The Miami Miracle was everywhere Monday.
On ESPN. On NFL Network.
On social media.
Even in 8-bit graphics.
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A Pittsburgh-based viral media company simulated the hook-and-double-lateral touchdown on Tecmo Bowl. Check it out. It’s worth your time.
You probably saw some version of the play dozens of times since it happened just after 4 p.m. Sunday.
And you almost certainly saw it more often than Adam Gase, the guy who now famously called in “Boise” just before the final snap of Sunday’s Dolphins win over the Patriots.
He watched it twice Sunday night: Once in the locker room after the game, and then again later that night.
What’s more, Gase went out of his way not to talk about it Sunday night. He turned off the vibrate function on his phone, because it wouldn’t stop buzzing with messages from friends and colleagues. Gase was already focused on the Vikings, and didn’t want to be distracted.
But as eager as Gase seemed to move on Monday, the assembled members of the sporting press at Dolphins camp Monday would not let him.
Which is good, because questions needed answers.
Why call the hook-and-lateral and not some other gimmick play?
And why did it work?
“I think it just gives you a chance to get the ball into the hands of a dynamic guy in space and has the opportunity to try to hit one,” Gase said. “You throw a Hail Mary, you’ve got a guy trying to tip it and then hopefully it falls into somebody’s hands. It’s a long throw you’re trying to get off before you get sacked and a lot of bad things can happen. And you’re, what, 70 yards away from the end zone? He’s really got to put a lot into that one. I don’t know if he could have got it there. At least it gives you a chance. It gives you a chance almost like a kickoff return.”
As for what made it work, Gase explained:
“Protection was good because usually you have something happen where you have to move up in the protection. I thought those guys did a good job. Ryan [Tannehill] threw it at the right time. Kenny [Stills] did a good job of not throwing it. He didn’t do what happens a lot of times where you catch it and you toss it and it doesn’t matter if there’s a guy there. Him kind of noticing that guy there and then waited and pitched it to DeVante [Parker]. Then, after watching that, DeVante was probably right with what he did to get it to Kenyan [Drake]. At the time, I thought he could’ve kept running and wait to pitch it to him because that’s really what you’re trying to do is get him to go as long as possible until he has to pitch it. But that’s probably not a bad idea to give it to the guy that has probably better vision and he’s kind of been in that situation as a kickoff returner and a running back.”
The Dolphins have practiced that play many times, most recently in the days leading up to Sunday’s game. And while the execution was largely true to the design, Dolphins players of course did some ad libbing.
“[Drake] usually gets it last. DeVante usually runs about 10-15 yards then he pitches it to Drake and Drake does some ridiculous touchdown dance going in.”
Why didn’t we see that dance Sunday?
“I’m sure when it was real, he was just like ‘I better get in the end zone.’”