Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Alameda, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6 p.m., 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
ALAMEDA -– The Raiders have used a Wildcat formation three times in four games. That was before the man who popularized it in the NFL was promoted to interim head coach.
Tony Sparano ran the Wildcat extensively as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but wasn’t promising a revival on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. In typical Sparano fashion, he wasn’t ruling it out either.
“We could see anything right now,” Sparano said.
The more Sparano discussed the topic, the more his fondness for it showed. At the time, Sparano’s goal was to get playmaking rushers Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the field at the same time. The novelty was effective, early on, though production waned as seasons wore on.
The Wildcat may not be as impactful as it once was, but it can produce the efficient 4-yard gains Sparano is looking for in order to generate first downs. It could certainly be beneficial to a Raiders team that has struggled to do exactly that early this season.
The Raiders have the horses to execute such a game plan with Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. McFadden takes direct snaps with the Raiders and did so often with the University of Arkansas, and has a decent arm if asked to pass.
“Up until this point, we’ve really run three snaps of it, three snaps,” Sparano said. “We’ve been efficient every time we’ve lined up in it, it’s been good to us, but we’ve only run three snaps, and for different reasons, Maurice [Jones-Drew] maybe not being out there at times. (Jones-Drew is healthy now). Again, we could see anything right now.”