Are the Dolphins bringing the spread offense to the NFL?

According to a report by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Dolphins are trying to revolutionize pro football by bringing the spread offense to the NFL, most notably by using Pat White, whom the team drafted in the second round of last weekend’s draft.

“For the 30 minutes it takes to put in a Wildcat play it takes a defense a day to figure it out and work on how to stop it,” former Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson told WQAM radio last week.

White’s ability to not just scramble, but throw the ball with range and accuracy, will allow offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterback coach David Lee to add even more elements to the Wildcat offense. Lee brought the gimmicky formation with him from Arkansas.

Upon White’s selection by the Dolphins, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden predicted the spread offense was “officially in the National Football League,” and described White as “a Wildcat that can throw the football. He’s an electric guy.”

There’s a very simple explanation as to why more pro teams don’t use the spread offense like college teams do, and that’s because defenses are too fast in the NFL. Many teams had success using the “Wildcat” formation last year (especially the Dolphins), but don’t think for a minute that defensive coordinators haven’t been working on ways to shut it down.

When Michael Vick first came into the league, many people thought he would revolutionize the quarterback position forever. And while he did have a lot of success in certain offenses (i.e. Greg Knapp’s triple-spread option), defensive coordinators like Monte Kiffin found ways to stop him. Defenses eventually catch up.

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Dolphins waive Beck, White to get a shot at quarterback?

The Dolphins have waived former second round pick John Beck.

The draft class of one year HC Cam Cameron is getting thinner every day. The Miami Dolphins have announced the release, not the trade, of 3rd string QB John Beck. Beck rode the bench last year and never saw the field the entire season. After the Dolphins drafted QB Pat White over the weekend, it was evident that Beck’s future with the team was seriously in doubt.
The release comes following a weekend when the Phins likely tried to move the QB VIA trade, but it is obvious that the team couldn’t get anything in return. Beck started 3 games in his rookie season after being drafted in the 2nd round. He won no games.

Beck has a strong arm but his experience and age, 28 made him an unlikely candidate with this regime to not only see playing time, but stick on the roster. Earlier this off-season, HC Tony Sparano said that it would be hard to find Beck practice reps this off-season as they groom Chad Henne.

Beck becomes another 2nd round QB that the Dolphins have swung and missed on in the last few years. The Dolphins traded a high 2nd round pick for AJ Feely to Philadelphia, spent a high 2nd round pick on Daunte Culpepper, drafted John Beck with a high 2nd round pick, drafted Chad Henne with a low 2nd rounder, and of course this year spent the 44th overall pick, a 2nd rounder, on QB/RB/WR Pat White.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but what a brutal pick in the second round. Scouts knew that he played in a system that allowed him to put up gaudy numbers at BYU, yet they ignored that and just paid attention to his arm strength. Some team will likely give him a shot as a backup, but in his brief starting appearances in Miami, he was brutal.

Maybe this means that they’ll give Pat White – whom they took in the second round last weekend – a shot to play quarterback. Some envision White as a receiver at the next level, but he had the best scouting combine of any quarterback in this year’s draft, and that includes Mark Sanchez. White has the arm strength to complete all of the passes in the NFL and obviously has the mobility to make things happen with his feet. Clearly the Dolphins are going to find ways to get him on the field if they took him in the second round, most likely in their “Wildcat” formation.

Colorado upsets No. 21 West Virginia in overtime

Cody HawkinsThe West Virginia Mountaineers dropped out of the top 10 two weeks ago when they lost to East Carolina and will no doubt drop out of the top 25 entirely after losing to Colorado 17-14 in overtime Thursday night.

On WVU’s first and only possession in overtime, senior kicker Pat McAfee missed a chip shot field goal from 23 yards out. The Buffs didn’t waste the opportunity to claim victory, driving the play to the Mountaineers’ 13-yard line in just four plays. On a 3rd and three from the 13, Aric Goodman booted a 25-yard field goal to give CU the victory.

Pat White (19 carries, 149 yards, 2 TDs) and Noel Devine (26 carries, 133 yards) were excellent, but penalties, the lack of big plays in the passing game and poor clock management at the end of regulation killed the Mountaineers in the end. It also didn’t help that Bradley Starks badly under threw Jock Sanders on a trick play in the fourth quarter. Sanders could have waltzed into the end zone and with the way their defense had been playing in the second half, WVU probably could have walked away with a 21-14 victory.

It was nevertheless a gritty performance by Colorado and more specially, freshman RB Rodney Stewart, who carried 28 times for 166 yards. He single handedly got the Buffs into field goal range to win the game in overtime. With Stewart and sophomore quarterback Cody Hawkins (179 yards, 2 TDs), Colorado is building a young, productive backfield.

College Football Preview: No. 21 West Virginia at Colorado

No. 21 West Virginia (1-1, 0-1 Away) at Colorado (2-0, 2-0 Home)

Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET ESPN
Point Spread: West Virginia –3

Pat WhiteWest Virginia Outlook:
The Mountaineers had off last week following their upset loss to East Carolina in Week 2. Head coach Bill Stewart has noted that he wants to get back to running more basic zone option plays after Pat White and the WVU had their worst offensive performance in seven years, managing only a field goal in the loss to ECU. Simplifying things for the offense might make sense, especially considering the Mountaineers will make their first ever trip to Folsom Field.

Colorado Outlook:
The Buffaloes are 2-0 to start the season, but they had to rally to beat FCS opponent Eastern Washington two weeks ago. With freshman running back Darrell Scott and scrappy sophomore quarterback Cody Hawkins, Colorado has a ton of youth in its offense backfield. Hawkins is off to a great start, throwing for 475 yards and four touchdowns in two games this season, as well as compiling a QB rating of 144.93. Hawkins might find some success throwing against a WVU secondary that ranks 85th in pass efficiency.

Prediction:
Before the disastrous performance against ECU two weeks ago, White threw for 208 yards and five touchdowns against Villanova in the team’s opener. He probably won’t attempt 33 passes Thursday night in Colorado with Stewart wanting to scale back the offense, but that’s a good thing. The Buffs see plenty of the spread offense playing in the Big 12, but aren’t used to the zone option tactics that WVU will throw at them tonight. White should be able to break off a big run or two and as long as the WVU defense can at least contain the young duo in the Buffs’ backfield, they should be able to bounce back from their Week 2 loss against the Pirates. West Virginia 38, Colorado 30.

East Carolina pulls off second straight upset, crushes No. 8 West Virginia

Breaking news alert: East Carolina is for real. For the second straight week, the Pirates pulled off the upset of the day, routing No. 8 West Virginia 24-3.

It was over when… ECU never trailed and never looked like it was going to let WVU back in the game as the Pirates ended a seven-game losing streak to WVU.
Gameball goes to… Patrick Pinkney: ECU’s QB was 22-28, throwing for 236 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Stat of the game… 11:21: ECU won the battle of the clock 35:41 to WVU’s 24:19.

West Virginia is done and Pat White (11 for 18, 72 yards passing) might have lost the Heisman in this game, too. A Big East team that loses before they even reach conference play cannot and should not be brought up in national championship discussion.

What an incredible year so far for ECU. This was the first time since 2001 that an opponent held WVU without a touchdown. And to limit White to only 72 yards passing and 97 yards rushing was amazing. The Pirates should be ranked heading into next week, although their schedule is too weak for them to be a serious title contender. Still, ECU is the talk of the college football world right now.

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