Based on the manner in which he was flying around the field and making plays roughly a week after rejoining the Saints, we wondered aloud (Twitter style), “How was Mike McKenzie available in November?“
But he was, and the Saints benefited greatly from a guy who showed up, adapted to a defensive coordinator who wasn’t with the team when McKenzie last played for it, made three tackles, intercepted a pass, and broke up a key fourth-down throw to Randy Moss.
So how were the Saints able to hold the Pats to only three more than they scored against the Giants during Super Bowl XLII?
“Our coaching staff did a tremendous job of mixing things up, and I
think we put a little doubt in [quarterback Tom] Brady’s mind,” McKenzie told Dennis Dillon of Sporting News Today after the game.
The best way to put doubt in Brady’s mind, as the Giants demonstrated in February 2008, is to put pressure on him. With the offensive line not keeping bodies away from Brady, he simply wasn’t able to spot the open man and wind up and deliver the ball in a spot where it could be caught.
It also helps to have guys like McKenzie in the defensive backfield, especially when McKenzie already is playing like he played in the best days of his playing career.
Plenty of other coaches and front offices have to be wondering how in the hell no one else noticed McKenzie can still play.