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#1 moleculo

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:35 AM

This is something new that Denver broke out yesterday - a variant of Miami's Wildcat. I'm trying to understand the pluses/minuses of it, and why it really does.

For those that did not see the game, Denver's personnel included a single back (Moreno), I think two TE's, and 2 WR's. Denver lines up with Moreno at the typical tailback spot - 5 yards behind the center, Orton lines up out wide. At this point, Moreno either takes the direct snap and runs (typically off guard), or Orton motions back in and takes the snap from under center.

I'm not seeing the real benefit to starting the play out with Orton split out wide - I'm not sure what the real benefit is.

It seems to me that the wildcat works because it takes advantage of the dolphins having both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the field - They can gash up the middle (RBrown), or turn it out wide (RWilliams) pretty easily, and that puts quite a bit of pressure on the LB's, especially when coupled with the possibility that Brown could also throw the ball.

What Denver is doing is different though...I don't think it puts nearly as much pressure on the D to react, because once Orton is under center, the D has plenty of time to adjust.

I speculate that there are twp possible benefits -

  • Moreno makes the run/pass call, depending on how he sees the D lining up. If he sees something he likes, he can take it; otherwise he can option out and let Orton throw.
  • Orton can scan the D from a different angle and is able to make a different read, especially if he can see how the D changes from "read run".
    Anyone else see anything different?
    The Molecular Man



    #2 george

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:44 AM

    I think it doesn't give the Defense time to react. They have to lineup as if Moreno is going to run it but react to Orton in motion.

    A variant I'm not sure they tried could be, what if when Orton goes in motion rather than going under center, they snap to Moreno while he is moving. Defense could be adjusitng to Orton coming back under center. Or Orton could go in motion and not under center and the snap go to Moreno after Orton passes the center...

    I dunno. Just speculation on my part.

    #3 loompa17

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:45 AM

    Yea, have your QB run around a little bit pre-snap so that he can be winded before the play starts.

    I'm sure a little bit of in-motion jogging isn't going to get Orton winded, but it can't help. Seemed pretty stupid to me.

    #4 Buffaloes

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:50 AM

    I think it doesn't give the Defense time to react. They have to lineup as if Moreno is going to run it but react to Orton in motion.A variant I'm not sure they tried could be, what if when Orton goes in motion rather than going under center, they snap to Moreno while he is moving. Defense could be adjusitng to Orton coming back under center. Or Orton could go in motion and not under center and the snap go to Moreno after Orton passes the center...I dunno. Just speculation on my part.

    I think it's this. The announcers kept mentioning how this formation forced NE to simplify its defense. The only reason I could thing of, would it it might throw off some of the defense's presnap reads. When Orton came in motion, he went under center, but the Pats still had to be ready for any shenanigans that could come of the formation. Maybe McDaniels knew/had an idea how the Pat defense reacted to the wildcat after the Miami fiasco last year and saw a way to exploit it. The Pats called a time out after getting beat by the play a few times on the first drive but Orton still picked them apart when they passed out of the formation after that.

    I would like to put my foot through the internet and kick you in the balls for that.


    #5 Grigs Allmoon

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 06:54 AM

    This is something new that Denver broke out yesterday - a variant of Miami's Wildcat. I'm trying to understand the pluses/minuses of it, and why it really does.

    For those that did not see the game, Denver's personnel included a single back (Moreno), I think two TE's, and 2 WR's. Denver lines up with Moreno at the typical tailback spot - 5 yards behind the center, Orton lines up out wide. At this point, Moreno either takes the direct snap and runs (typically off guard), or Orton motions back in and takes the snap from under center.

    I'm not seeing the real benefit to starting the play out with Orton split out wide - I'm not sure what the real benefit is.

    It seems to me that the wildcat works because it takes advantage of the dolphins having both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the field - They can gash up the middle (RBrown), or turn it out wide (RWilliams) pretty easily, and that puts quite a bit of pressure on the LB's, especially when coupled with the possibility that Brown could also throw the ball.

    What Denver is doing is different though...I don't think it puts nearly as much pressure on the D to react, because once Orton is under center, the D has plenty of time to adjust.

    I speculate that there are twp possible benefits -

  • Moreno makes the run/pass call, depending on how he sees the D lining up. If he sees something he likes, he can take it; otherwise he can option out and let Orton throw.
  • Orton can scan the D from a different angle and is able to make a different read, especially if he can see how the D changes from "read run".
    Anyone else see anything different?

  • I didn't really see it in use, but I think point 1 is definitely true. If they do get a good run read then it gives the same advantage as running out of the wild cat, that is no wasted player/blocker (the QB). The other advantage is that if they get a good read for a pass then you have a QB throwing, not an RB. The other minor thing, that's not really a huge advantage over a normal formation is that the motion by Orton might cue him into the coverage, (Man vs Zone). That can be done in a normal formation, but the wildcat "motion" is more for misdirection, and I'm sure the D's don't adjust to it the same as a normal formation.

    5


    #6 DoubleG

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:00 AM

    I think it doesn't give the Defense time to react. They have to lineup as if Moreno is going to run it but react to Orton in motion.A variant I'm not sure they tried could be, what if when Orton goes in motion rather than going under center, they snap to Moreno while he is moving. Defense could be adjusitng to Orton coming back under center. Or Orton could go in motion and not under center and the snap go to Moreno after Orton passes the center...I dunno. Just speculation on my part.

    I think this is the main reason too. The other variation they could run would be to send Orton in motion (like he's heading back to get under center) - but then let him continue in motion (like a WR does) and direct snap to Moreno. Thy'd probably only do this though, if teams start to presume Orton's motion means he's coming under center to call a pass play.I do think McD broke it out specifically for the Pats to try to confuse the defense, and show a "wildcat" look (which the Pats had issues with in the past). Wouldn't be shocked if they put it back on the shelf for a while.

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    #7 switz

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:05 AM

    The other minor thing, that's not really a huge advantage over a normal formation is that the motion by Orton might cue him into the coverage, (Man vs Zone). That can be done in a normal formation, but the wildcat "motion" is more for misdirection, and I'm sure the D's don't adjust to it the same as a normal formation.

    This... bigger advantage than you think.

    I agree 100% with Switz.

    Felix will be nothing other than a gadget player, 3rd down back...

    The funny/sad thing is that if the Cowboys does indeed draft a back in the first, he'll probably be back to tout his horn claiming this certainly wasnt a case of a blind squirrel finding a nut.


    #8 moleculo

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:19 AM


    The other minor thing, that's not really a huge advantage over a normal formation is that the motion by Orton might cue him into the coverage, (Man vs Zone). That can be done in a normal formation, but the wildcat "motion" is more for misdirection, and I'm sure the D's don't adjust to it the same as a normal formation.

    This... bigger advantage than you think.

    I'm not sure it's that big - it forces Orton to make the man v zone read while he is running - I'd imagine it's tough to watch for defenders cheating by a step or two while you are on the move.
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    #9 moleculo

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:22 AM

    one aspect which I think is tremendous - San Diego has something else to look at and prepare for - maybe that will help negate the advantage they have coming off of the bye week.
    The Molecular Man

    #10 GloryDaze

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    Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:24 AM

    Did they ever run the ball when Orton went under center after this formation? NE really had problems with it, but it seemed like it was either an up the gut run with Moreno, or a quick pass with Orton.
    95% of what I post is sarcasm and/or a failed attempt at a joke and not to be taken seriously. Lighten up Francis.

    #11 moleculo

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    Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:32 AM

    so here's probably what this is all about:

    Bruschi:

    Josh McDaniels' knowledge of the Patriots' defense was clearly the difference in this game. His plan to take away the aggressiveness of defenders by making them think and adjust to multiple offensive formations was brilliantly executed. The "Wild Horses" formation used by the Broncos put the Patriots' defense in the same audible they would call versus the Wildcat formation used by the Miami Dolphins. Whatever defense is called in the huddle is trumped by the audible that is called by the signal-callers of the defense once the Wild Horses formation is recognized. The problem with this adjustment occurred when Kyle Orton motioned back to the quarterback position from the receiver position and ran traditional plays. Once it recognizes that the offense is in a traditional set, the defense must go back to the original defense called. Recognizing and adjusting to those gadget offensive formations is one thing, but getting back to the original defense called is one of the most difficult checks a defensive signal-caller has to make. So difficult, in fact, that the Patriots burned three timeouts during the game to settle themselves down -- two in the first quarter and one in overtime. The result was that the Patriots played on their heels most of the game in vanilla zone coverages that the Broncos' offense had no problems recognizing and executing against.

    So it's basically a clever way to piggy-back off of the success that the wildcat had. Because of the Wildcat, all teams are forced to prepare for it, but they don't want to spend lots of time on it. So, if they see a wildcat formation, they have a single audible to defend - no more than that. "Wildhorses" forces teams to audible twice; which apparently is easier said than done. It certainly causes chaos on the defensive side, and any team that doesn't have their act together will fall victim.

    Now that it's out there, I wonder how often the Broncos will continue to use ie.
    The Molecular Man




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