So special teams is one of those things that no fan knows about but we all love to gripe about. For instance, other than the kicker, punter, long snapper and gunner, do you know the name of any other position? I sure don’t but I will yell at the screen when the guy misses a block. This is essentially what happened during the “punt, pass and puke” play as quoted by Drew Olsen on Green and Gold Today. We all know it was a terrible play, and head coach Mike McCarthy and special teams coach Shawn Slocum both got plenty of heat for the call. But why call the play in the first place?
The Situation: The score is Green Bay 21, Chicago 10 with 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Packers are sitting pretty well at the moment, the Bears offense hasn’t been able to move the ball (i.e. failing to convert a single 3rd down) while the Packers have had success both on the ground as well as in the air and look to burn some time with a two score lead.
Snap: The Packers come out with two players matching each gunner. This is typically done to give the punt returner some more space on the edges but they give up any real chance of blocking the punt as well as being overmatched in the middle
The Kick: This picture was taking immediately after the kick, as you can see the Packers didn’t get anywhere close to blocking P Adam Podlesh’s punt (the closest Packers is 5 yards away and has already turned for pursuit). I’ve circled WR Jeremy Ross (10) so keep an eye out for him as the play progresses.
Fielding The Punt: You can now see PR Randall Cobb (18) relative to WR Ross, also notice at this point, Ross still appears to be blocking the gunner.
Beginning of Trick Play: At this point WR Ross begins to peel away from the action and get ready for the lateral. Also notice at this point no Bear has noticed that WR Ross is doing something other than blocking the gunner
The Lateral: This is just before PR Cobb makes the lateral pass. Notice the vast majority of Bears players are still heading towards PR Cobb.