With a little over a minute to play in last night's game, the Colts were up 9 and were forced to punt.
With Indianapolis punting to dangerous Bronco returner Trindon Holliday, the ball rolls around a bit and you see Holliday change his mind about whether to return it once or twice, yet he still hovers around the ball. That's when one of Indianapolis' players grabs Holliday (one of the smallest players in the league) and throws him towards the ball.
Here's video of the play. Coaches, we'd be very interested in your thoughts on this...
Down two scores, the clock was the enemy of the Broncos. At the very least, Holliday should have tried to fair catch the ball if he felt he could get there in time to secure the catch. However, once he decided he couldn't get to the ball on the fly, why continue to hover around a ball that you have no intentions of returning? A lot of special teams coordinators teach their guys to stay at least ten yards away, and some teach their unit to head to the sideline once its clear that none of their guys will touch the ball to avoid a costly touch and potential turnover.
From a punt team's perspective, there were several things we liked. First, let the clock continue to run. Second, once the Colts saw that Holliday was messing around close to the ball, they seized the opportunity, literally. Had Holliday's foot hit the ball (and it really is shocking that it didn't) that's a live ball which given the number of Colts surrounding the ball, the Colts would have had a great shot at recovering. Once the ball hit the ground and began to roll, Holliday is no longer a protected punt returner. If he's standing there, opposing players can block, or in this case throw, him into the path of the ball. Heads up play by the Colts.