The Wildcat: Isn't this the Wing T?

What’s up with everyone running the “Wildcat”. It looks like Knute Rockne’s 4 horsemen formation.

While I understand having a trick play with the RB throwing a pass, why would you want that several times a game?

If an offense has the personnel to pull it off, a formation that says “We’re coming straight at you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop us,” has got to be extremely demoralizing.

Against teams with poor gap control it works well. Against good defenses it doesn’t work as well. The LBs and safeties mind their gaps and don’t get gouged too bad by it. I think it will hang around a few years and then go back to gadget play status.

Rockne’s Four Horsemen formation.
Miami Dolphins’ wildcat.

These are nothing alike.

There is a whole thread about the Wildcat still on the first page.

Right, in particular watch this video that’s linked in the other thread. Also this article (link broken in other thread). HB-pass trick plays really have almost nothing to do with it.

I don’t know about that. The Jets have a good defense and it worked gangbusters against them. Ditto the Colts, who are pretty good.

My current theory is that being a good defense generally and being good at defending the wildcat are two different, mostly independent things.

A still picture of the old Rockne formation isn’t much help to see how it worked. The “Notre Dame Box” formation involved all four members of the backfield going in motion before the snap. Notre Dame was so dominate with that offense they changed the rule book to limit presnap motion. Confusingly, the Box was an alternative to the “single wing” formation which also gets compared to the modern Wildcat.

How about a youtube video? The formation is significantly different.

The Colts aren’t good against the run. The Jets are good though. I think they’ll adapt to it, they’re still learning a new defense. The Steelers and Ravens who have a lot of veterans who know the system should be able to stop the Wildcat more consistently. Granted if the Wildcat works against everyone but them that’s not much of an argument against it, is it? If I were an offensive co-ordinator I would be running it right now until teams show they can adapt to it but I think I would be more inclined to try an unbalanced line to exploit a weak run defense.

It’s the fake handoff to Ricky Williams that does it, at least for the 'phins. At least three players runs towards the offensive left to contain Williams, which leaves Brown with only five in-the-box defenders to worry about (assuming both safeties move up, which is likely).

Williams is in effect tying up three defenders - not even Anthony Munoz could do that.

The Wildcat, by replacing the QB (who gets out of the way after a hand-off in most situations), with a running back who can block/decoy defenders. In effect, the offense gets to play with an extra man, making the defense’s job harder.