Armando Salguero

The Wildcat play is back in Miami, but will it stay?

MIAMI HERALD

The Miami Dolphins offense is so innovative, it’s trying a lot of wrinkles such as the Wildcat play last week against New Orleans.

That’s one way to look at it.

Another way?

The Dolphins offense is so desperate, it’s trying a lot of wrinkles including the long-outdated Wildcat play last week against New Orleans.

“Something we wanted to do against them,” coach Adam Gase said of the play the team tried against New Orleans in a 20-0 loss. “With what they did and what we had planned to do, we thought we were good. We just didn’t do a good job executing it.”

That’s true. The Dolphins gained nothing on the one Wildcat play they ran against the Saints because four different players missed their assignment on the play. That’s not a random number. Four guys missed assignments on that play.

And that kind of ruined things going forward. It also didn’t help the Dolphins seemed to be a little out of sorts after the play failed.

“I had something I wanted to call off of that,” Gase said. “Something that I wanted to call. If we would have gotten back to the huddle. So, I mean, very frustrating on that play knowing what we had planned and what happened.”

The Wildcat play was a fascination, and really, an NFL fad started by the Dolphins in 2008. The team rode the play to an 11-5 record and its last AFC East title.

So what does the team running the play last Sunday mean?

Will Gase keep it in the arsenal?

Will he expand it?

Listening to the coach talk, the play needs to obviously work for it to become a thing. I recall Tony Sparano telling me back in 2008 that if the first couple of Wildcat plays at New England had flopped, that would have been the end of Wildcat.

But they worked. And so the team kept calling them.

On Sunday the blocking for Ajayi’s carry on Wildcat failed miserably. So we never saw it again.

The question now is whether the Dolphins will try the play again? Perhaps even this week?

I suppose that has to do with the Tennessee defense. I suppose that has to do with corrections the Dolphins make in practice.

I know for sure the Titans will now be looking out for it. They’ll probably dedicate some practice time to stopping a Miami Wildcat play.

“It’s same play we run if the running back is back there compared to quarterback,” Gase said. “It’s the same play. Everything’s the same. It’s not that hard.”

One thing about the play: Quarterback Jay Cutler lines up as wide receiver way, way off the line of scrimmage. And folks, including me, noticed his body langauge on the play suggested he wanted no part of contact on the play.

There’s a reason for this. Cutler was under orders to stay off the line and uninvolved so as to not get him hit and possibly injured.

“As soon as he steps forward they can knock the ... I won’t say it. They can hit him,” Gase said. “If he steps back or doesn’t move, now you’re looking at a different kind of penalty.”

But what about the quarterback’s posture? His body language?

Was that a concern?

“No,” Gase said. “You guys worry about a lot more things than I do.”

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