Former Panthers fullback/tight end Richie Brockel played 47 games over four seasons in the NFL, but he might be best known for one play in Houston in 2011.
The Statue of Liberty. The Annexation of Puerto Rico. Whatever you want to call it, it worked.
With under a minute to play in the first half, the Panthers were at the Texans' 7-yard line. Brockel, quarterback Cam Newton, running back DeAngelo Williams and wide receiver Steve Smith all lined up in the backfield. While the rest of the offensive line stood up straight, center Ryan Kalil snapped the ball, and Newton slid it under Brockel's legs while the rest of the backfield ran right. Brockel hesitated, then slipped out to the left behind a few well-placed blocks and raced into the end zone.
Hardly a stranger to trick plays, Brockel was a redshirt freshman at Boise State during its famed Fiesta Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2007. In that game, the Broncos ran a hook-and-ladder, a half-back pass, and a similar Statue of Liberty play all in the final seconds of regulation, plus overtime.
For the first episode of a new summer content series, "Inside Scoop," Brockel joined team reporter Kristen Balboni to break down the play and its buildup:
"We did it one time in practice, and you go against your defense all the time, so they kind of know it. It was one of those things like, 'They are never going to call this thing. It seems like we're putting it in for fun, and it's never going to come up,'" Brockel recalled. "But when they do call it, you get all that excitement because you've been running it for a few weeks and there's a lot of anxiety because you don't know how it's going to go.
"These trick plays tend to be great, or they tend to completely fall apart."
Of course, it did turn out great as Brockel scored his first and only career NFL touchdown while Carolina went on to beat the Texans, 28-13.