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#pounditSunday, February 5, 2023

Chuck Pagano on fake punt debacle: ‘I don’t regret the play call at all’


Perhaps Chuck Pagano was unable to sleep Sunday night after his team lost at home to the New England Patriots. Because any man who had a chance to sleep on a decision like the one he made in the second half would almost certainly wake up regretting it.

On Monday, Pagano told reporters he is disappointed with the way the Indianapolis Colts executed their bizarre fake punt play, but he said he does not regret calling it.

“No, not at all,” Pagano said, per Kevin Patra of Around the NFL. “Not pleased obviously with the way that we 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 got to be better. But I don’t regret the play call at all”

Colts wide receiver Griff Whalen was never supposed to snap the ball, and you could see Pagano asked him “Why did you snap it?” as he walked off the field. In fact, one Patriots player the Colts player who took the snap was screaming at Whalen to not snap the ball. You can see a video of the mind-blowing play here.

“The design was to actually maybe get them to burn a timeout that they might need later on at the end of the game or catch them with too many man on the field, yada yada yada. Didn’t work out that way,” Pagano added. “I obviously didn’t do a good enough job of getting the thing coached up correctly to handle every scenario that could come up. Again, that’s on me. That ain’t on these players.”

It doesn’t matter how the play was supposed to go. The bottom line is the Colts were only trailing 27-21 at the time, yet they still felt they had to get cute in order to have a chance to win. Bill Belichick remained calm and didn’t burn a timeout, and his team was somehow prepared for a play it had never seen before.

Pagano shouldn’t even try to justify the play call. Poorly-executed or not, it was a horrible decision. The man deserves all the meme treatment he has been getting.


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