Last night, the Indianapolis Colts ran one of the worst plays that you'll ever see, as a trick play backfired completely on them. The team has been front and center in the sports world today as people make fun of and try to wrap their minds around that fake punt call that had a big impact on the game.
To his credit, head coach Chuck Pagano took all of the blame and responsibility for the play last night, saying that it was his fault and not throwing any players under the bus or even giving them a sliver of the blame for the disastrous play. Surely, though, Pagano regrets the decision to make that call in that situation, right? Wrong. In his press conference today, Pagano was asked whether he has any regrets about it.
"No. No. Not at all," Pagano said. "Not pleased, obviously, with the way that I prepared the guys or coached the guys to go out and execute the play. That's on me, I talked about that at great length, and I've got to be better. But I don't regret the play call at all."
Pagano did go on to explain the decision a little further, saying that the design was so that perhaps the Patriots would have to take a timeout that they might end up needing later because they weren't prepared for it, or that they would have too many men on the field, or something like that. "It didn't work out that way," Pagano noted, but that was the idea behind it.
Once again, he took responsibility for the call, saying that, "I obviously didn't do a good enough job of getting the thing coached up correctly to handle every scenario that could come up. And again, that's on me, that ain't on these players."
I think it's important to note that the outcome of a play shouldn't really be the criteria for whether it was a good or a bad call. For example, the decision to go for the touchdown on fourth down was a good call regardless of whether it worked. The onside kick was a good call regardless of whether it worked. You can't just judge good or bad calls on whether the play ended up working or not. With all of that said, however, this wasn't a good decision nor a good call, and it didn't work either.
The Colts had been practicing this play on and off for over a year, and they brought it back this week. It should never have been called, but regardless, the ball should never have been snapped either. If the Colts really were just trying to catch the Patriots surprised, that's fine. But to snap that ball? That's unacceptable. It's hard to know where the blame really lies for that, as Pagano won't say anything other than that it was a miscommunication and that it was his fault, and it ultimately does come down to the head coach. He shouldn't have put his players in that situation, and it ended up backfiring. Despite that, Pagano doesn't regret the call but only the fact that he didn't have the team more prepared to know what to do.