Steelers ready for wildcat possibility
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012
Oakland running back Darren McFadden has run the wildcat formation only five times over the past two years, and Terrelle Pryor has yet to take an NFL snap.That still hasn't stopped Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau from regarding the possibility of the Raiders using the wildcat formation Sunday in Oakland.
“It wouldn't surprise me at all if we got some of that,” LeBeau said. “We have taken some practice snaps and we got ready for it last week, so this falls in a good spot of the schedule for us.”
The Steelers were expecting the wildcat from Tim Tebow and the Jets last week and prepared accordingly. Instead, the Steelers saw only three plays midway through the third quarter out that formation, going for 22, 12 and minus-6 yards.
Oakland is not likely dust off the wildcat this week, but LeBeau isn't taking chances, especially since the Raiders have the personnel to run the formation effectively.
“It is interesting because they have the original wildcat out there with (McFadden), and they really haven't used him in that capacity yet,” LeBeau said. “They have another fellow from Ohio State (Pryor) who would be, I think, be a perfect wildcat guy.”
A pioneer of the formation at Arkansas, McFadden ran the ‘Wild Hog' during his sophomore and junior years while rushing for 1,647 and 1,830 yards and scoring 30 touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist both years.
Pryor rushed for 2,164 yards during his three years at Ohio State in the spread option, a close relative of the wildcat.
With the Raiders' run game struggling, the Steelers figure anything is possible.
“Every week, we are preparing for it because we don't want to be rusty or caught off guard if a team decides to do it,” linebacker Larry Foote said.
Defensive end Ziggy Hood wouldn't be shocked if the Raiders used some sort of different formation.
“There are always going to be teams that try to do different things,” Hood said.
Pryor could prove an interesting dynamic for the Steelers' defense, if the Raiders decide to go in that direction.
Pryor was a supplemental pick last year. After serving a five-game suspension, the Jeannette native was inactive for four games and did not play in five others.
Pryor had a solid preseason this year, as he rushed for 121 yards on 14 carries, including 90 yards against the Lions. However, none of his runs came out of a wildcat formation.
“I really can't say whether or not they are going to run that,” Hood said. “There is always a possibility with him being there. We have to be ready for it.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Steelers rookie safety Thomas learning from Polamalu, Clark
- Robinson: 10 Steelers storylines to keep tabs on
- Steelers defensive lineman Keisel hosts kids for day of fishing
- Steelers’ Polamalu strives to regain status as elite safety
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger throws; 4th-round pick Jones signs
- Steelers breaking in top pick Jones slowly
- Steelers notebook: LeBeau still going strong
- Haley enhances offense in second season
- Rookie running back Bell vows to protect Big Ben
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger downplays knee surgery
- Steelers’ makeover taking shape
You must be signed in to add comments
To comment, click the Sign in or sign up at the very top of this page.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.