During this year’s preseason, the Miami Dolphins have continued to show wrinkles off their wildcat offense. Against the Dolphins they resuscitated a play they used last season: the quarterback pass off the wildcat look.
The base wildcat begins with (1) an “unbalanced line,” meaning that both tackles line up to one side of the field, (2) the runningback aligned as quarterback, with another runner split wide who goes in motion to either take a “jet sweep” handoff or to fake doing so, and (3) the quarterback splits wide. Now, the quarterback could just leave the game, but leaving him in fakes out the defense and its personnel substitution. If you always took the QB out, the D would put in extra run stuffers. This helps keep them honest.
The defense, unsurprisingly, will often adjust by attacking the line to stop the run plays. Now, the Wildcat’s first counters involve being able to hit either the jet sweep, a run off the tackle and up the gut, or a cutback/counter play to the weakside. Yet sometimes this alone isn’t enough. Enter the QB reverse pass:
This play is not brand new, however. The video above shows the Dolphins using it last season, and David Lee, former Arkansas-OC and current Dolphins QB coach, used this play at least as far back as 2007. This is a big reason why the Dolphins were unafraid of showing the Wildcat again in the preseason — may as well let teams know it will be going back to the well this year, with a play it had used before.
What will be used this year? Time will tell. (Ht CoachHuey.)