Flash back to the 2009-10 season, when the Miami Dolphins relied on their Wildcat package and went to it often in key situations. Defensive coordinators around the NFL were struggling trying to figure out how to plug all gaps but still defend against the option pass that this deceptive offensive look possessed.
They used it to rush for a combined 400 yards in consecutive games against the Jets and Bills -- both of which resulted in Dolphins victories.
And then coaches and personnel hit the film room, and the Dolphins came back down to earth. Reality set in -- this team just was not very good.
The Jets and QB/WR/KR Brad Smith, however, operate behind an offensive line superior to that of Miami's, and also have more vertical receiving threats to stretch the defense. Which is why ProFootballFocus ranked them No. 1 in their 2010 Wildcat Review:
1. Brad Smith and the New York Jets
While most NFL fans are familiar with Ronnie Brown and Josh Cribbs, the best wildcat quarterback in 2010 was by far the lesser-known Brad Smith. The backup receiver ran the ball from the wildcat 30 times for 212 yards and a touchdown ... 7.1 yards per run. Half the time he handed the ball off, and the Jets other rushers had 4.0 yards per carry and a touchdown.
He didn't try to pass often, but did complete a pair on three attempts for 3 yards each; one of them going for a touchdown. As the season progressed, the Jets used Smith in the wildcat more and more often. In Week 17 against the Bills, when the Jets had their playoff spot secured, they used him at QB 13 times, and in those plays he managed runs of 20 and 40 yards.
Remember how QB Pat White was going to be a dominant force in the future running the Wildcat for the Dolphins? Yeah, that didn't happen, he'll be quarterbacking for the UFL's Virginia Destroyers this fall under the tutelage of former NFL journeyman HC Marty Schottenheimer.
And RB Ronnie Brown, well he likely won't return to Miami for this upcoming season as he is to explore the free agency market.
Back in October we published "Numbers Don't Lie: Miami Dolphins' Wildcat Formation Was Deceptive Last Year, But Now Sucks." The post discusses how the Wildcat was nothing but a shiny new toy that was only effective when the league lacked the proper scouting reports/film to stop it. That pretty much sums it up. It's now about execution, and that's something the Jets are damn good at.
Score another one for Gang Green; and tack on a -1 for yet another #DolphinsFail.