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Inside the Patriots’ thrilling field goal block by Brenden Schooler – ESPN – AFC East

Inside the Patriots' thrilling field goal block by Brenden Schooler - ESPN - AFC East

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Where did Brenden Schooler come from?

The question has been reverberating across the NFL since the New England Patriots24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night — and it has a double meaning.

Schooler sprinted from a rare outside position to block Jason Sanders’ 49-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter — a sensational effort on a unique play that had many wondering how he did it and how the special teams scheme came about.

As a result of the play, Schooler’s profile has been raised to a new level — he’s in his second NFL season after attending Oregon, Arizona and finally Texas. A safety/wide receiver in college, Schooler made the Patriots’ roster as an undrafted free agent in 2022 and played exclusively on special teams, where he had a team-high 14 tackles as a rookie.

Some teammates call him “Sunshine” because of the long hair that flows out of the back of his helmet — a reference to the character in the movie “Remember the Titans.”

Indeed, the play has been a ray of light in the Patriots’ 0-2 start as they now face a critical AFC East game against the 1-1 New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS).

“I don’t think I would have come up with that, so it’s a testament to our coaching staff, because when they drew it up and told us what we were doing, I thought to myself, ‘I trust them, but I haven’t ever seen anything like this before,’” Schooler said.

“It was awesome to see the new innovative plays that they come up with, and then to go out there and execute it.”

Schooler’s effort drew respect from players across the league, including Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, whose responsibility on the field goal protection unit was to block him.

“I saw the whole thing developing. He came from distance and he timed it up great,” Wilkins said. “I’ve never seen anything like that on the football field, and it was just a helluva play … You just tip your hat and…

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