Behind Enemy Lines: Part I

In Part I of Behind Enemy Lines, the BFR asks Dolphin Digest's Alain Poupart answers a five-pack of questions focused on Miami's offense..

1) For those that don't know, what exactly is the Wildcat formation and how is it so effective?

A. The Wildcat formation is something that was used at Arkansas with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones (new quarterbacks coach David Lee coached at Arkansas last year). In that formation, Ronnie Brown lines up at quarterback in the shotgun, with Chad Pennington wide on one side and Ricky Williams one on the other. Williams goes in motion before the snap and crosses Brown just after the snap. Brown then either hands off to Williams or keeps himself and decides where to run. A wrinkle to the play came against Houston when Williams took the handoff from Brown and lateralled to Pennington near the sideline. Pennington then threw a pass downfield to a wide open Patrick Cobbs, who lines up in the slot on the play. It has worked very successfully for the most part primarily because of good blocking and also because the two running backs involved in the lay happen to be very good.

2) Is Chad Pennington more of a short-term answer at quarterback, or do you see him sticking there for awhile? Also, how has he been so accurate (68.6 completion percentage) with limited receiving weapons?

A. Pennington is very accurate because ... well ... he's very accurate. A lot has been made about his lack of arm strength, but he throws a very catchable ball and it's usually on target. As far as whether he's a long-term answer, no, that would be second-round pick Chad Henne. But we might not see Henne get meaningful playing time until next year if Pennington keeps playing well and the Dolphins can manage to stay in playoff contention.

3) Will Ted Ginn Jr. ever emerge into the home run threat Miami envisioned?

A. At this point, it certainly looks like the answer is no. Being able to go deep was the one thing we figured the Dolphins would get out of Ginn, but that has not happened in the least. Even on days when Ginn catches a lot of balls, everything is underneath. It's really quite baffling. A big problem is Ginn's inability to get off the line of scrimmage clearly, which actually shouldn't be that surprising given his frame. The big question here is how long he'll be in Miami considering he is SO not a Bill Parcells type of player.

4) Has Ricky Williams turned his life around? How has he played so far?

A. Being turning his life around, I assume you mean put more of an emphasis on football? If that's the question, then the answer is yes, but only because Williams realizes he needs the money. The truth is Williams, for all the jokes and snickering, is a multi-faceted guy with wide-ranging interests. As for how he's played, he's played fine but just isn't getting the number of touches he needs to be at his most effective. Put it this way, his numbers are mediocre right now, but if Ronnie Brown gets hurt and Williams has to be the guy, he'll get his share of 100-yard games.

5) Who is the top receiving threat the Bills must account for?

A. Wow, so many options to choose from. OK, enough with the sarcasm. But the truth is there's nobody on this team who can really hurt you bad in the passing game. The best receiver on the team is Greg Camarillo -- Trent Edwards' college teammate at Stanford -- but he doesn't have the pure speed to do a lot of damage downfield. The tight ends, Anthony Fasano and David Martin, both have played well, but again how much damage can a tight end do -- unless you're Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez. That leaves the running backs, and I guess you could go with Patrick Cobbs considering he had two long touchdown catches at Houston. But the Dolphins really are not a scary team when it comes to the passing game.


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