Tom Brady says new plays were inserted into the Patriot’s playbook on Sunday.
“At the team hotel, the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, the offensive players were greeted at the 11 a.m. meeting with the news that eight new plays were being installed for the game. … They walked through the plays in a hotel ballroom, then ran four or five of them during the game—all for positive yards.” (Peter King)
It’s hard to reckon with how big this is. I think we can agree that no team is better coached than the Patriots. So you might think that the Pats didn’t need new plays at this point. In any case, there can’t be many teams smart enough to master new plays in the fleeting hours before a big game. And few coaches who would risk overloading players with novelty at the moment they were overloaded with anxiety.
But this is a measure of the “just in time,” “pure improv,” “adaptation as a continuous event” organization that Coach Belichick has created in New England. He has fashioned a hyper intelligent beast that can be reprogrammed continuously.
But that’s just for starters.
On Get Up (ESPN), Dan Orlovsky said this about the Pats offense.
“I don’t really believe that they have wide receivers or running backs. They just take a bunch of guys that they think are football players and they move them all over the place to get match ups. Their running backs, sometimes they look like wide receivers. Their wide receivers, sometimes they look like running backs. Edelman. Wes Welker, James White, they all kind of look the same playing different positions.”
So this sheer adaptational ability goes right into the heart of personnel decisions, into training, into the very concept Belichick has of what the game can be.
I think it’s fair to say that as business heats up it will summon (and then require) managers with Belichickean gifts. And from these extraordinary managers we can expect new models of what business is. We will see “business models” that change in real time.
Someday we will all play for the Patriots.