With the NFL constantly evolving, teams continue to find innovative ways to gain an edge over their opponent. While the Kansas City Chiefs have been no strangers to innovation – especially on the offensive side of the ball – it was fellow AFC contemporary New England Patriots who had the whole league buzzing with this play on Sunday Night Football.
New England’s Brenden Schooler was the Patriots player credited with the block field goal attempt. Initially lining up wide, Schooler was able to give himself a running start after perfectly timing his rush to the snap of the ball.
Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub detailed the play during his Thursday press conference.
“There’s a lot of things going on,” Toub explained. “He was initially looking at the holder to get his start – and you have to practice the heck out of it. You watch the holder’s routine, and then as you start running, now you go to the ball. When the ball snaps, boom, you just go.”
“Now, if the ball doesn’t snap, obviously, you got to bail. So, it’s not an all-or-nothing thing. You’re still looking at the ball at the last second, but you’re on a running start now. Now the momentum of your body — I mean it’s hard for that wing to get that thing stopped because he’s going so fast, and that’s what happened. He ran through the arm of the wing, got the block. Good play.
Having seen a lot in his 20 years as a special teams coach, Toub was not surprised by the play's uniqueness. That being said, he had nothing but praise for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the creativity behind his special teams unit.
“I think [New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick] done it before,” Toub said during Thursday’s press conference. “It’s been something that they thought that they could get something on [before], but they weren’t successful with the block. But this time, they ran it perfectly. Timed it up, perfectly. Got the block, and it was a nice play. It was impressive.”
With the rest of the league quick to follow suit on trends like this, Toub knows he and the Chiefs’ field goal unit must prepare for when another team inevitably runs this against them.
“Now we have to talk to our field goal team and say what do you do if you get that and how do you handle it,” Toub noted. “Without getting too into that, we covered it, and I think more people are going to try it because it’s a copycat league. So, we’re going to see it again for sure.”
When asked which player would best be suited to execute this play for the Chiefs, however, Toub rightfully chose to keep it a secret.
“We’ll see,” he said with a smile. “We’ll see.”