If Adam Gase is ever in position to go for it on a red-zone fourth down at the Super Bowl, perhaps he’ll go to this play, a bold call that sparked Philadelphia’s upset of New England on Sunday night.
If Gase is ever in position to make a daring statement that the Miami Dolphins will not play afraid, perhaps he’ll go to the trick play that Eagles coach Doug Pederson chose. It was a play the Eagles actually borrowed from newly-hired Miami offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
The Eagles led the Patriots, 15-12, with less than a minute left in the first half and the ball at the Patriots’ 1-yard line. Instead of playing it safe, Pederson, the former Dolphins’ quarterback, called a play designed to end with quarterback Nick Foles catching a touchdown pass.
And it worked. And it set a tone for the rest of the game.
Foles lined up in the shotgun and walked up to the line of scrimmage to fake a protection call. The ball was then snapped to running back Corey Clement, who quickly pitched to tight end Trey Burton, the former Florida Gator and and a free agent who should interest the Dolphins.
Burton, who played some quarterback in Gainesville, then calmly passed to Foles, who had snuck out in the right flat untouched.
“I trust my players, I trust my coaches and I trust my instincts,” Pederson said. “I trust everything I’m doing, and I want to maintain that aggressiveness. In games like this, against a great opponent, you have to make those tough decisions that way and keep yourself aggressive.”
It’s a call one could reasonably suggest Gase might make, given the opportunity.
And it turns out the man Gase just hired inspired the Eagles’ decision to install what they call “Philly Special.”
After the game, Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said the team had seen Bears tight end Cam Meredith throw a touchdown pass to quarterback Matt Barkley out of the same formation.
At the time, Loggains, who has a successful track record of installing trick plays, was Chicago’s offensive coordinator.