After the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday evening, NFL Network’s James Palmer ran something up the flagpole.
Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy on spin move trick play to convert 4th down vs. 49ers pic.twitter.com/wpOxC1DJMV— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) February 3, 2020
As it turned out, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was a year off in his recollection of the genesis of the play the Chiefs used to convert a critical fourth down in the first quarter.
But it didn’t matter. It didn’t take very long for the source of the play to be revealed.
Chiefs really took a play Michigan ran in the 1948 Rose Bowl @Chiefs pic.twitter.com/VE0gvp0VQV— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) February 3, 2020
Speaking to bleary-eyed reporters in Miami on Monday morning, head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes — a bit bleary-eyed themselves — were asked about the “spin-o-rama” play.
“My brother’s high school coach was actually in that game for USC,” explained Reid. “I had a little bit of tape to run back through — and pulled that out. We actually have a whole package with it, so you’ll have to wait for see all that. It’s good stuff.”
Even on Sunday night, however, some previews of what those additional plays from the formation might look like were floating around the Internet.
Pretty cool. Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy said they stole that first TD play from Michigan in an old Rose Bowl vs. USC. I looked, and yep. This is from New Year's Day 1948. Fritz Crisler = visionary pic.twitter.com/bcWp5BEf0h— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) February 3, 2020
”We’ve worked on that play since the first day of OTAs,” said Mahomes. “We kept working on it every single week. We kept working on it — executing it and doing it the right way — waiting for the perfect time to call it. When we were there and coach said it, I was like, ‘It’s time. Let’s do it.’
“We all did it the right way,” added Mahomes. “Damien Williams had a great catch from the snap and hit it up the middle. You never know when those plays are going to get called, so you just keep working, trying to perfect them every single time you get an opportunity.”
Reid is frequently called an innovator. But sometimes innovation is simply being aware of what has been done before — and finding the right time to use that knowledge.