As Nevada game week approaches, and we get ready to spend some serious time next week covering the vaunted “Pistol” offense, I figured it’d be a good time for us to start talking about other offensive systems that get everybody fired up. Lately, no offense has captured the hearts and minds of football coaches more than the Wildcat.
(You’ve got to think, at least subliminally, it has something to do with the Goldie Hawn movie...)
Even with colleges running the offense for the past, oh -- I don’t know -- century, once the Miami Dolphins decided to line Ronnie Brown up behind center and had a bit of success flustering the Patriots, it became cooler than some of those popular iPhone apps.
Now every NFL team is starting to think about Wildcat quarterbacks. Michael Vick -- put him in the Wildcat! Tim Tebow -- take him in the first round, he can play in the Wildcat!
Let’s play the Wildcat game:
Step One: Take mobile college quarterback who, up until this year, would only have negatives next to his name because he’s not a prototypical dropback passer.
Step Two: Have the boys at ESPN or the NFL Network break down his 40-yard dash and 3-cone drill at the combine and start hypothesizing if he can maybe transition to Wildcat quarterback.
Step Three: Completely disregard the years of college film you have of the quarterback playing in the Spread or some other incredibly close derivation of the Wildcat.
Step Four: Reach up the draft board a good full round, and if any negative press comes, just start dropping hints that this guy might be your Wildcat quarterback.
Step Five: Run the same four plays that the Dolphins ran, and the rest of the NFL will this year.
In case you’re wondering what this has to do with Notre Dame, I’m starting the official rally for a new Wildcat quarterback. Before you even point at the Demetrius Jones experiment, I’m going to tell you why it’ll be different this time.
The Double-D era was a long time ago. What we learned as the year went on was that no offensive system was going to work. ND could’ve had Saint Tebow himself back there, I’m pretty sure he’d have still been shrugging off defensive lineman in the backfield within seconds of the snap.
Now the Irish have the weapons to do something like this. It could be a good wrinkle to throw in if the offense is sputtering, or if the Irish are up 30 on Boston College and want to put a little salt in their wounds. The squad even has the perfect candidate to run the system.
Sure, he’s in the two-deep at safety, but we could unleash a cult hero the likes of Tommy Z with some sterling Wildcat play. Before a season-ending neck injury stopped his senior season short, this guy was one of the more unstoppable dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.
I’ll just let the video do the talking:
While the scars of the 2007 debacle might still feel fresh, it seems right for the Irish to at least think about another run at the Wildcat.
Besides, everybody else is doing it.