tell us all the time that we need to speak up about things that are going on on the field because we have a different perspective and might be picking up on different things that players are doing...He'd always be asking for our input...

We even suggested plays and a lot of times we ran them...

The Slant plays by Jones: Why do we assume Richard Smith's Scheme is poor vs Is there anything that the cornerback could have done to react faster or is there anything that he could have picked up on to let him know the slant was coming ?

With so many things going on, it's just hard for me to blame a defensive breakdown on the co-ordinator...He can't account for every possibility...

Yes there are some blatant situations in which a co-ordinator f'ed up, but honestly I haven't seen a lot of that with Smith...

Yes it's true that his scheme isn't complex, but I have to wonder how much of that is because of personnel...

Either way, when something goes wrong, I think a lot of fans feel like there's something 'we could have done differently'...

I'm not sure that's always the case...

Just because they beat us one way doesn't mean they couldn't have beat us another way if we'd have called something different...

Jump on Smith for his simple schemes and weird DE's in pass coverage packages, but I just don't think that he's all that bad when I consider everything....He's definitely not a GREAT coordinator, but I think he takes more lumps than he really deserves...Just my two cent

Polo
10-09-2008, 12:56 PM
I finally looked back(sometimes it's hard to watch after a loss) on the Jax game and your right on the TD play it looks like they had Demps and Okoye spying on Garrard but Okoye just missed the tackle. On the 4th and 8th play they didn't though.

Yeah...I tried to explain that at the time, but a lot of folks pretty much glossed over that and just said Smith did nothing about it...

eriadoc
10-09-2008, 01:09 PM
I hear what you're saying Polo, but vs. the slants, you have to make that adjustment. If that play is killing you and you drop a LB into zone coverage there, you're weakening yourself against the run, basically. But at least you're in the chess game now instead of just watching the opposing team pick off your pieces.

Smith didn't make the Jags work for it. The Jags knew they had their fail safe plays and they ran them until the Texans stopped it, which was never.

GP
10-09-2008, 01:36 PM
It's usually a combination of both, actually, but I'd say there are plenty of times when it's recognized that the other team just made a good play and that's that. Example - Reggie Wayne's TD catch on the end-zone sideline on Sunday. We all bash on Reeves and to some extent Bennett, for the mistakes that they make, or when they don't even turn around for the ball when they're not looking at the WR, etc. In the play I'm referencing, however, Reggie Wayne just made a great catch. The CB could have maybe made a better play, but I doubt even that would have made a difference. That is one reason (of the many) I can't fault the defense for giving up that TD.

However, when you see Matt Jones just gash us on slant after slant after slant, you have to start asking, at what point does Richard Smith pick up on the fact they they're going to run a slant, and maybe drop an OLB into the area? How many times does Kerry Collins or Garrard have to take off running before you assign a spy? Smith sucks at making adjustments.

What he said.

TexansSeminole
10-09-2008, 01:42 PM
It's the real deal. I've got a bunch of Dolphins fan friends and I watch them every week. This package is the real deal. I would like to point out that rarely if they ever have handed off to Ricky for the end around. Usually Ronnie just keeps it, everytime I have seen it anyway. It will not be easy stopping this.

I wouldn't be too worried about that formation if I were Richard Smith...Of course you have to touch on it and find a way to stop it when they do line up in it...

If they've only run it 16 times for 167yards times in 5 games that's less than 4 times a game for a little over ten yards a pop...I haven't watched a whole lot of Miami, but the clips I've seen of them running it seem to mostly be close to the goal line...

I'm more worried about their defense...

Except the one that Ronnie took 40+ yards after TRUCKING Merriweather of UM fame.

I've seen them run it in all kinds of downs and distances, and all kinds of spots on the football field. We will see this in the game, and we need to know that it works and is not just some gimmick formation.

OH YEA, and they threw from this formation. Ronnie threw a touchdown to their TE. That was the game against the Pats in which case Ronnie had 4 rushing TDs and a passing TD. Same game they introduced this formation.

Hooston Texan
10-09-2008, 03:28 PM
My in-laws are Arkansan, so I've watched many Razorback games over the last few years. The Wildcat can be controlled: McFadden and Jones made some huge plays out of the formation, but more than a few defenses held it well in check.

THE GOOD NEWS: For all of our dismay at our CBs, they do a better-than-average job against the run, and that will be an asset for us against the edge-oriented runs out of the formation. Also, if Mario can consistently get in the backfield, then the play will be more predictable (the option will always be run away from Mario) and thus more defensible. So I would have him fire off the line more like a pass-rusher whenever he sees Brown in the shotgun.

On the other hand, we'll really need the linebackers to step up. They must stay disciplined and alert but then react like hell once they've got the play diagnosed.

eriadoc
10-09-2008, 03:42 PM
My in-laws are Arkansan, so I've watched many Razorback games over the last few years. The Wildcat can be controlled: McFadden and Jones made some huge plays out of the formation, but more than a few defenses held it well in check.

THE GOOD NEWS: For all of our dismay at our CBs, they do a better-than-average job against the run, and that will be an asset for us against the edge-oriented runs out of the formation. Also, if Mario can consistently get in the backfield, then the play will be more predictable (the option will always be run away from Mario) and thus more defensible. So I would have him fire off the line more like a pass-rusher whenever he sees Brown in the shotgun.

On the other hand, we'll really need the linebackers to step up. They must stay disciplined and alert but then react like hell once they've got the play diagnosed.

Oh yeah, I am definitely starting Ronnie Brown in my fantasy league now.

Texan_Bill
10-09-2008, 03:46 PM
The Texans "D" is going to make the "Wildcat Offense" choke on a hair ball...


:fans:

Brando
10-09-2008, 04:26 PM
SAPP SAYS WILDCAT IS “DISRESPECTFUL”


Former NFL loudmouth player Warren Sapp apparently is attempting to carve as niche as a loudmouth analyst. While we’ve generally got no problem with Sapp being a loudmouth, if he’s going to be a loudmouth it also helps to be persuasive in his loudmouthedness.With the Miami Dolphins’ new Wildcat formation fueling wins over the two AFC finalists from a year ago, Sapp has offered up a misguided (and loudmouthed) critique of the attack.

“This is disrespectful to all defenses,” Sapp declared during his weekly appearance on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, via Tim Graham of ESPN.com. “It’s disrespectful. You’re taking the best player in the game, the quarterback, and you’re putting him out wide, outside the numbers, and you put the running back in the back.

“How the hell you going to throw the ball? I’m not even thinking about throw right now. I’m going to get everybody in the gap. It’s just power ‘O.’ You have the running back with the ball already in his hand.”



pft (http://www.profootballtalk.com/2008/10/09/sapp-says-wildcat-is-disrespectful/)


Sapp says some weird things sometimes. How is this disrespecting the defense? It's called showing different formations. I don't know about that guy.....

Double Barrel
10-09-2008, 05:20 PM
Sapp is a blowhard. I'm not that impressed with him as an analyst. His mouth landed him that gig more than anything else. JMO

leebigeztx
10-09-2008, 07:14 PM
Cower was on siriusand was asked what he would do aand he said blitz it. Get everyone moving forward and split the diference on the qb and hope they throw it to the qb so he could get blown up. Especially the bacckside.

Speedy
10-09-2008, 09:06 PM
Let's assume for a minute that Dickie Smith doesn't have a clue. I know it's a stretch, but use your imagination.

What do you do defensively to defend the single wing?

RipTraxx
10-09-2008, 09:33 PM
Let's assume for a minute that Dickie Smith doesn't have a clue. I know it's a stretch, but use your imagination.

What do you do defensively to defend the single wing?

Its not trickery they use. It relys on execution. They line up Ronnie right behind center...YOU KNOW he's getting the ball. Its about execution.

b0ng
10-09-2008, 10:43 PM
I'd imagine that a defensive audible to have the corners blitz would probably cause some problems. If Brown has to truck somebody behind the line it'll probably cause the loss of time to get to the LOS, and if he has to throw the ball on the run or possibly have a loss on the play, he might make a bad decision.

Two Tacos
10-10-2008, 05:20 PM
I wouldn't be too worried about that formation if I were Richard Smith...Of course you have to touch on it and find a way to stop it when they do line up in it...

If they've only run it 16 times for 167yards times in 5 games that's less than 4 times a game for a little over ten yards a pop...I haven't watched a whole lot of Miami, but the clips I've seen of them running it seem to mostly be close to the goal line...

I'm more worried about their defense...

Dolphin fan here.

They've only run it the last two games, 5 or 6 times against the Pats, and like 11 times last week against the Chargers. Also, they run it from an unbalanced line. The line goes TE G C G T T. They don't run it the same each time, once a WR was the motion guy instead of Ricky. They've also only run it on 3-4 teams. Ronnie has thrown from it and Ricky has setup to throw but pulled it back down and ran. I don't know if they'll run it on Sunday, but it's fun to watch if they do. Well, fun for me if it works anyway, you guys might have different opinions.

NBT
10-10-2008, 06:11 PM
Just stuff it!

CloakNNNdagger
10-10-2008, 11:06 PM
Here's some info (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Football-Instruction-2069/Double-Wing-T.htm) that may clarify what might be expected with the "wildcat" and how to counter it.:

The Double Wing Offense is nothing more than the old Single Wing Offense with a new variation. All the old plays from the Single Wing Offense are still there, but with a new twist.

The weaknesses of the Single Wing Offense are that most coaches know that the Single Wing Offense is 80-90% run offense. So the defense stack the strong side (the side the wing man lines up on) to take away the power running game. This is why a lot of teams stopped running the Single Wing Offense. A few years later the Double Wing Offense was born.

The Double Wing Offense has all the advantages of the Single Wing. However, it keeps the defense from keying the wing man and stacking its players to that side. The Double Wing Offense forces the defense to keep a balance front.


Here are some tips on how to handle the Double Wing Offense.

1. Do not chase, stay at home. The Double Wing Offense wants you to chase the football, they will get the defense running in one direction and come back, with the ball, the other way.

2. Play gap control. Everyone stays at home and makes great one on one tackling.

3. Key the guards. If the guard pulls inside (towards the center) have your man stay on his hip. If the guard pulls outside (away from the center), have the defender stay at home, looking for a trap play coming from the inside.

4. Quarterback is very important! Assign a man to the quarterback. The quarterback must be tackled on every play. The quarterback is the key. If he is being tackled on every play, he will not be able to drop back and pass or run with the ball.

You might get burned on a halfback pass, but the halfback is not the quarterback and he is not going to win the game for them.

5. You must keep on eyes on the wing-backs. They are used on counter plays up the middle and to the backside. Anytime that a wing-back is not blocking, and moves inside towards the center, it's a counter play. The defensive players must yell counter play, to let the center and back side of the defense know that the counter or reverse play is coming their way.



The Double-Wing Offense will do everything in their capability to make their power sweep work. They will use an unbalanced line. They will place the tailback in motion away from the play to get you to think they are not going to run their power sweep, but they will. They will place the tailback in motion to the play side to loosen up the contain man. When the defense sees the motion man, they start thinking swing-pass and loosen up. The offense will place a wide receiver to the wingback's side. The contain man will now have to be concern with the look-in pass or being block by the receiver.

The best advice I can give you to help stop the Double Wing Offense is, key the guards’ block. Place a man head-up on the offensive center. By placing a man head-up on the offensive center, you force the offense to double team the nose guard. Tell your linebackers to read the double team block. If the right guard down blocks on the nose guard, the play is going to the right. If the left guard double teams the nose guard, the play is going to the left. It is that simple.

eriadoc
10-10-2008, 11:22 PM
2. Play gap control. Everyone stays at home and makes great one on one tackling.

We're screwed.

4. Quarterback is very important! Assign a man to the quarterback. The quarterback must be tackled on every play. The quarterback is the key. If he is being tackled on every play, he will not be able to drop back and pass or run with the ball.

Like Garrard?

Double Barrel
10-10-2008, 11:45 PM
Here's some info (http://en.allexperts.com/q/Football-Instruction-2069/Double-Wing-T.htm) that may clarify what might be expected with the "wildcat" and how to counter it.:

Thanks for the info.

I like the idea of NFL teams trying different ideas, especially old school approaches. But with all 'trickery', the NFL has a way of equalizing over time. Reading Cloak's post, teams will just plan for it and obviously be somewhat aware of it's potential use. Miami has the personnel to make it work, so it's fun to watch. Hopefully our D is up to the task this week.