Is the Wildcat offense prejudiced?

I don’t care about the NFL particularly and I’m not naive about racism/prejudice in sports – and yet I still found myself puzzled and maybe even a little offended by the reasoning in this post.

The irony of this quote…

On one hand, the Wildcat offense depends on most of the false stereotypes that have dogged black quarterbacks throughout their history; an ability to make plays with their feet instead of their minds and arms. This tragic-yet-very-real perspective may play into many NFL teams’ late-round draft choices and free agency pursuits, as they may look to find QB’s who can come in and be the Reactor X-Factor; a guy who can run like crazy and make a wide open throw.

… is that the author seems to be guilty of the same mindset that he complains about.  Why does he assume that black college QBs are naturals for running the Wildcat on the next level?

Not only that, but I’m not sure how accurate his observations are.  The teams that employ the Wildcat utilize it with a running back taking a direct snap, because of the blocking advantage obtained with the formation.

… The virtue of having a running back take the snap in the Wildcat formation is that the rushing play is 11-on-11 (although different variations have the running back hand off or throw the football). In a standard football formation, when the quarterback stands watching, the offense operates 10-on-11 basis.

At most, the quarterback is asked to do little more than block as a wide receiver in the Wildcat, if he’s even on the field.  So what am I missing here?

15 Comments

Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Blogosphere

15 responses to “Is the Wildcat offense prejudiced?

  1. The Realist

    Tebow is perfect for the wildcat, and I think he is white. He’s basically a running back that can throw.
    Eric Crouch would have been a decent fit for something like the wildcat, but couldn’t sniff a QB job otherwise.

    The NFL is far from prejudiced. If a purple dude could run like a deer or throw the deep out with zip, someone would pay him. If he could do both, he’d be drafted first overall.

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  2. Does anyone else think Scott Frost must hate Tim Tebow? He was basically Tebow before Tebow.

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  3. Jarrett

    You misinterpret my post. Big time.

    Explain to me where I said black college QBs are naturals for the Wildcat only. You won’t find it. What I did say is that black college QBs who wouldn’t normally get a look from NFL coaches and scouts, might get a shot because of their athleticism and ability to run a Wildcat offense. And with that shot, they can prove they are suited to run a full offense and not just a trick formation.

    The offense is not in me stating scouts and coaches will only look at black college QBs to bolster their Wildcat packages. It’s offensive that its true. And please, the post is about quarterbacks playing at historically black colleges, not black quarterbacks in general.

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    • Explain to me where I said black college QBs are naturals for the Wildcat only. You won’t find it.

      I agree. That’s why I never accused you of saying that.

      And please, the post is about quarterbacks playing at historically black colleges, not black quarterbacks in general.

      I agree with that, as well. That’s why I was careful to refer to “black college QBs”, not “black QBs”.

      I notice that you haven’t responded to my point that the NFL isn’t using QBs to run the Wildcat.

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  4. Jarrett is right about the Wildcat negating a numbers advantage for the defense. What you’re missing is that the quarterback lines up wide in the Wildcat and takes a corner with him. The corner has to stay outside at least for the start of the play.

    The Rodriguez/Meyer spread option operates on the same principle. A conventional I-formation running game has the tailback run with seven blockers: five offensive linemen, the tight end, and the fullback. When the defense brings eight into the box, there will be an unblocked defender. What the spread does is it makes use of the QB as a running threat, so in the same example, the offense can ignore one defender (typically the backside defensive end) and the defense loses its advantage of outnumbering the offense.

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    • Jarrett is right about the Wildcat negating a numbers advantage for the defense.

      That’s not what he argues at all. He posits that NFL teams may take a closer look at QBs from black colleges to run the Wildcat, not to decoy defensive backs.

      What you’re missing is that the quarterback lines up wide in the Wildcat and takes a corner with him. The corner has to stay outside at least for the start of the play.

      I’m not missing that. That’s why I reference the “11 on 11” quote about the Wildcat in my post.

      The Rodriguez/Meyer spread option operates on the same principle.

      I agree. But the spread isn’t the same thing as the Wildcat and it doesn’t utilize the QB in the same way.

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  5. Jarrett

    QBs in the NFL line up at wideout because the majority of them can’t make plays in the pocket. Black college QBs, or Pat White, or Juice Williams, would change that. So I agree with you that the NFL doesn’t use QBs in the Wildcat much like they do running backs.

    The point is that pro scouts and coaches trying to build upon this formation package is going to earn black college quarterbacks a closer look.

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    • Well, that’s a more intriguing point. Would you say that most black colleges employ spread option offensive schemes these days?

      By the way, and maybe it’s just me, but I hope some NFL team gives Pat White a legit shot at QB. The kid’s a better passer than he’s given credit for and he’s a winner.

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  6. AceG8tr

    Senator said: “By the way, and maybe it’s just me, but I hope some NFL team gives Pat White a legit shot at QB. The kid’s a better passer than he’s given credit for and he’s a winner.”

    Would you say the same thing about Tim T?

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  7. Ace,

    I think Tebow might be ok provided he: 1)learns how to play under center, and 2) develops a quicker delivery. His motion looks like a pitcher winding up.

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  8. Jarrett

    Byron Leftwich had an extended delivery, and he has made himself a decent career.

    As for spread offenses, you find it a lot in the SWAC, which is a pass-heavy conference. Jacary Atkinson, who was a Division II National Player of the Year candidate two years running, played in it as well for Tuskegee University.

    Pat White deserves a shot. Period. He’s demonstrated that he’s every bit as talented as Vince Young with a spread out offense.

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  9. Dawg93

    re: Pat White vs. Vince Young – I think what scares a lot of teams off from Pat White is his slight build. I mean, the guy looks thin as a rail. Whereas Young looked more filled-out and able to take some of the pounding they dish out in the NFL. I think the NFL also liked Young’s height and felt it would benefit him in the passing game. White’s not short, per se, but he’s a good 3 or 4 inches shorter than Young from what I can tell.

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  10. Aligator

    all you had to do is watch mike Vick for a couple of years and then you would have gotten all the wildcat you could ever wanted … Vince young sucks and is dumb as a brick.

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  11. Aligator

    tim tebow will be like Herschel walker was in the nfl, a jack of all trades …

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