Wildcat Formation


Thoroughly entertaining in the NFL has been Miami's antics with the Wildcat formation. Some of the most creative offensive football executed in years at the pro level.

I'm pretty sure CFL rules dictate that three players on the team have to be designated as quatreback and that these players cannot line up on the field in any position other than those obvious to involve passing or kicking the ball.

I'm pretty sure a few years back, the rough riders attempted a 'Wildcat' style play lining up the QB at the receiver and were promptly penalized for illegal formation.

Topic for discussion:

Would you like to see the CFL formation rules liberated to allow for the creativity of the Wildcat formation to be used in the CFL?


[i]Yes this is a 'rule change' discussion and I know I'll get flamed for it because people would rather talk about their home gardening on the CFL discussion forum once they've covered expansion, new stadiums and rule changes once an off-season.

I will probably also get flamed for even considering adopting any aspect of American football. As a disclaimer, I prefer almost every Canadian rule that exists as it pertains to offense. In the case of having the designated QB being forced to line up behind centre, I'd rather see the flexibility allowed in the NFL.

I think its a good Idea. I like the Wildcat formation.

The CFL can use a modified Wildcat using the shotgun formation and direct snapping to the running back beside the QB. The QB wouldn't be able to split to the outside to receive a pass before the snap but it could be done. I wish Toronto would've put Reggie McNeal to better use and tried some double pass plays, they also could've run a Wildcat type offense using Kerry Joseph as a running back/passer like Florida uses Tim Tebow.

Do you want to hear something funny? My 86 year old Mom who does watch some sports but I wouldn’t say is a huge sports fan, this year starts watching football, a bit, and her perceptions of the Grey Cup, probably the only game she watched a lot of, was that it was too controlled and predictable to the NFL. Now granted, did she watch an NFL game this year? I doubt it, my brother probably fed her a line the NFL is so much more exciting.

But really, from what I’ve seen, I have to agree the NFL is more creative this year with this wildcat formation and backs throwing to receivers and that, more unpredictable than our CFL and I never thought I’d say that but it’s my perception. Why are CFL coaches so conservative lately? Hey, don’t get me wrong, 3 downs and 20 sec clock still wins in my books but CFL coaches need to loosen up a bit more and be less conservative.

I can see the rationale in making a designated QB rule and specifying where these players can line up. Its a marketing thing that keeps these marquee players in the pocket and hopefully away from injury.

Having said that, I’ve always enjoyed the unlimited motion in the CFL. Specifying where the QB has to be just seems like legal formation overkill.

Have 5 down lineman, 7 eligible receivers, keep 2 of those on the line of scrimmage if you want and let 'em play.

OMG not another rule change thread! What next are we going to adopt 4-downs and fair catches?? :roll: ...just kidding. I would say that as long as there is only one QB on the field at any one time, they can line up anywhere's they want. Direct snaps to the running backs are already common in the CFL, so I don't see a problem here.

Direct snaps are common but what we’ve seen from the wildcat is an added element of unpredictability when your gunslinger is lined up on the outside. You’re a hitch pass or a reverse away from having your best arm toss the ball downfield from anywhere while forcing the defense to respect the run.

In the CFL the designated QB has to start from behind the centre.

Its not a problem but you can be a little more creative if you can move your QB around before the play. Especially with unlimited motion.

With so many ex-QBs playing other positions in the CFL I'm surprised there wasn't more double pass players. Of the ones that come to mind as being college QBs Toronto has Reggie McNeal, Edmonton has Mathieu Bertrand, Calgary has Jermaine Copeland.

Back in the 90's Gerald Alphin used to pass for a TD a year as a receiver. Worked well as he was a left handed passer that caught defenses off guard.

[url=http://www.cfl.ca/uploads/assets/CFL/publications/2008rulebook.pdf]http://www.cfl.ca/uploads/assets/CFL/pu ... lebook.pdf[/url]

Rule 4 ( Scrimmage ) Section 5 ( Player Restrictions ) Article 5 ( Designated Quarterback ) (Page 35 )

Article 5 – Designated Quarterback
Prior to the game, a team is required to designate three players who shall be permitted
to alternate for each other during the game at the quarterback position exclusively.
Not more than one such player may be in the game at any time and none of the three
can enter the game as a member of Team B.
A player shall be deemed to be playing at the Team A quarterback position if, at the
snap of the ball, that player is in position to receive the ball directly from the centre.
If a designated quarterback participates in the game at another position:
PENALTY: L25 PLS DR or L25 PBD or option.
NOTE: For the purposes of this Article 5, the duties of the quarterback position may
include punting, place kicking and kicking off. If a team designates three quarterbacks
for a game, the player designated as the third quarterback shall not be eligible for
kicking duties.

Axe the rule. -- thiggins@cfl.ca ... I wrote him earlier

When was Rule 4 ( Scrimmage ) Section 5 ( Player Restrictions ) Article 5 ( Designated Quarterback ) Implimented,? The E,E,s had three qb,s in their offence system in the fifties.- Removing this rule could open the door for CIS qb,s!!

I've always been against the QB rules the CFL has in place. It guarantees a Canadian trained QB will never get to play and prevents teams using talented players like McNeal and Crouch in other positions when they are not playing QB.
Argos got around this rule with McNeal by playing a man short. But why should they have to do this, they're paying them good money why not let them play, if they're good enough.

I have a quick question.

In the NFL, I thought that the only person who can receive a snap had to have a green dot on their helmet? Or is the green dot just to signify who the QB is? I am confused this year cuz of the wildcat now.

Me personally, I think the wildcat should not be as successful as it has been. 9 times outta 10, they run the ball. When you see the Wild Cat formation, you should play man coverage with 2 safeties and have everyone else up in the box to stop the run. The guy who gets the ball would need a wide open receiver to complete the pass more often than not.

Maybe I'm missing something with the Wildcat but it seems like it's not difficult to defend.

I hope we don't see it in the CFL!

Actually Jovdavtav, this is a reasonable discussion, no need to get "Flamed!"

I forget the reasoning about why CFL can only play one QB at a time. Perhaps one of the Amateur Officials who come on-line (Ned Braden, where are you?) might know the answer to that question.

With all the motion and excitement the CFL puts on, this sounds like one more fun play that could happen.

If you're wearing a green dot helmet, it means:

When approaching from behind, be weary that I am valuable to the league's marketability and the league can't afford to have my beautiful face injured.

I don't know but I'd assume it has to do with protecting marquee QBs from injury. The rule keeps them in the pocket and outlaws their use at higher risk positions or from defense all together.

While we're at it... 3 point safety anyone? Common!? :wink:

I think the reason behind the rule that the designated QB has to line up under centre has to do with the import ratio. 3 QB spots on every team do not count towards the import ratio; therefore teams generally use these three spots to sign import QBs without them taking up space under the ratio. However, if the rule that the QB has to line up under centre was dropped, then a team could use both the second or third QB slots as players at other import positions. Without the current rule, you could designate an import defensive back(for example) as a "QB" and have him line up as a DB on defence without him taking up an import spot on the roster.

ex. If the rule that a QB must line up under centre did not exist, then hypothetically:
-The Esks could use one of their QB spots(that don't count as an import towards the ratio) on Ricky Ray
-The second QB slot(that doesn't count as an import towards the ratio) on Jason Mass
-The team could put Stefan Lefors on their practice roster
-An import defensive player like Jason Goss could be designated a "QB", and despite the fact that he is an import he would not count against the import ratio since he is designated as a QB. Since a designated QB would be allowed to play on the field without lining up under centre(if the rule did not exist), he could play on defense. In this way, the Esks would have an import spot freed up that Jason Goss left behind in his switch to "designated QB status". This loophole would allow teams to designate players as QBs only to save import roster spots elsewhere.

A green dot on the helmet means that helmet has a radio receiver for getting the plays from the coach, and only one green dot is allowed on the field at a time for each team. (QB on offence, usually the MLB on defence)

Then why not use this rule instead?
The 3 designated quarterbacks can only play on offence, and there can only be one on the field at a time.
That would also prevent teams from designating other imports as QBs.
And that's actually what I thought the rule was. I didn't realize until now that there was a restriction on where they lined up.

If it's a problem with the ratio .... just alter the ratio.

20 non-imports, 19 imports, 3 QBs becomes 20 non-imports, 22 imports. Designated QB rule disappears.

Pros: QBs can play anywhere, multiple QBs on the field at the same time, no change to ratio. Non-Import QBs become ratio-busters.

Cons: Watching the punter play QB because both #1 and #2 QB get injured and they didn't have a #3. Teams don't keep the #3 QB spot to develop new players.

I like the change.