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Monday, September 22, 2008
Miami coaches had 'Wildcat' familiarity


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Miami Dolphins quarterbacks coach David Lee is getting much of the credit for installing the gimmick offense they ran Sunday to flummox the New England Patriots.

Running back Ronnie Brown scored four rushing touchdowns in a 38-13 rout. Brown also threw a touchdown pass.

The Wildcat offense, as the Dolphins call it, put Brown in a shotgun formation, spread quarterback Chad Pennington wide and lined up Ricky Williams as a wingback who would counter. The Patriots were fooled out of their socks.

Lee used that ploy at Arkansas with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

But Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning ran a similar system before in the NFL -- and to a much higher degree.

Henning was the Carolina Panthers' offensive coordinator when they found themselves in a bind heading into a December 2006 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Henning's solution was to snap directly to DeAngelo Williams and hand off to Foster.

Unlike the Dolphins, who picked their spots with the Wildcat, Henning went full-scale with his gimmick.

The Panthers ran 52 times that day and held the ball for nearly 42 minutes in a 10-7 victory. The Panthers tried seven passes, one of them going for the game's only touchdown.