February 9, 2015

THE GAME PLAN WROTE ITSELF...:

The Super Bowl Story, According to Tom Brady (Peter King, 2/09/15, Sports Illustrated)

McDaniels: "I didn't get to see tape on Seattle until about 4 in the afternoon the day after our championship game. The way we do it is, we take care of all our Super Bowl logistical work first, so we can concentrate on game preparation after that without a lot of distractions. I watched a lot of them, obviously. And when you saw people have success against them, you saw teams stringing eight or 10 normal successful football plays together. Not explosive plays. But the word that kept coming to my mind, and I must have said it to our offensive players 25 times in two weeks of prep, was 'patience.' I told them, 'Maybe we can come out of the game with one or two big plays. Maybe. But just trust the process. Be patient.' The keys, to me, were being patient and never running horizontally after the catch. Just go upfield. You're not going to create yards by trying to get around one guy, because two guys will be waiting for you. We did so many catch-and-run drills during the week of practice. Vertical, vertical, vertical. For Tom, the key was: Do not hold the ball for four seconds, or bad things are gonna happen." [...]

Brady: "They'd allowed the fewest big plays of any team all season, and you saw pretty early why you don't want to go into the Super Bowl throwing up a bunch of posts, a bunch of 'nine' routes. ['Go' routes.] Richard Sherman picks off the go route every time you throw it. The plan was to exploit other parts of the field--but short parts of the field. Michael Bennett rushes from everywhere. Cliff Avril kills people. They believe in what they do. We countered that by saying, 'Okay, here's what we're pretty good at: Space the field, find the soft spots, be satisfied with the four-yard gain, be happy with the four-yard gain. We were gonna be happy with a two-yard gain."

...and then, crucially, you know they have neither the coaching nor the personnel to adapt.  Only Tom Brady's divergences from the plan kept Seattle in the game.

Posted by at February 9, 2015 12:13 PM
  

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