We’re probably not the first to tell you this, but the NFL really is a copycat league.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton recently gave NBC Sports’ Peter King an inside look at how the team prepares for games. At one point during the discussion, Payton revealed the Saints love stealing plays from other NFL teams.
And, as it turns out, one of the new newest additions to New Orleans’ playbook was plucked from the New England Patriots’ matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
“R and D is big in the job. I look at the league a lot,” Payton told King. “I look at all the scoring plays every week. I look at (Bill) Belichick and New England. I look at Sean McVay. I found a good one last night. I hadn’t watched all of New England’s offensive plays in the Super Bowl against Philadelphia in a while, and so last night, I put the tape on and I found something.
“Gronk (tight end Rob Gronkowski) caught a ball inside the 10 and scored, but it’s how he caught it. It was like catching an inbounds pass, using your body to keep the defender off you. That’s perfect for us. I told Mike Thomas, ‘This is a touchdown.’ We practiced it today. I think we’ll use it.”
Here’s the play (we think) Payton is talking about:
Of course, we all know what happened after Gronkowski scored that TD.
The Saints appeared to run a similar play Sunday, perhaps on multiple occasions, as Thomas got separation for a 30-yard catch-and-run, while New Orleans also scored a touchdown on a similar play. Regardless, the Saints came up with more than enough to throttle the defending Super Bowl champions 48-7.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports images