Ronnie Brown didn't play quarterback in college. In fact, he only threw one pass his senior year at Auburn. So when Brown lined up in the quarterback position to run the Wildcat for the Dolphins last season, he could see the confused faces from across the line of scrimmage.
When I was first introduced to the Wildcat and they told me I'd line up at quarterback, I wasn't sure if it would work in the NFL. Fortunately for us, everything worked out.
”-- Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown
"When I was first introduced to the Wildcat and they told me I'd line up at quarterback, I wasn't sure if it would work in the NFL," Brown tells me as he takes a break from his off season workouts to talk formations and video games. "Fortunately for us, everything worked out. The thing about the Wildcat is you're able to get all of your playmakers on the field at the same time. It puts you in a position where the defense can't key on one individual, and as you get the ball to different people, it throws the defense off.
"And the fact that they added it into "Madden," that just goes to show, not only the impact of the Wildcat in the league, but how far video games have come."
So what should gamers be on the lookout for when the Wildcat debuts in "Madden NFL 10" on August 14?
Brown's here with the breakdown ...
The Jet Sweep
"This is a quick sweep where we're sending Ricky Williams in motion then trying to get a quick hitting play where you hand him the ball," says Brown. "You fake the Counter in order to try and hold the defensive end and hope Ricky can get that edge."
"This is a play where you want everyone to flow one direction, then you come out the backside," says Brown. To do this, Brown fakes the handoff to Ricky Williams to make the defense bite on the Jet Sweep, then Brown takes the ball to the left behind a pulling guard.
"This is our quick hitting play that is more downhill. We use this when we need to pick up a key yard," explains Brown. To run the play, Brown once again fakes the handoff to Williams, only this time he follows his pulling guard to the right.
Play-Action Jet Sweep
This is to throw the defense off a little bit. You don't want them to key in on the run," says Brown. "If you can keep the defense guessing, then you can run a few different plays out of the same formation and they really won't know what's coming." To run the play in "Madden," fake the handoff to Williams on the Jet Sweep, then look for tight end Anthony Fassano to run a corner route.
And even though Brown is not a natural quarterback, he showed some great accuracy from the play-actions last season, completing 2/3 passes for one touchdown.
Speaking of playing quarterback, Brown says he is getting better and better at reading defenses from his Wildcat position.
"You can sit back there as a quarterback and you see the entire defense. When we send a guy in motion, you can see if they shift or if they're playing man-to-man. And when we're running the counter or the power, we need to know what the defensive end is doing, and we need to contain him," he says. "First time I lined up at quarterback, I remember looking at the defense and they were all looking at each other and yelling back and forth. We sent our guy in motion and they didn't know who to move where. They were definitely thrown off a little bit."
But just because the Dolphins caught defenses off guard early in the season doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. "We've got some advancements to it, some new wrinkles (think White, Pat)," admits Brown. "But at the same time, the goal is to be able to run your basic offense and get good at that. What the Wildcat helps us do is switch things up and get some different guys on the field.
"I want to work on my throwing to help add even more wrinkles. I need to work on being more accurate," he says. "I think everybody's goal growing up is to be a quarterback, so to be able to do it at this part of my career, it's different, but at the same time it has been exciting and I enjoy it."
And to Brown, seeing himself run the Wildcat in "Madden" is just the icing on the cake.
"I think most guys, the way they substitute players in the game, they're always looking to find the latest wrinkle or glitch in the game where they can line up and try to catch somebody off guard. If you can get the ball to someone who can run fast and you can get that corner, in the game, that's all you need. I can only imagine what people are going to come up with using these formations in the game.
"I wasn't too good at "Madden" last year, but now that the Wildcat is in there, I think I might finally have a chance."