Wildcat in Seattle?

There was an interesting bit the other day on the rumor mill – courtesy of ESPN.com – about the Seattle Seahawks becoming the next team to employ the Wildcat formation on a regular basis. The Wildcat rumor was derived from an article featured in the News Tribune that profiled new Seahawk Isaiah Stanback.

The article, written by Dave Boling, explores the possibility of Isaiah Stanback as the quarterback in the Wildcat formation. This scenario became more than just a possibility when head coach Pete Carroll commented on Stanback’s versatility and ability as a passer:

“He can offer some help to do some things if we needed it at the quarterback spot to salvage a few situations,” Carroll said, adding that he was “anxious to see what he offers us.”

The Hawks already have three quarterbacks on the depth chart, but Carroll’s comment suggests that he might see Stanback as a possible “Wildcat” quarterback on occasion.

I love Stanback’s athleticism and versatility too, but didn’t we already go through this experiment with Seneca Wallace?

If you remember, Wallace spent more time running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage than making a positive play with his feet or arm. A few of Mora’s trick plays – most specifically designed to exploit Wallace’s talents – resulted in positive gains, but the Wildcat formation was never regularly used during the regular season.

Maybe it was a result of poor play on the offensive line, but I thought Wallace in a “Wildcat” role was rather unimpressive. Why should we expect more from Stanback, who is far less proven in the National Football League than Wallace?

Despite hesitant support for Stanback in the Wildcat, I do like the idea of the Seahawks implementing the formation on a somewhat-regular basis. I wouldn’t mind developing the next Ronnie Brown in Seattle to run the Wildcat formation. I just don’t think Isaiah Stanback is the best option.

What about Golden Tate?

I know Golden Tate doesn’t have the passing experience that Isaiah Stanback has, but he is a better playmaker with the ball in his hands. Ronnie Brown would never excel as a quarterback, but he is more than effective in Miami’s Wildcat.

Golden Tate is an extraordinary player with a unique set of skills. He may not be the fastest receiver or possess the best hands, but his ball skills are above average and he excels after the catch.

Tate is similar to a player like Percy Harvin, who excels at multiple skill-positions despite a smaller frame (around 5-foot-11, 200 pounds). Like Harvin, Tate has played at both running back and wide receiver. Both players have exceptional abilities when they have the ball, but neither player is a traditional NFL-receiver.

Following the NFL draft, SI.com’s Peter King wrote that Pete Carroll is well-aware of Tate’s unique skills:

When Carroll called him to welcome him to the Seahawks, he told him to be ready for anything – receiving, returning, rushing … and yes, Wildcatting. Golden Tate might play Ronnie Brown in Seattle.

It appears the Seahawks will employ a number of different formations to exploit the talents of different players. Stanback may be one option for the Wildcat or a similar formation, but don’t forget about Golden Tate, the Top Pot Bandit.

Don’t believe in Tate’s skills? Check out this video that mostly highlights him running out of the Wildcat:

Shaun Dolence: [email protected]
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Tags: Golden Tate Isaiah Stanback Jim Mora Notre Dame Percy Harvin Pete Carroll Quarterback Running Back Seattle Seahawks Seneca Wallace Wide Receiver Wildcat Wildcat Formation

  • Andrew Auger

    Yeah yeah.. Nice touch choosing a highlight reel showing him dismantling my Cougars… That wasn’t intentional or anything.. Lol.

    We sucked balls this year! I know this! Lol

    I seem to remember him racking up 250-300 yards against the got stuffed seven consecutive times inside the 2 yard line against ND Huskies as well…

    That was a fun game for us to watch… Good way to take the sting out of losing 52-6…


    Only one more year of Locker.. Then, we have a chance.

    • http://www.12thmanrising.com Shaun Dolence

      Andrew, believe it or not, this barb was unintentional. Although I will admit, I don’t mind watching Tate dominant Washington State defenders.

      It just so happened to be a collection of highlights that not only included Tate running the Wildcat, but also one of his best catches of the year.

      Golden Tate did have quite a day against the Huskies. 9 catches for 244 yards and a touchdown — but at the end of the day, Washington still had an opportunity to win the game.

      • Andrew Auger


        You mean turnstiles?

        I couldn’t do any worse then those guys do, if I wasn’t so injury prone, I might’ve gone out!

  • WJ

    I disagree on the comments you made towards Wallace…

    I feel as though he wasn’t used enough when Holgrem was there…And the last 2 years we haven’t had a solid O-Line so how can we run any trick offense when Hass and Wallace ended up on their back 90% of the time… Ever since we lost Hutch to Minnesota we havent had anybody to run behind… Its unfair to say Wallace wasnt impressive.. Its obvious he isnt a starting QB. But he did alright with the line we had and other problems last year… However I am excited to see what Tate can do.. =)

  • Jay Clark

    Regardless of Wallace’s talent or lack there of, as you have seen last year and otherS to come the Wildcat had its 15 min of fame. Teams now know how to defend the wildcat and if it is used, I feel goal line or red zone opportunity is your best chance for success. And to go back to Wallace the wild cat is an offense designed to be quick and confuse defenses and the Seahawks were neither last year so there were no way that offense would of worked against anyone. Wallace a career back up at best was a pussy, he watched Hass get slammed to the ground be opposing pass rushers and suffered with his worst performance since being a Seahawk and the last thing wallace wanted is to be tossed around like a rag doll.

  • http://www.seahawks.com Max Spector

    I agree, Wallace’s dedication to self-preservation was just about the inverse of Hass’s do or die trying for a stinking 1 yard pick up, or not. He always had a glazed, baked look in his eye, no fire-like Singletary gaze. I don’t care to see a bunch of voodoo to try and make the team successful though, let’s stick to straight up ass kicking the old fashioned – proven method.

  • http://footballontap.com Mr. Bozeman

    That would be interesting to see. Having never really seen the Seahawks run a “gimmicky” style of offense, I think it would be exciting to see them switch it up and go with some Wildcat.

    I always thought that Seneca would have made a great wildcat quarterback, but he never really had much of an opportunity to show his skills there.