Friday, July 31, 2015

'Wildcat' News; Ingram deal set

Adam Caplan of Scout.com reported that the Eagles agreed to terms with fifth-round pick Cornelius Ingram late last night, but an Eagles source this morning said Ingram was "not yet" in the fold. The reason: Even though the deal is done, it cannot be officially announced because the Eagles need to cut someone in order to get to the 80-man roster limit. That announcement is expected tomorrow.

'Wildcat' News; Ingram deal set

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Adam Caplan of Scout.com  reported that the Eagles agreed to terms with fifth-round pick Cornelius Ingram late last night, but an Eagles source this morning said Ingram was "not yet" in the fold. The reason: Even though the deal is done, it cannot be officially announced because the Eagles need to cut someone in order to get to the 80-man roster limit. That announcement is expected tomorrow.

That would leave just the top two, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy, to be signed from this year's draft class. It would be way nice not to have any down-to-the-wire training camp signing drama this year. It also might be important, given that Maclin and McCoy are projected to have greater than usual training camp roles for rookies, so the Birds really don't want them missing any drills.

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Just about everyone, it seems, is working on some variation of the "Wildcat" formation, one of the new fads in the NFL, and more teams might be looking to pass out of the formation this year.

The Eagles used it at times last season with DeSean Jackson taking the direct snap and they seemingly have some other potential direct-snap options should they use it this year. The Birds used it about seven or eight times last year, and only threw it once. (You might remember Jackson's underthrown pass for Hank Baskett against Cleveland that was intercepted in the end zone.)

The Dolphins were the leaders in using the "Wildcat" last year, with more than 12 percent of their plays coming from that formation, although they rarely threw out of it. About a dozen teams have some variation in their playbook and the latest appears to be the Cowboys, who are spending some time at OTAs working on the "Razorback." (We think it might be called that because a certain owner went to the University of Arkansas.)

The Cowboys worked last week with wide receiver Patrick Crayton taking the direct snap, but were working at practice yesterday with running back Tashard Choice in that spot. Coach Wade Phillips says they are just exploring their options.

"I know this," Seahawks coach Jim Mora told our Paul Domowitch in April, "it causes problems for you, it really does. It's more than a gimmick. The element of surprise goes away the more you run it. But the problems with defending it remain. And that's that you gain an extra blocker.

"Typically, you don't account for the quarterback as a runner. So [the Wildcat] forces you to bring a guy out of the middle and adjust your gap control. And if the Wildcat quarterback can also throw the football, now you've really got a problem, because you've got to be concerned with that, too. The big question is where do you line up guys defensively to stop it."
 

Could be interesting to see just how much Wildcat or Razorback or whatever we see in the league this season, especially with the Eagles, where Andy Reid is known to like to throw a wrinkle or two in when he can.

 

 

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