Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports

Bill Belichick cracks joke after Danny Etling's 86-yard TD run: When’s the last time a quarterback ran for 85 yards for the New England Patriots?

Ryan Hannable
August 30, 2018 - 11:20 pm

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The play of the preseason finale came in the fourth quarter when rookie quarterback Danny Etling ran 86 yards for a touchdown on a naked bootleg that all of the Giants defense fell for.

In all, Etling finished the game with 113 yards on seven carries in the Patriots' 17-12 win.

Afterwards, Bill Belichick cracked a joke about the last time a run like that came from a Patriot quarterback.

“I mean, he had over 100 yards rushing, right? 113? When’s the last time a quarterback ran for 85 yards for the New England Patriots? I’d say at least 20 years, I know that," Belichick said with a smile. "Maybe [Steve] Grogan, [Jim] Plunkett. 80, that is a long run, though."

The coach seemed genuinely happy for Etling, who has put a lot of time in over the course of the spring and summer.

“Look, nobody has worked harder than Danny," he said. "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.”

It is highly unlikely Etling makes the 53-man roster, but seems like a good candidate for the practice squad.

Related: 10 quick thoughts from preseason finale