ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – It has been almost a week since a fake punt attempt went awry for the Denver Broncos and yet special teams coordinator Brock Olivo took a few moments Friday to say “it’s on me."
The Broncos faced a fourth-and-2 at their own 31-yard line just before the end of the third quarter of last Sunday’s 26-16 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Broncos intended to run their starting offense off the field after the third-down play, then mix their starting offensive line in with the punt team running on the field and then run the ball against a Bills' defensive formation that was mostly defensive backs in for punt coverage.
But Broncos cornerback Lorenzo Doss tried to run on late, which alerted the Bills to a potential fake – two of the Bills players are, however, seen on the game video trying to call timeout as Doss runs on – and rookie running back De'Angelo Henderson was stopped after a 1-yard gain.
The Broncos trailed 20-16 at the time and the Bills, despite losing 3 yards on the possession that followed, had the field position to add a field goal four plays later.
Olivo, who is in his first year as a special teams coordinator after being the Kansas City Chiefs’ assistant special teams coach the previous three seasons, took a moment Friday to step forward to gather up any remaining blame.
“I just want to clarify, I think (Broncos coach) Vance (Joseph) made the right choice there," Olivo said after Friday’s practice. “He made a good call. We practiced it all week against that situation right there and Buffalo really walked right into it. They gave us exactly what we wanted, and we needed a shot in the arm in that moment. Vance made the right call. The onus is on me as the special teams coach. I didn’t get it done."
Olivo said he used the play as an example this week that a special teams unit may only get to run a few of those kinds of plays in a season and that it is key everyone involved to be ready at that time.
“I have to be better there, I have to make sure our guys execute and the next time that we get an opportunity to do that I have to be a guy that the team can count on," Olivo said. “ ... I have to be a guy that Vance can count on in those situations. I didn’t capitalize right there, so it’s on me. That’s one of the challenges of putting in a scheme like that. I obviously didn’t put enough time into it because we have really good players on our offensive line … Again, I put those guys in a bad situation. That’s on me."