Monday, January 26, 2009

Lions Linehan Should Put In Wildcat Package

Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell was awful in the Senior Bowl. His arm strength was so underwhelming, it’s doubtful he will be drafted until the sixth or seventh round.
West Virginia’s Pat White was really good, but mostly running the spread option.
Word out of Miami is that Bill Parcells is interested in drafting White to run the Dolphins’ "wildcat" formation. I would think new Lions’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan would put in a "wildcat" package this coming season. It is the coming wave in football - and one more thing for opposing defenses to be concerned about.
It could make spread option college quarterbacks more valuable in the draft, albeit still as a specialty niche. Doubt any NFL team will have the courage to go to the spread full time, at least for awhile.
The ideal combination for a "wildcat" specialist would be somebody who could only run the formation effectively from scrimmage, but also return kicks.
The current prototype is Joshua Cribbs, a terrific kick returner for the Browns, who was an option quarterback in college at Kent State.

Random Thoughts

- I do like the MLB Network. The best thing I’ve seen on it so far was a kinescope of Don Larsen’s perfect game during the 1956 World Series. It was the original telecast in its entirety - including commercials. Fantastic stuff, really. This week, they have been replaying the 2006 World Series. The Tigers really let it get away from them. Kenny Rogers was great in Game 2, though. I do wonder if it might be worth signing him, but when I asked Dave Dombrowski about it Saturday at TigerFest, the indication is that they aren’t considering it.

- Don’t you think the integrity of hockey would have been far better served if Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk had been fined rather suspended for a game for missing that ridiculous All Star game Sunday? Typical NHL, eh?

- Seems to me like a good hit in hockey is being taken too personally these days. That’s all levels, even the NHL. There is no need to seek revenge for a good, legal hit. It’s part of the game, isn’t it?

- I see two players holding the key to the Red Wings as play resumes after the All Star break. One is Henrik Zetterberg, the other is Niklas Kromwell. Both are excellent players who haven’t played up to their high standards so far this season.

- I’m certain I can’t be alone in this thought, but shouldn’t the last thing the Lions consider is bringing back Daunte Culpepper, especially if it involves picking up a $7 million contract option?

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11 Comments:

Anonymous John in Oxford said...

I'm sorry to see Kenny Rogers go. I had hoped that he'd stick around in some capacity, simply because I think he's such a great mentor for so many of the young guys. Part of me wanted to see him stay on in a coaching capacity, but I don't know that interests him.

Do you feel the bullpen has made great strides? I still see it as a concern.

6:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

The MLB Network really is great. I've really enjoyed watching Baseball's Seasons and Prime 9. This week, 1968 is highlighted on Baseball's Season, and they are replaying the 2005 Homerun Derby from Comerica Park. Like you, I checked out some of the replays from the 2006 World Series. I was really excited to watch Game 4 of the ALCS. That excitement was dashed when I got to the 3rd inning of Game 1 of the World Series. I became furious the moment the ball left the bat of Albert Pujols when I was watching that game from the stands, and I think I got just as mad while watching the replay for the first this weekend. As soon as he hit the ball, I turned it off. I have it saved on DVR; maybe I'll watch the rest after I can get that pitch out of my head. It made me remember why I haven't ever watched many highlights from that World Series.

Travis

9:09 AM 
Blogger BrownstownMom said...

I do not think a wildcat package is a viable offense in the NFL. Miami trial was successful against New England, but not as successful in following weeks. Showing something of the talent of NFL coaches. It doesn't take long to counter plays. The axiom of the NFL is bigger, faster, stronger. In high school you hope to have "a" Division I talent on your squad. In college you hope to have one or two NFL talent on your squad. You can't hide trick offenses in the NFL. Talent is too rich and coaching too informed.
What any NFL team needs is a quarterback with a strong arm who can heave the ball down the field. Hoping for a completion or an interference penalty. That's what keeps the defense honest and spread across the field.
What the Lions need is a line that can give any quarterback the four seconds it takes for a speedy wide receiver (with good hands and not afraid to go up for the ball) to get to the open part of the field. Also, a running back who can block and when given the ball runs south through a given hole.

So, Pat, as much as I enjoy and appreciate your insight; on this point we disagree.

And if anyone in the Lions organization reads this, I am open for a position. I can do no worse than who proceeded me.

12:15 PM 
Blogger Troy said...

How would Michael Vick fare in the Wildcat package?

3:42 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat,

One more thing about the Tigers. I hate knowing that the last two times the Tigers have made it to the postseason, they have been eliminated by two of the worst World Series champions of all time: the 1987 Minnesota Twins and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. Kind of funny, but also very frustrating for us in the D.

Travis

5:25 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

John in Oxford,
Rogers definitely set a good example for the pitching. He had a great work ethic and knew how to bounce back from a bad outing. I see the bullpen as still a sore spot. A better starting staff would help.
Caputo

5:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Travis,
I didn't know "68" was one of the baseball seasons. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
Caputo

5:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

BrownstownMom,
I'm not talking about it as a full-time offense, but at least have the package there for a different look and threat. You right, though, about defenses quickly making adjustments. LOL about the last comment.
Caputo

5:35 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Troy,
Seems like he would be the prototype spread option QB. The implementation of it might make Vick more interesting for teams despite his baggage.
Caputo

5:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Travis,
Great point about the Tigers. Both postseasons seem like wasted opportunities. But they did make the most of '68 and '84 and did better than expected in '72 vs. the A's.
Caputo

5:38 PM 
Blogger Eric Chase said...

Pat - In my opinion, the best justification for the wildcat in the NFL, is $$$.

In the salary cap world multiposition players are ultra valueable.

If you can add a player who can be listed (and maybe even play!) as a WR, and can return kicks and act as your third QB...of course you'd want him on your team (with the QB circumstances in Cleveland after Quinn went down, it's a crime that Cribbs didn't get more snaps at the position).

That's why I've been such a proponent of Tim Tebow. Not so much as a QB, but as a football player, and in his case a scorer, a difference maker...a winner.

A side note about Pat White, love what he offers athleticly but he's rather slight. One monster hit as a WR, and there goes a well intended 4th rd pick.

8:53 PM 

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