Del Rio tries to explain muffed punt vs. Pats

Del Rio tries to explain muffed punt vs. Pats
November 26, 2013, 12:45 pm
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While Wes Welker assumed responsibility Sunday night for the muffed punt that allowed the Patriots to boot the game-winner, Jack Del Rio did some obfuscating on Monday.
“Certainly, Wes would say, ‘Hey I’ve got to be more emphatic getting the guy out of there’ and then (Tony Carter, who the ball struck) I’m sure would say, ‘Hey I’ve got to be more aware there.’ That’s something that (special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers) does a great job of drilling situations and teaching and talking awareness and things to be alert for and that was one of those situations,” said Del Rio.
One wonders if the coaches do such a great job why the players butchered the play in overtime of a prime-time game when a mistake would lead directly to a loss, but Del Rio was rolling.
“It’s just one of those fluke deals that can occur,” he said. “We work hard and practice that to ensure it doesn’t and it just got us — it bit us there.
“As coaches we have to say, ‘Hey, we have to do an even better job of teaching the situational awareness there and helping our guys be better in that particular situation.’ I think both players involved tried to take some blame and I think as a coach that’s looking over it all I take some share for that blame.”
Asked directly if Welker should have stepped up for the fair catch, Del Rio said, “That’s certainly an option if he felt like he could. He thought it was a little crowded there and didn’t want to have some kind of mishap. I mean, I’m speaking for him but that’s judgment he’s got to make back there.”
As for Carter carrying his block on Marquice Cole back to a point where he should have realized he was on an arc that would lead him to ground zero, Del Rio said, “That’s a job he’s had thousands of reps at. We had some shuffling, we had a couple injuries, we had guy shuffling in but again we spend a lot of time drilling fundamentals, teaching situations and that’s the type of thing that we give a lot of attention to in practice, practice time, working the different situations. We do our best to prepare. Like I said, when something doesn’t go right like that, as a coach you look at it and say, ‘How can I help our guys be even better there?’ and that’s the way we’re looking at it.”