Eagles' Trey Burton on 'Philly Special' TD pass: Nick Foles was 'my fourth option'
Burton was told to run the ball into the end zone; instead he gave his QB a chance
Philly Special -- the Eagles' trick play that stunned the Patriots in Super Bowl LII -- will go down in history as which is probably why we're leaning something new about it almost every day since the play unfolded.
At the time, the Eagles were clinging to a three-point lead in the final minute of the first half. Faced with a fourth down near the goal line, most assumed the Eagles would kick the field goal. Instead, they went for it. Nick Foles suggested to Doug Pederson that they run "Philly Special," Pederson agreed, and then the Eagles offense executed the play to perfection, with Foles pretending to change the play as the ball got snapped to running back Corey Clement, who pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who lofted an easy pass to an uncovered Foles in the end zone.
It turns out, Foles wasn't even the primary read on the play. On Friday, Burton appeared on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football," where he revealed that his first three options were to run the ball himself. His fourth option? Throw it to Foles.
Burton told "First Things First" on FS1 that the last pass he threw came during his freshman season at Florida. He said that the play was installed before the Eagles' win over the Falcons in the Divisional Round and that he was "elbowing" Pederson to call it during the Eagles' victory over the Vikings in the NFC Championship game, but Pederson didn't want to expose the play during a blowout.
When Foles finally called for it in the huddle during the Super Bowl, Burton looked up "wide eyed."
"They told me that my first option was to run," he said. "Ain't no way I was running."
He picked the best option. As you can see below, the Patriots' defense actually reacted pretty quickly to the pitch to Burton, who would've had no chance to make it into end zone from the 8-yard line (where he caught the ball). The Patriots had his path blocked. They did not, however, account for Foles, who sold his lack of involvement in the play by standing still immediately after the snap before slipping into the end zone.
Earlier this week, footage from Showtime's "Inside the NFL" revealed that it. To Pederson's credit, he didn't hesitate, almost immediately telling Foles, "Yeah, let's do it."
The rest is history. The Eagles eventually vanquished the Patriots to capture their first Super Bowl, ensuring that Philly Special will be remembered forever as one of the greatest play-calls in NFL history.
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