View Full Version : Cleveland's offense gets a Wildcat infusion

10-18-2009, 11:12 PM
Cleveland's offense gets a Wildcat infusion
By Mark Kaboly
Daily News Sports Editor
Monday, October 19, 2009

When your offense produces such futile numbers from the quarterback position like it did last week, something has to be done.

For Cleveland coach Eric Mangini, he finally relented and dusted off his most dynamic weapon in Joshua Cribbs and unveiled a heavy does of the "Wildcat" for the first time Sunday at Heinz Field against the Steelers.

Cribbs lined up as the quarterback in the Wildcat offense for eight of Cleveland's first 14 offensive plays. Those plays resulted in 37 yards, three first downs and one of Cleveland's deepest penetrations of the game to the Steelers' 13 late in the first quarter.

"Aggressive defenses over-run things," said Cribbs about why the Wildcat worked against the Steelers. "Our coaches tried to get me the ball and make things happen."

But all of that went away with one flick of the wrist.

Cribbs, who threw 55 touchdown passes during his collegiate career at Kent State, threw a pass in the right flat intended for Chansi Stuckey that was intercepted by Troy Polamalu.

For the next three-plus quarters, the Browns ran only five more Wildcat plays as they fell to the Steelers, 27-14.

"I have to make better decisions and not try to do too much," said Cribbs, who would later return a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. "It is unacceptable. I don't feel that I did good enough."

Cribbs led the Browns with 45 yards rushing, but the Wildcat was practically invisible after the Polamalu interception.

"To run the Wildcat after that, they had to feel comfortable with me and that I was going to make the proper decision running it," Cribbs said. "I had to assure them that I would."

Save for a season-opening goal-line series against the Minnesota Vikings, the Browns have used the Wildcat formation very little this year.

Still, the Steelers weren't shocked to see it.

"We expected to see some of it, but not as much as they ended up giving us," Steelers linebacker James Harrison said.

The Browns used the formation multiple times in only three of their 12 drives. There was a reason for that, according to Cribbs.

"We didn't want to run it out to the point where they had an answer for it," he said. "We wanted to hit them every other play or every other drive to keep them on their toes."

Added Mangini: "I don't necessarily think (the Wildcat) is going to be the cornerstone of our offense."

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

10-18-2009, 11:14 PM
The wildcat works against the Steelers? That was one game :screwy:

10-19-2009, 01:03 AM
i was gettin soo pissed off wen they kept runnin the WC. i felt like i was in a bad game of madden 10, with a noob who ran the WC every play cuz they couldnt do anything else....


10-19-2009, 02:34 AM
Wildcat = fad

Galax Steeler
10-19-2009, 04:25 AM
It only worked that one time when Cribbs got about 11 yards then after that we shut it down. I am not a big fan of it.