Bears expect Wildcat vs. Dolphins

November, 15, 2010
11/15/10
3:56
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A rash of injuries at the quarterback position forced the Miami Dolphins to dust off the old Wildcat playbook in a 29-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams
AP Photo/Phelan M. EbenhackRonnie Brown should see some time under center in the Wildcat formation against the Bears on Thursday.
With Ronnie Brown taking direct snaps, the Dolphins ran the ball five times out of the formation, including two rushes by Ricky Williams that totaled 37 yards. Brandon Marshall also attempted a flanker reverse pass that fell incomplete.

Because Miami will be down to third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen, the Bears are preparing to defend the Wildcat on Thursday night in South Florida.

"They have two great running backs. In Carolina we played them twice last year, one in the preseason and one in the regular season, and they beat us," Bears safety Chris Harris said. "They are pretty good at running the Wildcat, probably the best in the NFL to run that package. If I had to say, we'll probably get a heavy dose of [the Wildcat], because they're going in with their third-team quarterback. They'll probably have that package up and ready to go."

After the Dolphins began to use the Wildcat in 2008, most teams across the league started to incorporate the offense into their playbook. The Bears, for example, used both Devin Hester and Matt Forte behind center on occasion in 2009. Hester's package in the Wildcat was called "Cane" and Forte's was "Cajun", both references to the colleges each player attended -- Miami and Tulane.

Although the novelty of the formation has worn off, it can still be an effective way to fool a defense. Plus, it forces teams to devote valuable practice time to stopping the Wildcat, which is especially relevant this week, because of the short week with the Thursday night game.

"We have a good Wildcat scheme," Bears defensive end Israel Idonije said. "If it's not Wildcat, whatever they come with we'll be ready for. We just have to be sound in what we play."

"It's still the same blocking schemes up front, so we just have to read our keys just like [defensive coordinator] Coach [Rod] Marinelli teaches us," Bears defensive tackle Anthony Adams said.

But Adams was quick to mention that defensive linemen don't care for the Wildcat.

"Because you can't get a sack," Adams laughed. "It's fun when you get sacks."

Adams only has 2.5 sacks since joining the Bears in 2007, but his point is valid.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?