Sunday, November 8, 2009
Dolphins unleash the 'Wildpat'
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- During my weekly visit with ESPN Radio's Jon Stashower on Sunday morning, we discussed whether the Miami Dolphins' fascinating Wildcat offense could surprise the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium a second straight year.
I told Stashower that was unlikely given the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets had stifled the Wildcat in consecutive weeks, and Patriots coach Bill Belichick had an extra week to prepare for it. The Patriots are 7-2 after a bye under Belichick.
But I said there would be one way for the Dolphins to give the Patriots trouble: Unveil some new uses for rookie quarterback Pat White, who was drafted to complement the Wildcat package.
The Dolphins have done just that. Since it's technically not the Wildcat -- those plays are direct snaps to a running back -- let's call it the "Wildpat."
Down 10-3 in the second quarter, the Dolphins sent White into the game. White, known for running the option at West Virginia, reprised his collegiate role. On his first snap, he kept the ball and ran for 33 yards into Patriots territory. On the next play, he ran for 4.
From the 15-yard line, the Dolphins called another option play. This time, White flipped it to Ricky Williams, who ran it in for a game-tying touchdown.
The Dolphins went 80 yards on the drive and didn't complete a pass.
This gives the Patriots something to worry about.