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Fins D has love-hate relationship with Wildcat

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins defense has mixed emotions about the Wildcat offense.

"It can give you a headache, I can tell you that," Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell said.

But there's a cool element to facing the Wildcat in practice. The Dolphins like that they're watching a sneak preview for Sunday.

"It's fun because you get to see what they want to do," Bell said. "We're on defense and say 'Huh. Let's see what they got today with it.' There's so many new wrinkles that can come off of it.

"It's interesting to see what they'll come up with next, and we get to see it first."

Defenses haven't found it very entertaining. For those unfamiliar, the Wildcat is Miami's version of a single-wing offense. There's an unbalanced line with two tackles on the same side.

Running back Ronnie Brown takes a direct shotgun snap with Ricky Williams in high-speed motion for a possible handoff. Quarterback Chad Pennington splits out as a receiver. Brown often runs it himself, but he has handed off to Williams and thrown a touchdown pass.

Since the Dolphins unveiled the Wildcat, they've beaten the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers. The Dolphins will try to win their third straight game against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Other teams have tinkered with similar formations, but none to Miami's extent. Based on Miami's success, other teams might try it.

"Yeah, we definitely expect to see it," Dolphins linebacker Matt Roth said. "We've been working on it. If we do see it, we'll be ready for it.

"We've practiced Wildcat probably more than San Diego did. We're definitely ready for it if [opponents] hop into it. We see it every week in practice and we've been working on it."

Bell had a more cautious response when asked if Miami would be less susceptible to the unusual offense.

"I can't say that we'll totally be ready for it, but it's a difficult formation to prepare for," Bell said. "You've got guys in different positions that they're not used to being in. The quarterback's a wideout. You got running backs at quarterback. Tight ends are in crazy places. Receivers will cut splits.

"It's very tough because you got guys in places and you have to pay attention to everybody. If not, then that could be the guy that hurts you."