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Chargers breakout Wildcat at OTAs

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Chargers install Wildcat offense at OTAs
    Written by
    Michael Gehlken

    It's been planned for about two months, coach Norv Turner said.

    But two days after signing running back Ronnie Brown, the Chargers coincidentally installed the Wildcat offense during the first 11-on-11 session of Wednesday's organized team activities.

    Brown is arguably the NFL's face to the Wildcat offense.

    In 2008, he and Ricky Williams ran the direct-snap sub-package in Miami under then-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano's direction. Its successful usage put teams on notice, inspiring copy-cat offenses around the league.

    In San Diego, the Chargers ran a "Wild Frog" variation with LaDainian Tomlinson.

    Brown, wide receiver Eddie Royal, running back Ryan Mathews and wide receiver Micheal Spurlock all took snaps Wednesday in the Wildcat.

    Turner said the Chargers practiced it as much to prepare their defense as their offense.
    "But we've had big plays out of it," he added. "Two years ago, I think we had the biggest play in the league out of it. It was Legedu Naanee handing it to Darren Sproles (for 34 yards) in the Jacksonville game. It's something that if we feel gives us an advantage, we're going to run it."

    Brown said the keys to a successful Wildcat are having strong personnel, beginning on the offensive line, and "everyone on the same page."

    "There's a lot of athletes on this team," Brown said. "It makes it a lot easier, being a piece of the puzzle. You've got different guys running around. Defenses don't have that one guy to focus on.

    "You've got guys like Ryan Mathews, Eddie Royal and (Antonio) Gates. With guys everywhere, it's like, 'Who do I focus on? Who do I set the defense to?' It makes it kind of tough."
  2. Blue Bolt
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    CHARGERS: Bolts work on wildcat, but don't expect to see it often
    North County Times - Californian

    SAN DIEGO — The Chargers spent the bulk of Wednesday morning running read option plays out of the wildcat formation during their OTA session.

    Halfbacks Ryan Mathews and Ronnie Brown split repetitions, taking the direct snap out of the shotgun with quarterback Philip Rivers lined up out wide. On each wildcat play, Mathews and Brown would either hand the ball off to a backfield mate lined up directly to their side (usually Eddie Royal or Micheal Spurlock) or keep the ball to run for themselves. And, in some instances, both Mathews and Brown kept the ball to throw downfield.

    "It's good for our defense to see, and if the opportunity presents itself we will use it," Chargers head coach Norv Turner said.

    Brown, who was signed by the Chargers last Friday, was largely responsible for introducing the "wildcat" to the NFL when he played for the Miami Dolphins from 2005-10.

    In 2008, the 0-2 Dolphins entered a critical Week 3 matchup against their division rival and defending AFC Champion New England. Wiping the dust off an old single-wing concept instituted by coach Glenn "Pop" Warner in the 1900s for Hall of Fame halfback Jim Thorpe, then-Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano confused the Patriots' defense with an assortment of "wildcat" plays.
    Behind Brown's 114-yard rushing effort and four touchdowns, Miami ran for 216 yards en route to a 38-13 thumping of New England.

    The win sparked Miami's run to an AFC East championship (11-5) that season after they finished 1-15 the previous season.

    Turner made it clear Wednesday that the wildcat would probably only be used two or three times a year to surprise a defense. But he noted that the Chargers had one of the longest plays run out of the wildcat formation in 2010 when Darren Sproles took a Legedu Naanee handoff for a 34-yard run during their 38-13 rout of Jacksonville.

    "(Preparing the defense is) really why we do it," Turner said. "But we've had big plays out of it.

    "Its something that if we feel it gives an advantage, we're going to run it."
  3. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Wildcat doesn’t make much sense for San Diego
    Posted by Mike Florio on June 14, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

    With renowned Wildcat quarterback (except when he’s improvising) Ronnie Brown now a member of the Chargers’ backfield, it makes sense for San Diego to dust off the alternative attack.

    And as Ganttt (hell, if one “t” is silent, why not add another?) pointed out in his first effort at the one-liners (I gave him only an “A-” so he won’t get cocky), the Chargers practiced the formation during Wednesday’s OTA session.

    As reported by Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Brown, receiver Eddie Royal, running back Ryan Mathews, and receiver Micheal Spurlock each took snaps in the Wildcat.

    But while they’ve used it sparingly in the past, it doesn’t make sense for the Wildcat to become a staple of the Chargers’ offense, for the same reason it doesn’t make sense for any other team that has a true franchise quarterback to use it more than once every few games.

    True franchise quarterbacks, like Philip Rivers, rarely if ever should come off the field. When the Dolphins began using the Wildcat extensively in 2008, thanks to the efforts of offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterbacks coach David Lee, they didn’t have a franchise quarterback. Any team that ever has used the formation as anything more than a one-shot, out-of-the-blue gimmick play didn’t have a true franchise quarterback.

    That’s ultimately why former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb bristled at the use of Mike Vick in that role during his first season in Philly. Franchise quarterbacks rarely, if ever, should play anything other than quarterback. And so by using Vick regularly in the Wildcat package, the Eagles implicitly were letting the world know that they no longer viewed McNabb as a true franchise quarterback. (And, the following year, he was no longer with that franchise.)

    If a team has supreme faith in its quarterback, it shouldn’t want to move him away from center, ever. And so if the presence of the Wildcat at practice is anything other than an effort to get the Chargers’ defense ready for teams that may use it against them in 2012 (like the Jets or the Chiefs) or simply a way to keep the defenses they’ll be facing guessing, the Chargers are making a big mistake.

    Unless, of course, they no longer believe Philip Rivers is a true franchise quarterback.

    If that’s the case, there are plenty of other teams that would embrace him as one.
  4. Buck Melanoma
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    Florio .... he should stick exclusively to reporting, not analysis.

    Well, reporting in the sense that The Enquirer reports.

    Or Fox.
  5. Ride The Lightning
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    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    I like the report of the team working on it if for no other reason it gives opponents something else to think about and waste time preparing for.
  6. Nomad
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    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I've always wondered about a quick lateral to PR on the outside and PR throws the bomb.
  7. Buck Melanoma
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    I don't want to see PR anywhere but in a nice safe pocket.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    When Rivers lines up outside, is anyone going to actually bother covering him?
  9. SDChargers1982
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    SDChargers1982 Well-Known Member

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    No one will cover him, but someone will hurt him...
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  10. Buck Melanoma
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    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    exactly
  11. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Mountain Lions are nothing to be disregarded of.
  12. Thomas
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    Didn't this Wildcat crap run out of steam of couple years ago in this league? Never liked it. Hopefully this is just a smoke screen.
  13. Ikeman83
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    It has the same weakness as any other unbalanced offense, the defense is able to key in on the most dangerous playmakers to limit its effectiveness. Also, like any other gimmick it is most effective when the other team has a breakdown in discipline due to unfamiliarity with the concept. The best way to run a wildcat play is to wait until there are all of 10 seconds left on the playclock, then have all of the offensive players sprint into their respective positions and quickly snap the ball. Like any other trick play, it's a high-risk, high-reward call, and is best used as sparingly as possible.
  14. HEXEDBOLT
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    HEXEDBOLT Well-Known Member

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    Making defensive players bite from instinct on the first move is critical for the WC to work, it can and still does if the execution and call are done correctly. I'm sure most teams work on it offensively and defensively today so as not to be surprised when it's called.
  15. Joy Division
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    Joy Division Slightly-known Member

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    I've often wondered about the Reverse-Wildcat-Fleaflicker.
    Defenses will not see that coming.

    Rivers lines up wide right with R.Brown and Mathews in the backfield.
    Rivers goes in motion and takes a direct snap as R.Brown runs to the right flat.
    P.R. then hands off to Mathews who runs a few steps up the middle then,
    pitches back to Rivers as he launches a bomb on a deep post to Floyd or a wide-open
    Gates, or in the unlikely scenario that those two aren't open, ropes one out to R.Brown.

    Okay, you guessed it, I borrowed this play from 1coolguy13xchimp (part of his recently
    designed Shock-and-Awe(fense). ;)
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. Ikeman83
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    fixed it for you
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