It’s time to accept Bill Belichick is just smarter than the rest of us mere mortals.
The Patriots always seem to have a leg up on every other team in their understanding of the NFL rulebook, and have seemingly taken advantage of every loophole there is. Their latest comes from Sunday, when New England went into Denver and handled their nemesis Broncos.
During a play on in the first quarter, Belichick and Josh McDaniels sent in linebacker Shea McClellin on offense, who disguised as a lineman in the huddle, flanked out wide in the slot position once the team broke the huddle.
This forced the most dynamic pass rusher in the league, Von Miller to play cornerback on a decoy of a player, taking him out of the play entirely.
Which Patriots player doesn’t belong in this picture? LB Shea McClellin (58) played 1 snap on offense (5:55, 1st Q). pic.twitter.com/pqbMz0Avdv
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 19, 2016
The Broncos were then only able to rush three, giving Brady ample time in the pocket.
— Tom Leyden (@TomLeyden) December 18, 2016
The play is perfectly legal, but rarely used, only notably previously by John Harbaugh and the Ravens.