The National Football League is well-known for stealing concepts and ideas from its Canadian counterpart, but the Miami Dolphins took that to the extreme during walkthrough on Wednesday.
NFL security has opened an investigation after a fan snuck into the closed practice at the University of Cincinnati and illegally recorded clips of the team’s final preparations for Thursday Night Football, posting them to social media.
However, according to a new report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, that video will be of no use to the Cincinnati Bengals ahead of the primetime game due to a savvy adjustment by rookie head coach Mike McDaniels.
“The Dolphins noticed people watching their walkthrough Wednesday in Cincinnati, so they made a sly adjustment: All the clips circulating on Twitter have 12 players on offense,” Pelissero tweeted Thursday afternoon. “Fake plays? Fake routes on real plays? Either way, Mike McDaniel and company staying one step ahead.”
The unorthodox strategy to avoid football espionage resulted in the Dolphins running an impromptu CFL offence, sans waggle, ahead of their showcase game. Given McDaniel’s reputation as an offensive guru, Canadian coaches may be clamouring to get their hands on those clips to see what gems he came up with on the fly.
While the additional man on offence may have prevented the Bengals from gleaning any information from the leaked practice, it likely didn’t confuse the Dolphins’ defence. The team is led by dynamic Canadian safety Jevon Holland — the son of a CFL player who was raised in Coquitlam and has the B.C. Lions’ logo tattooed on his arm — and also features former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Sam Eguavoen.
The Dolphins are currently 3-0 and coming off a victory over the Super Bowl favourite Buffalo Bills last Sunday. Kickoff against the Bengals (1-2) is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 29.