By the time Bill Belichick joined a conference call with reporters late Monday afternoon, he had already had a chance to watch his team's win over the Colts on Monday, meaning he had a chance to get a second look at the Colts fake punt.
He was asked for some takeaways from the play after have a chance to watch it more closely. He, like many others, wasn't sure what the Colts were trying to do. But he did have some notes to share.
"Well, I think the play was a version of the swinging gate play," he said. "I don’t know exactly how it was supposed to work. That’s something you’d have to ask them about. They brought the gunner [Griff Whalen] in to snap the ball so he would’ve been an eligible receiver, so we had to cover him. I think basically you want to try to, on punt formations you like that, it’s just a numbers game. You want to have enough guys to match to the smaller numbers, and as many guys as you can to match to the larger number where they were over-shifted.
"We certainly knew that the punter could throw. He’s done that before. He’s thrown passes to uncovered guys on punt formations, and we saw him run against Tennessee, so we were aware of those things. So it’s just kind of everybody making sure that they take care of their responsibility on the shift and make sure that we can defend the formation and know who is eligible. I think it’s something that every special teams coach goes over. The same thing could happen on field goals with the swinging gate. You see teams line up for an extra point with everybody over on the hash mark and if you don’t have it covered they flip it out to him and if you do then they come back in and kick the extra point. It’s that type of a play."
Belichick credited special teams coach Joe Judge and assistant Ray Ventrone for having the Patriots punt-return unit ready to defeat the gadget play.
"Well, it was a good alert play by our punt return unit and Coach Judge and Coach Ventrone for having those guys well-prepared," Belichick said. "It gave us good field position, and then we were able to capitalize on the field position and turn that into seven points. Any time you get that kind of field position, whether it be on a turnover or in this case on downs, whatever it is, you want to be able to take advantage of it. That was the most important thing and we did that, so that was the best thing about it."