When trying to successfully pull off a trick play in football, communication is key. Every player on the field needs to be on the same page.
But when the Redskins tried to catch the Vikings napping with a fake punt Thursday night, Sav Rocca and Niles Paul were not on the same page. They weren’t even in the same book.
During the third quarter of Washington’s eventual loss in Minnesota, Paul lined up as the lone gunner in the Redskins’ punt formation. Rocca, the punter, took the snap and attempted to connect with the tight end on what should have been a big gain, at the very least.
But Paul, who appeared to have no knowledge that a fake had been called, took off blindly downfield, and Rocca’s poor throw landed five yards behind him before Paul even turned his head.
When asked about the miscommunication after the game, the punter offered a rather convoluted description of the play-calling process.
“It was called on,” Rocca said, according to The Washington Post. “But it wasn’t supposed to be on. … If [Paul] had seen it, it would have been fine. But he didn’t see it. … It’s generally we wait a couple punts to see what their formation is. And that was the first punt. So actually it wasn’t supposed to be on.
“I think everyone on the inside [of the formation] heard [upback] Reed [Doughty] call it. I didn’t hear it because I could just see his signal for it. But Niles, being outside, wouldn’t have heard it. … Because it was the first punt, it wasn’t supposed to be on.”
Well, alright then.
Check out the blunder in GIF form below, courtesy of @cjzero.