Watching for Wildcat

Posted by Chris Brown on October 26, 2014 – 10:40 am

As the Bills coaching staff prepared for the Jets this week they had to account for one new element of the Jets’ offense, namely Percy Harvin. Although New York head coach Rex Ryan has been trying to portray a plan that Harvin will only have a small package of plays due to a lack of familiarity with the offense, Buffalo’s coaches can’t buy into that. In fact they’re preparing for some simplified football plays that took the league by storm a few years back.

With Harvin unlikely to be familiar with much of New York’s passing game in the week he’s been with the club, the Jets will try to put the ball in his hands at or near the line of scrimmage and hope he can make something happen in space. Bubble screens, jet sweeps and slip screens are just a few of the options. There’s another option as well. The Wildcat.

First re-introduced to the modern game by the University of Arkansas, it spread through the league like wildfire about five seasons ago. Harvin, who would likely serve as the “quarterback” on those plays can get on the edge of a formation quickly with his speed, especially if the defense flows to the running back on the read option.

The likelihood of seeing some Wildcat looks from the Jets is further enhanced by the presence of David Lee on New York’s staff. The Jets’ quarterbacks coach, who previously was Buffalo’s quarterbacks coach under Chan Gailey, was largely responsible for turning to the Wildcat formation while he was coaching at Arkansas when everyone adopted it for their own offense.

Knowing this, Buffalo’s defense worked against some Wildcat sets through the course of the practice week in the event that it’s a card the Jets choose to play with Harvin.


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Posted in Inside the Bills