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Pagano says Colts will keep kicking onside until teams adjust

patmcafee

The Colts have had plenty of success with onside kicks this season, recovering all three of their onside kick attempts. And Colts coach Chuck Pagano says there may be more of that coming.

On Thursday night against the Texans, the Colts saw an obvious flaw in Houston’s kickoff return alignment: There was a wide open space in the middle. So kicker Pat McAfee just kicked a slow roller up the middle and pounced on the ball as soon as it went 10 yards. Pagano says that special teams coordinator Tom McMahon is always looking for opportunities to take advantage like that.

“Again, people have to adjust certain ways. We’re doing different things. Tom, again, has done a great job with that. Based on how they lineup and how they adjust, it’s kind of just we’re going to take whatever they give us. They’ve got to make a decision on how they adjust. We’ll keep playing with it and try to find a way to steal a play here and there,” Pagano said.

Pagano said he believes a surprise onside kick can turn a game around.

“I think it’s huge,” he said. “You see how we started that game. You go right down, hit a big play to T.Y. [Hilton] to follow. Then you’re in the end zone the next play and you’re up 14. Momentum is everything. . . . We’re going to play as aggressive as we possibly can. We’re going to be smart. We’re going to take calculated risks based on preparation and things like that. It’s huge.”

In other words, the Colts will keep the surprise onside kicks coming, until they no longer catch teams by surprise.