A pair of curious coaching calls in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Bills-Rams game was capped by an L.A. decision to fake a punt deep in their own end. It didn’t work.
Possibly because the Bills were waiting for it.
“It was amazing,” Bills coach Rex Ryan told reporters on Monday. “Like I said, [special-teams coordinator Danny] Crossman had us all ready, man. There was no question about it. We were actually wanting them to fake the whole day because we thought we were prepared for it. . . .
“It was a tremendous job of coaching, I think. First off by Crossman. It was funny because our guys on the sideline were yelling, ‘Hey play the fake.’ And they are putting a different adjective in there as well, I think. But it was like no way were we giving it up then, but we were prepared all week. Again I always talk about it, you guys are tired of me telling you about preparation and dedication and work and film study and all that stuff but it paid off.”
The Rams thought they were prepared to convert the fake, and coach Jeff Fisher doubled down on the decision during his day-after press conference, without being asked a question about it.
“I know you guys are curious about the punt,” Fisher told reporters. “I’d do it all over again if I had the opportunity. They made the play, we didn’t. But that’s the way we are wired, that’s our fabric and that’s taken us a long way.”
Rarely if ever do NFL coaches admit to making a mistake, but that’s not the most glaring aspect of what Fisher said. Since he opened the door by suggesting that this specific type of fabric has “taken us a long way,” it’s fair to ask just how far it has taken them?
The Rams haven’t been to the postseason since 2004, and Fisher last got there in 2008. If that’s the wiring and fabric to which Fisher is referring then, yes, this is precisely the kind of decision that will keep the team and its coach from getting to the playoffs, again.