James White going absolutely beast mode during the Super Bowl was something even the most diehard Patriots fans have to admit they never saw coming (and if you're here, odds are that describes you, on both counts). And one of the many things that James White accomplished while in said beast mode was putting a big old grin on the face of a scatback from yesteryear with three Super Bowl rings of his own - Kevin Faulk.
Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston caught up with Faulk over the weekend while the rest of us were out living a life of leisure, and Kevin said as soon as he saw the Patriots line up for the play that would be James White's direct snap on the two-point conversion, he knew what time it was - and that White was bound for paydirt.
"When he motioned into the backfield and was pretty close to the quarterback, I kind of knew it was coming. And when it happened, I was like 'Yes!' That's when my Twitter feed started going crazy, with people saying "That's your play! That's your play!"
In case your memory is fuzzy, back in 2004, Faulk's direct snap for a two-pointer was the second of two straight plays of trickery - Brady had just tossed a touchdown pass to linebacker Mike Vrabel, and then Faulk punched it in for two.
Ok, I know, you want to watch it again. Here you go:
When Reiss asked Faulk about pulling off another nifty two-point conversion with a similar direct snap play against the San Diego Chargers in 2006 in the divisional round, and brought up that Faulk was initially split out wide before getting called back into the backfield, all Kevin had to say was "You have to put a little window dressing on it."
On executing a tricky play like that and actually making it work, though, here's how you do it, according to Faulk:
"The first thing is you have to try to play it off. At the same time, you have to line up close enough to the quarterback to get the snap. The center is an important part of it, too, because he has to kind of snap it towards you, where you can roll into the ball even though you're making it look like it's going to the quarterback."
"We practiced that play every week."
The best part, though, aside from the visual of Kevin going crazy on his couch at home when White pulled off the two-pointer, was his description of how Bill Belichick keeps plays like that under lock and key all year long, just like the double-pass against Baltimore a couple years back:
"I swear, Bill has this small notebook he carries around and everything he deems worthy is written down in there. He'll go back to it just to make sure and that's what I thought of (in Super Bowl LI with White)."
That notebook better be in the Hall of Fame someday.