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View Full Version : No Wildcat in Arians' offense


Galax Steeler
08-20-2009, 05:05 AM
It doesn't matter that they have a quarterback who is an ideal fit for the package, a player who can run as well as he can throw.

It doesn't matter that they used the package last season after borrowing the scheme from the University of Arkansas.

It doesn't even matter that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said on national television that the package will revolutionize the National Football League this season.

There is only one NFL team in the state of Pennsylvania that might be running the Wildcat package this season, but it's not the Steelers.

"I've seen what people are going to do to it," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "Once our defense saw it enough times, they devised something to stop it. Defenses are catching on real quick."

Then he added: "Plus, I'm not taking a $100 million quarterback and playing him at wide receiver. Or on the bench."

The reference was to Ben Roethlisberger, who would line at wide receiver in the package and pretend to be a wide receiver when the ball was directly snapped to the running back. The other option would have been to remove Roethlisberger and replace him with Dennis Dixon.

The Steelers though, did not put in the Wildcat package because they drafted Dixon, who had 6,337 yards total offense at Oregon. They had already added the formation to their playbook as a way to further feature Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker.

But after using the Wildcat package for four plays in the preseason, the Steelers never used the formation again until they pulled it out for one play in the Super Bowl. And Parker was stopped for no gain.

"I'd love to do it," said Dixon, a fifth-round pick in 2008. "That's something I did in college. I'm used to it. You got to know when to do it and when not to do it because it takes a toll on your body if you don't use it correctly."

It appears now he won't get the chance -- at least not with the Steelers.

The Carolina Panthers are generally regarded as the first NFL team to use the Wildcat package on a consistent basis, using the formation for the first 12 plays of the opening drive in a December 2006 game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers' offensive coordinator at the time was Dan Henning.

When Henning became the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins last season, he used the same package in a September game against the New England Patriots, and it gained instant popularity. Using running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams in the shotgun, the Dolphins scored five touchdowns on six plays from the Wildcat formation (four rushing, one passing) and befuddled the Patriots in a 38-13 upset victory.

The Dolphins quarterback coach is David Lee, who ran the scheme when he was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. The Wildcat package features no quarterback and two running backs, and the back has the option of handing off, running or throwing after taking a direct snap.

"Unless the guy is a legit thrower, it's not as effective," Arians said. "The only team doing it is Miami with Ronnie Brown, and he's really good. Ronnie can throw a little.

"The people who made it successful were at Arkansas with [Darren] McFadden. McFadden could throw a little bit and they had a lot of success. But there were two or three teams that just shut them flat down. If they were in the NFL, these teams aren't stupid. They'll look at the teams that [shut them down] and copy the defense.

"Ronnie Brown is the only one successful enough. There's not a team in this league that can do it -- I take that back, six games from now, there will be one."

Arians was referring to the Philadelphia Eagles, who signed quarterback Michael Vick last week and plan to use him in a Wildcat package once he serves a six-game suspension.

All those rumors about Vick coming to the Steelers to run the Wildcat?

They wouldn't have had a package to use him.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09232/992068-66.stm

mmalone
08-20-2009, 07:35 AM
They had already added the formation to their playbook as a way to further feature Pro Bowl running back Willie Parker.

But after using the Wildcat package for four plays in the preseason, the Steelers never used the formation again until they pulled it out for one play in the Super Bowl. And Parker was stopped for no gain.


one try and parker for no gain.. i guess parker without an FB up the middle should be scratched too.. :rolleyes: The logic from the OC is just amazing...

fansince'76
08-20-2009, 08:46 AM
It doesn't even matter that former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden said on national television that the package will revolutionize the National Football League this season.

There's also a reason he's a FORMER HC and sitting in a broadcast booth now.

wootawnee
08-20-2009, 08:55 AM
"I've seen what people are going to do to it," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "Once our defense saw it enough times, they devised something to stop it. Defenses are catching on real quick." Then he added... "Plus, I'm not taking a $100 million quarterback and playing him at wide receiver. Or on the bench."


Defenses catch on to alot of things real quick.......He sounds close-minded and a little too negative to me........Someone needs to tackle someone on the sidelines and ring his bell.....Maybe that will put a light on up in there.......:coffee:

fansince'76
08-20-2009, 09:00 AM
"I've seen what people are going to do to it," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. "Once our defense saw it enough times, they devised something to stop it. Defenses are catching on real quick." Then he added... "Plus, I'm not taking a $100 million quarterback and playing him at wide receiver. Or on the bench."


Defenses catch on to alot of things real quick.......He sounds close-minded and a little too negative to me........Someone needs to tackle someone on the sidelines and ring his bell.....Maybe that will put a light on up in there.......:coffee:

Ummm, he's right. Outside of that one Miami/NE game last year, when was the Wildcat run with any real success? NE even shut it down in the 2nd game between the two teams last season.

mmalone
08-20-2009, 09:03 AM
Then he added: "Plus, I'm not taking a $100 million quarterback and playing him at wide receiver. Or on the bench."

Whats been happening to our $100 miilion dollar boy for two years??

Parker was stopped once for no gain in wildcat... well stop doing that...

Ben getting crushed 100's of times season, stay the course....

the logic is surreal...

i honestly hate the wildcat myself.. but the logic from this guy just kills me all the time...

fansince'76
08-20-2009, 09:12 AM
Whats been happening to our $100 miilion dollar boy for two years??

Parker was stopped once for no gain in wildcat... well stop doing that...

Ben getting crushed 100's of times season, stay the course....

the logic is surreal...

i honestly hate the wildcat myself.. but the logic from this guy just kills me all the time...

So I guess the 46 sacks Ben took in '06 when Whiz was still OC and Arians was still the WRs coach was Arians' fault too?

If he would have run the Wildcat more often with the same success (none), you'd be bitching about that.

Hate to break it to you, but he's not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Deal already.

The_WARDen
08-20-2009, 09:26 AM
The wildcat is a fraud.

If you have to resort to tricky, you're not really that good to begin with.

mmalone
08-20-2009, 09:35 AM
So I guess the 46 sacks Ben took in '06 when Whiz was still OC and Arians was still the WRs coach was Arians' fault too?

If he would have run the Wildcat more often with the same success (none), you'd be bitching about that.

Hate to break it to you, but he's not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. Deal already.

he just gets under my skin, his logic and the way he talks kills me....

theyll break dixon in half, i wont play him..

they stopped parker once, im done with that.

the OL only caused 19 sacks.... then its the plays??? or the rest of the team sucks to?? or they are just not coached right?? what is it???

ben said yesterday, we were #23 on offense, we need to fix that....
we cant let the defense win the games.. ben said...

please answer me, dont pick on me, im not on the field, just observing...

answer the question marks, dont change the subject....

SteelMember
08-20-2009, 10:19 AM
The wildcat in name is a new thing. The wildcat as a scheme is not.

I'm suprised at all the press it gets honestly. Once defences are used to seeing/planning for it, then it won't be as successful, thus making it only a few pages in a playbook...again.

our OC dosen't have that many new "trick plays" (that I've see anyway), so it dosen't suprise me that he's not interested in the old ones.

BTW, have you seen guys like Parker and Holmes throw? If you did, you wouldn't be calling for it either. And we've already debated the Dixon part. He's a pocket passer, not a scramble and run guy. :noidea:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-20-2009, 10:39 AM
I love it!!!!! :banana: Thanks BA for telling us how it is.

Now I just hope its not all a smokescreen and in reality Dixon is the starting wildcat QB. :doh:

revefsreleets
08-20-2009, 10:40 AM
If Arians said he WAS running the wildcat, the haters would hate on him. He says he's not, so the haters hate on him for NOT. If this is a smokescreen , and they ARE running the wild cat, the haters will hate him for running it if we DON'T score a TD on the play, and they'll call him a liar and hate on him if it DOES score a TD.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-20-2009, 10:48 AM
If Arians said he WAS running the wildcat, the haters would hate on him. He says he's not, so the haters hate on him for NOT. If this is a smokescreen , and they ARE running the wild cat, the haters will hate him for running it if we DON'T score a TD on the play, and they'll call him a liar and hate on him if it DOES score a TD.

You lost me there, but I think I get the gist of it.


Funny thing is that I was reading "The Blind Side" The book about Michael Oher and they talked about how his highschool used to run gadget plays all the time because they never had the talent to take on teams head on. Then, with Oher they played the rest of the season where almost every run was behind him and they win a championship.

I think that example shows that if you can matchup skill wise, you play a team head on and go north-south. If you lack the talent to matchup, you have to resort to gadget packages and trick plays. I think Arians believes he has the offensive system and players to be productive.........something about that Lombardi might reinforce his thinking.:noidea:

revefsreleets
08-20-2009, 10:52 AM
You lost me there, but I think I get the gist of it.


Funny thing is that I was reading "The Blind Side" The book about Michael Oher and they talked about how his highschool used to run gadget plays all the time because they never had the talent to take on teams head on. Then, with Oher they played the rest of the season where almost every run was behind him and they win a championship.

I think that example shows that if you can matchup skill wise, you play a team head on and go north-south. If you lack the talent to matchup, you have to resort to gadget packages and trick plays. I think Arians believes he has the offensive system and players to be productive.........something about that Lombardi might reinforce his thinking.:noidea:

It's quite simple: No matter WHAT Arians does, he will be hated by his haters. Even if he RAN the wildcat and it worked to perfect, and we scored a 99 yard TD on the play, his haters would hearken back to this article and castigate him for being a liar.

MasterOfPuppets
08-20-2009, 10:53 AM
"Unless the guy is a legit thrower, it's not as effective," Arians said.
then why did it work for kordell ??? :laughing:

truesteelerfan
08-20-2009, 11:33 AM
He doesn't want to run any Wildcat formations because that would be too adventuresome for him. Its hard to do a run, run, pass routine when an OC gets crazy and calls things like a wildcat!

revefsreleets
08-20-2009, 12:09 PM
He doesn't want to run any Wildcat formations because that would be too adventuresome for him. Its hard to do a run, run, pass routine when an OC gets crazy and calls things like a wildcat!

Sigh....

mmalone
08-20-2009, 12:12 PM
The wildcat is a fraud.

If you have to resort to tricky, you're not really that good to begin with.

i guess that logic works for the story.

we do one wildcat a year, basically like all these other trickery plays...

reverses, flea flickers, statue, double reverses, QB bootleg..... etc.........

were so good we dont need to mix it up... :rolleyes:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-20-2009, 12:23 PM
The view of "lets give the opposing defenses something else to worry about" is really something that doesnt make sense.

In order to run a specialty package like the Wildcat, it takes a lot of practice and time to install it.

So, while many fans think it will detract from defenses time practicing against our regular offense, they forget that it will steal time from our Offense practicing our core offense.

If you are gonna use it, you better practice it a lot and its really just a wrinkle used by teams without a solid offense. I really cant think of any playoff teams othe than the Dolphins that ran it. Steelers, Cards, Ravens, Titans, Chargers, Giants, Eagles??? IMO, its best not to try and emulate failure.

Dino 6 Rings
08-20-2009, 12:36 PM
Honestly....I don't care if I never see the Wildcat in Pittsburgh. Direct Snaps to the Halfback are not knew. Direct Snaps to the WR who then rolls and throws the ball are not new. But designing an entire set of plays called the "Wildcat" are not necessary.

It was specifically designed to put the ball into to McFadden's hands quicker at the Univerity of Arkansas, because their QBs Sucked. McFadden would get the ball and either run it, or dish it off to Felix Jones, the quick back, and they would move the chains. It was only designed because the QBs and WRs weren't good enough to run the Passing Package that Gus Malzon brought to Arkansas from the HighSchool he was at prior to joining the Hogs. This formation, Wildcat, was designed to run the ball with the Running Backs and once in a while keep the defense honest by passing out of it. IT was nothing more than Direct Snapping to the RB but instead of being Sneaky about it, they got the slacker QBs out of the freaking way and allowed DMac to have the ball one second sooner than if he was waiting for a hand off.

Preacher
08-20-2009, 12:49 PM
I was going to respond to this thread... but I am simply out of words for the Arians hate.

LukesDad88
08-20-2009, 12:51 PM
The wildcat is a fraud.

If you have to resort to tricky, you're not really that good to begin with.

You're right. We should send back the Lombardi for XL.


Don't get me wrong, I don't like the Wildcat either.

Steelboy84
08-20-2009, 12:52 PM
I would love to see Dixon in some type of Wildcat or spread formations, even if its just something else to give the opposing defense to prepare for on Sundays. He and Willie would be good in it.

Dino 6 Rings
08-20-2009, 12:57 PM
Pretty sure I explained where the "wildcat" actually came from and Why it was Designed. I was at the Games when they ran the Wild Cat at Arkansas, and actually, saw Malzon's passing offense while he was at Springdale. The problem was, he went to the Hogs to help the passing game, but at the same time Nutt had 2 stud RBs that he refused to take out of the offense and insisted that the Backs get the ball. So Gus came up with a way to get Felix and McFadden the ball quicker, and beat on the SEC Defenses he was facing. He didn't continue to run the WildCat once he got to Tulsa and instead went back to the very complicated Offense he ran at his High School that Dominated the State for years in Arkansas.

Now everyone is running his Spread in HighSchool down here and the Wildcat isn't the "in thing" because...you only use it when your QB sucks and you want to get the ball to your Stud RB faster. Sure as a gimmick, it worked for the Dolphins last year in the first game against the Pats, but after that, once there was film on it, it didn't work. Why? Because Brown isn't a STUD RB at the NFL Level, he's good, but he's not as dominant as McFadden was when he was at Arkansas. McFadden single handley beat LSU at LSU the year LSU won the National Title. Wildcat Good for that. Wildcat in the NFL, not so much.

Now White, from WVU who the Dolphins Drafted won't actually be running a WildCat per say, he'll be running a Spread Option, just like he did at WVU. Two Totally different types of things.

Dino 6 Rings
08-20-2009, 12:59 PM
Teebow as well, runs a Shotgun Spread Option offense, not the Wild Cat. So the second I hear any ESPN commentator say "Teebow and the Wild Cat" going up to next year's draft, I'm personally driving to the ESPN Home Office and punching whoever says that right in the face. Then I'm kicking them in the neck...then...punching them in the face a second time for good measure.

Dino 6 Rings
08-20-2009, 01:01 PM
Oh and for the Record, Dixon ran a Spread Offense in College...not a Wildcat offense.

The_WARDen
08-20-2009, 01:09 PM
You're right. We should send back the Lombardi for XL.


Don't get me wrong, I don't like the Wildcat either.

the offense was pedestrian at best and our QB was putrid...hence, they had to resort to a trick play.

MasterOfPuppets
08-20-2009, 01:16 PM
You lost me there, but I think I get the gist of it.


Funny thing is that I was reading "The Blind Side" The book about Michael Oher and they talked about how his highschool used to run gadget plays all the time because they never had the talent to take on teams head on. Then, with Oher they played the rest of the season where almost every run was behind him and they win a championship.

I think that example shows that if you can matchup skill wise, you play a team head on and go north-south. If you lack the talent to matchup, you have to resort to gadget packages and trick plays. I think Arians believes he has the offensive system and players to be productive.........something about that Lombardi might reinforce his thinking.:noidea: correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't the steelers throw a few gadgets in on thier way to a superbowl in 05 ?... did a "gadget" play not become a factor in winning said superbowl ? .... i'm by no means suggesting they should run a bunch of wildcat plays per game, but i would like to see them draw up a few plays to get dixon on the field every so often. as far as who the advantage in reguards to practice time goes, i'd have to say it goes to the offense. how much time if any that is spent on it during the week is completely thier choice, but every defense has to be leary of it after you show it just once.

Psyychoward86
08-20-2009, 01:18 PM
The wildcat is a fraud.

If you have to resort to tricky, you're not really that good to begin with.

Exactly. Besides, wildcat only works on bad defenses. Yes Patriots, im mouthing off at you too.

Dino 6 Rings
08-20-2009, 01:20 PM
correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't the steelers throw a few gadgets in on thier way to a superbowl in 05 ?... did a "gadget" play not become a factor in winning said superbowl ? .... i'm by no means suggesting they should run a bunch of wildcat plays per game, but i would like to see them draw up a few plays to get dixon on the field every so often. as far as who the advantage in reguards to practice time goes, i'd have to say it goes to the offense. how much time if any that is spent on during the week is completely thier choice, but every defense has to be leary of it after you show it just once.

I tend to agree that running a "trick" play once in a while does in fact have its advantages. Hence the Reason I truly believe Dixon should be the Holder on FGs and PATs, giving the opportunity to have someone other than a punter with the ball in his hands.

I think having Dixon line up as the True QB won't have the effect we desire, unless he was told Not to run in the PreSeason specifically to hide his running ability, I don't see him causing the type of confusion for the defense that Kordell used to when he'd replace Neil in spot situations. I'm not against that type of stuff though, its just Ben is so good with the ball in his hands and wins us games, why take those plays away from Ben.

MasterOfPuppets
08-20-2009, 01:23 PM
I love it!!!!! :banana: Thanks BA for telling us how it is.

Now I just hope its not all a smokescreen and in reality Dixon is the starting wildcat QB. :doh: andy reed said they had no interest in micheal vick right before the signed him ...:wink02:

mmalone
08-20-2009, 01:29 PM
I'm not against that type of stuff though, its just Ben is so good with the ball in his hands and wins us games, why take those plays away from Ben.

that makes sense, with ben and his own personal trick plays running east/west/south/east/spin/dip/north/east/pump/east/north/pass

and making all the yards.. your right we really dont need any other trick plays, we have houdini at the helm...

good one.. never thought of it like that...

maybe other teams will start running their QB's like Ben runs... we can call it
scrambleCAT.... :thumbsup:

scsteeler
08-20-2009, 01:49 PM
The wildcat in name is a new thing. The wildcat as a scheme is not.

I'm suprised at all the press it gets honestly. Once defences are used to seeing/planning for it, then it won't be as successful, thus making it only a few pages in a playbook...again.

our OC dosen't have that many new "trick plays" (that I've see anyway), so it dosen't suprise me that he's not interested in the old ones.

BTW, have you seen guys like Parker and Holmes throw? If you did, you wouldn't be calling for it either. And we've already debated the Dixon part. He's a pocket passer, not a scramble and run guy. :noidea:


Yes the so called Wildcat was being run by a high school in my area over 10 years ago and it was effective a few games that year but they have since quit using it because like Arians stated unless the runner is a threat at passing the defense will soon be shut down and also the reason Parker did not make any yards running it in the SB.

I for one think Arian's understands what he needs to do in order to help the Steeler Offense reach its potential. I know I will get a lot of posters that think I am crazy but Arians in book does a good job of calling the offense.

By the Way I think you are right on in your statements.