Eighteen games into a record-breaking campaign, offensive coordinator Adam Gase packed a gem into the game plan, drawing up a run for fourth-string tight end Virgil Green, who came into the AFC title game without a single NFL carry.
"Pretty different," Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning told TheMMQB.com's Peter King. "You know, Belichick prepares them for everything. But a run by Virgil Green was not on their hit chart anywhere. We have some formations with three receivers and two tight ends where you had an empty set and throw, and Gase said, 'We're just going to put Virgil back there and run it.' And he really made a heck of a run."
Green busted out for a six-yard gain, not the biggest chunk of real estate on Denver's 15-play, 94-yard scoring drive, but a call that Manning admired (as should Belichick, who once used Aaron Hernandez the same way).
"That's what I like about Adam," Manning said. "He's always working, always thinking. We email each other at night ideas, and bounce ideas off.'"
Perhaps it's time to revisit the lazy assumptions that Gase's role with the Broncos is limited to riding Peyton's coattails and hanging around the team complex for three squares a day.
Manning has gone out of his way in recent weeks to crystalize for reporters how important Gase has been to the weekly game plan, and now these two mad scientists are off to the Super Bowl.