Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't use wildcat too often

Ronnie Brown takes the snap in the Dolphins’ wildcat. Changing coordinators late in camp has limited the Bucs’ use of it.

Getty Images

Ronnie Brown takes the snap in the Dolphins’ wildcat. Changing coordinators late in camp has limited the Bucs’ use of it.

TAMPA — It might have been the Wild Caddy.

The Bucs experimented earlier this season with the wildcat formation, which was popularized by the Dolphins starting last season. But because Greg Olson did not become offensive coordinator until 10 days before the season, there wasn't enough time to make it a viable weapon.

In the Bucs' version, RB/KR Clifton Smith took the snap and Cadillac Williams was a halfback in motion. Those roles are played by Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, respectively, for Miami.

"We toyed with it," Williams said. "But that's as far as it went. We definitely have the personnel and the potential. But at the same time … it's hard to try to do something else when you're trying to still implement your stuff."

Williams said he believes the Bucs' rushing attack would thrive in the wildcat.

"It's a lot of misdirection and a lot of people pulling," Williams said. "It seems … like a simple play. But there's a lot that the defense has to account for on just that one wildcat formation."

Olson said he hasn't ruled out installing the wildcat — most likely next season.

"Not to say we won't do it, but it does take a certain amount of time and preparation," Olson said. "I don't just think you put the wildcat in one week and go to work with it. Obviously, you're limited in reps during the season."

This week in practice, the Bucs' "look squad" has simulated Miami's wildcat.

"(QB) Josh Johnson is a guy who can do that," Olson said. "(Smith) jumped in there and did it (Wednesday). He's a guy who has the ability to throw the ball a little bit."

NOTHING has to GIVE: No matter what formation the Dolphins use, they're going to run the football. And the Bucs likely will struggle to stop them.

The Dolphins have the NFL's fourth-ranked rushing offense at 150.9 yards per game. The Bucs allow 163.4 per game, which is 30th.

"We had some games where we didn't tackle well," defensive coordinator Jim Bates said. "We've had some games where we're not gap controlling and playing with power and getting off blocks. It's a constant process as far as us working on it. But the lack of consistency is just killing us."

INJURIES: WR Michael Clayton (knee) returned to practice on Thursday. However, WR Antonio Bryant (knee) and DE Stylez White (shoulder) did not participate in the afternoon session for the second straight day. QB Byron Leftwich (elbow) did not practice.

If Bryant, who sat out Sunday, can't play, he will be replaced again by Maurice Stovall.

"He's had a week and a half off so far," coach Raheem Morris said. "So we've just got to see where he is and make a decision once we get to game day."

Morris added White's status also has not been determined.

Dolphins injuries: Starting G Justin Smiley, who has had two right shoulder surgeries, saw a specialist because of recurring pain. Details were not disclosed. And LB Joey Porter, bothered for most of the season by a right hamstring injury, missed his second straight practice. Their status for Sunday has not been determined.

Times staff writers Stephen F. Holder and Joe Smith contributed to this report, which used information from the Associated Press.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't use wildcat too often 11/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 12, 2009 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 7: What we learned


    Are the Purple People Eaters back in Minnesota? The Vikings sacked Joe Flacco five times and held the Ravens to 208 total yards in a 24-16 home victory, their third straight win. QB Case Keenum looked ordinary with a 67.7 passer rating after completing 20-of-31 for 188 yards and an interception. Kai Forbath …

    Trainers, top, check Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas after Thomas was hurt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) OHTD122
  2. Bills' comeback against Bucs a win for the process


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It hasn't taken Sean McDermott long to understand how to play to his base. Asked if the Bills had "gotten away with one" Sunday, the first-year coach gushed about his team reflecting the character of the town.

    Under first-year coach Sean McDermott, the Bills are 3-0 at home for the first time in six years. “I love playing here,” he says.
  3. No. 18 UCF closes in on USF, which drops to No. 17


    USF remained ahead of UCF in the Associated Press Top 25 poll released Sunday — just barely.

  4. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  5. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?


    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]