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‘Did you see it?’: Pat McAfee defined how a small element may need led to Patriots’ area aim block


McAfee, a former punter (and holder), additionally mentioned his personal historical past with Invoice Belichick’s detailed scouting.

Brenden Schooler celebrates his area aim block for the Patriots towards the Dolphins with teammates Jahlani Tavai and Matthew Slater. Picture by Adam Glanzman/Getty Pictures

Brenden Schooler’s third quarter area aim block for the Patriots in Sunday’s Week 2 matchup towards the Dolphins produced excited reactions from followers and analysts, lots of whom marveled on the originality of the play.

As an alternative of operating from behind the road and attempting to leap over the middle, Schooler started his run from out extensive on the left. He timed his motion completely, taking off at simply the appropriate time, crossing the road of scrimmage in good coordination with the snap of the ball, and transferring in to simply block Jason Sanders’s tried area aim.

Even Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was shocked, acknowledging after the sport that he “hadn’t seen that earlier than.”

“It was a very cool schematic adjustment by the Patriots,” McDaniel admitted. “Hats off to them.”

On Monday, with the good thing about time and entry to the “All-22” footage — displaying numerous NFL digital camera angles — former punter-turned-ESPN present host Pat McAfee explored precisely what kind of inform the Patriots may need recognized earlier than the sport.

“I believe it is a situational-type operation,” McAfee defined throughout a section on his ESPN present, noting that the modern strategy might be tried across the NFL, however would possibly show tough to copy.

“There needs to be an indicator that may ship outdated Schooler, who finally ends up blocking this kick,” he mentioned, taking a look at a replay.

Analyzing a paused view of the video from a pre-snap second, McAfee mentioned that New England may need recognized a giveaway motion made by the Dolphins’ holder, former Patriots punter Jake Bailey. This might have probably allowed Schooler to know easy methods to completely time his bounce.

“He’s trying on the holder, he’s not trying on the snapper,” McAfee mentioned of Schooler.

“Let’s watch the holder, as a result of Schooler already informed us that we’re watching the holder,” McAfee continued, referencing the place the Patriots’ particular groups participant’s imaginative and prescient had been targeted. “Maintain an eye fixed out right here, OK? [Bailey’s] going to look again at Sanders, ask Sanders if he’s prepared, after which very barely, he’s going to go together with a deep breath seemingly [and exhale].”

After letting the replay run, McAfee — pointing at Bailey’s refined exhale — believed he’d recognized what New England noticed.

“Did you see it?” he requested. “Little little bit of a head dip. It feels prefer it’s virtually a breath out, respiration air out, and that sends Schooler.”

And as McAfee identified, the Patriots may need recognized Bailey’s behavior throughout his time with New England from 2019 by way of 2022.

“It’s a minor little element that if you happen to see it, I’d assume it will be too apparent,” he mentioned, “however there’s not lots of people which might be going to have the ability to discover that individual element.”

After all, McAfee — as he reminded his viewers — has his personal historical past with being a holder towards Invoice Belichick’s crew. In a 2015 Patriots-Colts recreation, New England linebacker Jamie Collins jumped over the middle blocked an additional level.

“He had one thing on me,” McAfee mentioned of Belichick scouting his tendencies. “Clearly I needed to change some stuff.”