Run, Danny, Run! Patriots Backup QB Makes His Mark With 86-Yard Sprint in Preseason Win Over New York Giants
Posted by: Gronkowski
By the fourth preseason game, starting players are chomping at the bit for the season to start and rookies have their last chance to make their mark before final cuts are made.
While Brady, Gronk, Hogan, Edelman and most of the usual suspects watched safely from the sidelines during Thursday’s Patriots-Giants faceoff at MetLife Stadium, the newbies were given their chance to shine.
One of those hopefuls was backup quarterback Danny Etling – who had fans talking and tweeting with excitement after the 17-12 New England victory.
The seventh round draft pick out of LSU added spark to what can often be a lackluster game with a thrilling 86-yard run on an option game-clinching touchdown. “I’ve never really run that far in my life,” Etling joked afterwards.
The 24-year-old faked a handoff before bolting to the end zone, out-running two members of the Giants’ secondary in the process.
The kid did good!
And it wasn’t just the fans who were fired up -- the boss took notice too. “When’s the last time a quarterback has run more than 85 yards for the New England Patriots … at least 20 years,” Bill Belichick marveled.
“Look, nobody has worked harder than Danny,” Coach went on to say. “That kid is the first one in, last one to leave. He is very diligent. He tries to sort as much as he can with all the things that we do and then he stays extra and works on his own. When something like that happens you are just happy for him that all the hard work pays off.”
In true Patriots form, Etling was quick to share the credit. “It was a great job by the running back and the offensive line there to sell it,” he told the media after the game, Boston.com reported. “They made sure there was no one there to make a tackle on me. I think I looked back about seven times and finally crossed the end zone. That was just a great play by the entire offense.”
Along with his impressive sprint, Etling completed 18 of his 32 pass attempts for 157 yards and a touchdown.
As for the impending cuts this weekend as all NFL teams have to make final roster decisions, Belichick was as stoic as ever during his Friday morning conference call, according to Patriots.com.
“There are always some situations that are more clear cut than others,” he said. “The more information you have the more confident you are that you’re making the right decision. It’s always a combination of those things and we’ll do the best we can and see how it goes.
“There are a lot of things that factor into [roster decisions] that fall under the total category of team building. As we all know there’s a lot of roster adjustment in the first month of the season, on our team and throughout the league. That’s the same way it is every year and I doubt it would be any different this year.”
The real action starts Sept. 9 when the Patriots host the Texans at Gillette.
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