Chuck Pagano on Patriots: We have to be prepared for everything

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Colts coach Chuck Pagano was preparing for his team’s game in Denver while the Ravens and Patriots were playing on Saturday, but he was aware that the Patriots caused problems for the Ravens by lining up in a formation with running back Shane Vereen lining up with four offensive linemen as ineligible receivers.

While Ravens coach John Harbaugh complained about the “substitution trick” after the game, Pagano called the league to “cover all our bases” and make sure he was prepared if the Broncos decided to peel a page from Bill Belichick’s book. The league told him that all was legal and Pagano will have that in mind as he now turns his attention to stopping Belichick’s team in the AFC title game.

“They only had four linemen in on those plays, had three wideouts, two tight ends and a running back and a quarterback,” Pagano said, via “It made it difficult for the defense to get lined up, especially if you’re in a man-to-man situation and you’re trying to figure out who is eligible, who’s not, who’s on the ball, who’s off the ball, all those types of things. You don’t have a lot of time. Officials aren’t going to slow the thing down and let you get lined up so to speak. We have to be prepared for everything obviously.”

Now that so much attention has been paid to it, the Colts may not see that alignment this week. They’ll have to take time away from other things to  think about how to combat it, however, and that may wind up benefitting the Patriots as well.

33 responses to “Chuck Pagano on Patriots: We have to be prepared for everything

  1. Bellichick won’t go to the same well two weeks in row. If you want to prepare for something, prepare to lose mightily.

  2. Fortunately Pete Carroll has 3 weeks to prepare for it, but I imagine Belichick has another Ace up his sleeve if desperate times call for desperate measures in the desert.

  3. Ha, ha this is great, while Harbaugh is home whining about something that caught him completely by surprise, Pagano will spend valuable time preparing for something he won’t even see!

  4. I think now that it has been used its going to be easy to cover and won’t be a factor the rest of the postseason.

    It has to be player who wasn’t in on the previous snap and he then reports to the referee, they play it over the stadium speakers. If you’re in a man to man coverage situation and you see a new player coming onto the field be aware.

    If you’re in a zone I think its easier for a player to check out just their responsibilities. Again, they make the announcement on the speakers and failing that I’ll look down the line and see who the End Man on the Line of Scrimmage (EMOL) is. Just as I would do if JJ Watt is playing Tight End or Jumbo Elliot came in as eligible.

    Now that we’re past the initial confusion. Professionals should be able to handle this no problem.

  5. was a legal play. Sorry is about deception. Take the loss like a man and prepare for next year. Harbaugh shouldnt be concerned with a trick play..he should be concerned that only one time has a playoff team blown 2 14 point leads in a game and lost.

  6. The Refs TOLD Harbaugh the receiver was inegilible, pointed to him, and I believe stated who WAS eligible and Harbaugh had 10 seconds to adjust.

    What more does the guy want? Even I would have been savvy enough to call a switch to a zone.

    But this will be added to the “Belicheat” myth – that he “cheated” by breaking a 2006 rule from 2001-2004.

    This year it will be he “cheated” in 2015 by breaking a rule that may be created by 2017 at best.

    Only Belichick is expected to adhere to unwritten rules.

  7. The short and easy answer is “cover everybody”. Vereen reported as an ineligible receiver, but he could still “receive” a lateral/backwards pass if he were left uncovered by the defense. So regardless of whether they report eligible/ineligible you need to have somebody covering that player. So when your coaches see 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 TE’s, 3 WR’s and 4 OLinemen out there you might want to go to a nickel or dime package because the offense has 6 “receivers” on the field that you need to defend. That RB doesn’t suddenly gain 150 pounds and develop stone hands just because he reported as ineligible.

  8. Belichick will need to keep the team focused and work hard this week. The tendency will be to take the Colts lightly since the Pats have blown them out 3 times in a row.

    But I think like the Ravens, the Colts will come to play and play hard. With most of the pundits calling for a Colts loss already, they have nothing to lose.

    Bill and Tom badly want their 4th ring together and I don’t think the Colts plan to come in and just roll over.

  9. Attention John Harbaugh: “Officials aren’t going to slow the thing down and let you get lined up so to speak. “

  10. As a Colts fan, the fact is the play was legal. If you are confused, call a time out. It’s that simple. Had the Ravens called a TO, they could have adjusted, and the Patriots would have adjusted out of that look.

    By the way, I had a dream last night (seriously) that the Colts win Sunday’s game 49-3. So you heard it here first!

  11. Be prepared for the refs in Kraft’s pocket, Goodell to look the other way and Belicheat to umm well Cheat, that’s what cheaters do, they cheat.

  12. Whats the name people use to call other people who have cheated? Anyone? Oh yeah CHEATER. Am I wrong? Did Belichick cheat the rules? Yes so therefore he is a CHEATER.

  13. First..since nobody else has congratulated the Colts, a big congrats on beating the Broncos…as always, no matter who is playing against manning, it’s always all about him, losing or winning and not a word of praise for the other this case, the Colts.

    Your guys all played “playoff worthy” and you absolutely worked your magic. Great game, great win for your guys as a TEAM. That said, welcome to Foxboro, I’m hoping my Pats win, Brady is tough at home, but I’ll wait to see what happens. Again, congrats on a game well played.

  14. HAHAHA a colts blowout?? brady 3-0 vs luck with an average of 48 ppg so i dont see a colts 49-3 win in the future. last two times playing the colts we had the steelers ex back up rb blount for 200+ and 4 tds in the playoffs, then had an above average practice team back in jonas gray do the same thing. the colts will have to worry so much about the run that brady will be throwing an air assault right over their heads. i DARE them to give the over the top pass like they did to christopher reeve throwing the ball last week in denver. this game is not gonna be close folks, on to Glendale to take on the defending champs

  15. The Pats haters have become so sad and pathetic. The fact that their own teams never make the playoffs makes it all the more difficult for them to watch and hear about the beauty that is the NE Patriots organization and its incredible run of success.

    And if the Pats and the Seahawks both win this weekend the haters will be gnashing their teeth and gnawing their own limbs off for weeks having to watch the two teams they hate the most once again at the top of the heap.

  16. “It has to be player who wasn’t in on the previous snap and he then reports to the referee, they play it over the stadium speakers. If you’re in a man to man coverage situation and you see a new player coming onto the field be aware.”

    Not really. A player who is in can alter his eligibility without leaving the field. He has to leave the field before resuming his normal eligibility. It is true that you’d need to sub another eligible-numbered player for an ineligible-numbered player to make this work, but the sub doesn’t have to be the one that declares himself ineligible. It can be anyone else on the team.

  17. Pats haters might just as well hang a sign around their neck that says, “I don’t know squat football. My team blows and loses to the Pats on a regular basis. I am a miserable person.”

  18. Harbaugh thinks Brady should have checked with the Ravens defense and asked them if it was OK with them if he snaps the ball now.

    Used to have some respect for Harbaugh. No more.

  19. It will be a close game…Colts lost to Pats several times in past because they tried to play like the Pats do…last game against Denver they came hungry (Checkers). Only the Pats can play a finesse game (Chess) and win. Now that the Pats have removed some of the rust, they should win a close one. And I thank the Ravens for instilling a little humility in the Pats. It will remind the Pats they are playing football. In my curdled mind, the Pats lost big games because they forgot when things get tough, and your tick tack plays get broken up, you have to resort to a grind game right away, and wake up before it is over. Having Gronk is a big plus, not so much for his matchup problems, but when he bulldozes. It lights up the team, and they all want a turn to be like Gronk. Wish there was stats on that. After a big Gronk play, how many extra yards does a receiver, TE, or running back get compared to their average…

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