Formation Nation

Date: 13 October 2008
Category: NFL
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’ve been paying attention to the NFL media this season, you’ve, no doubt, heard all the talk and probably been annoyed by their love for the Wildcat Formation that the Dolphins and a couple of other teams are experimenting with as of late. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see some coaches thinking outside of the box, but the Wildcat really isn’t that innovative, and having your QB line up in the slot could lead to a quick case of the Trent Greens. If you wanna put QBs at risk, I say go all out and run the A-11 offense that was developed a couple of years ago here in the Bay Area.

Let’s take a closer look at these formations.


Felix Jones and Darren McFadden love them some wildcat (wildhog). Basically this formation puts a lot of playmakers on the field at once, and gets the ball directly into their hands. It’s a variation on Pop Warner‘s Double Wing formation that was developed to run misdirection and create big play opportunities. In the Wildcat variation, you line your QB up in the slot as a WR and snap the ball to one of two RBs, who can either run, hand-off, or pass. This makes for big end-around plays, multiple hand-offs, flea flickers, you name it.


Line two QBs up behind Center (1 must be 7 yards back). Crowd two TEs around your Center. Split three WRs to each side (4 must be on the line of scrimmage). Sure, there are some eligibility issues that arise when you want to apply the formation to the NFL, but it has worked wonders for creators Kurt Bryan and Steve Humphries of Piedmont Hills High School, who went 7-3 when they implemented it in 2007.

Both formations attempt to take advantage of a team’s full roster potential by getting the ball into the hands of the players that can do the most with the limited number of opportunities awarded an to an offense. Do we really need the gimmick/gadget plays though? Why don’t teams try to maximize the potential of the plays already in the playbook by practicing laterals? Peer into the Southern Hemisphere and into the scrums of the New Zealand All Blacks, and toss the rock back to your open teammate instead of taking it down with you. Hook and Ladder em. Button Hook em. We like excitement, no, we LOVE excitement…just please, don’t turn another QB into Trent Green.

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