Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey is blaming the Patriots’ goal line tactics for his tight end, Zach Potter, jumping offsides late in the fourth quarter as Jacksonville was facing a 3rd-and-goal situation on the Patriots’ one-yard line down by seven.
Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne was sacked on the next play by Dont’a Hightower, then threw an interception to Patrick Chung on fourth down. Mularkey claims the Patriots were shifting and illegally calling out cadences, which forced Potter to move.
“That was disappointing because that was brought up to the officials before the game that they were going to do that,” Mularkey said in his post-game news conference. “They were going to shift illegally, not illegally, but line up and shift with the intent to draw the offense offsides and blurt out a cadence as they’re doing it.
“That was in my office. That was addressed. We practiced it. We practiced it the whole week those guys shifting with the cadence. They were informed it was coming. Obviously, they didn’t call it and we jumped. But we practiced that. Very frustrating. I will not bring those things up with the officials anymore.”
Potter moved well after the Patriots’ shift, but it is possible they were simulating the Jaguars snap count, forcing the tight end to move. Potter blamed crowd noise for him early movement.
“It was really loud, which you don’t usually expect at home,” Potter told Mark Long of The Associated Press.
There were many Patriots’ fans in attendance in Jacksonville on Sunday. And home crowds aren’t typically supposed to be loud while the offense is on the field.