INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts coach Chuck Pagano has talked to NFL officials and members of the Baltimore Ravens to get a better understanding of the odd alignment the New England Patriots used in Saturday's divisional playoff game.
The Patriots lined up only four offensive linemen and declared a normally eligible receiver as ineligible so that the Ravens would be off balance.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh referred to it as a "substitution trick" and said that it was "clearly deception." He was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he ran onto the field in objection of the play.
"They did nothing wrong as far as what was explained to me, nothing wrong in what they did," Pagano said Monday, as the Colts prepare to face the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. "Again, we just have to make sure we cover all our bases and understand they do a great job and they use a ton of personnel groups."
Pagano made a call to NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino on Sunday morning, just hours before the Colts played Denver in their divisional playoff game, so his team would be prepared in case the Broncos tried to do something similar.
Harbaugh was bothered that the Ravens didn't have an opportunity to identify who the eligible players were so that they could make the proper adjustments.
"They only had four linemen in on those plays, had three wideouts, two tight ends and a running back and a quarterback," Pagano said. "It made it difficult for the defense to get lined up, especially if you're in a man-to-man situation and you're trying to figure out who is eligible, who's not, who's on the ball, who's off the ball, all those types of things. You don't have a lot of time. Officials aren't going to slow the thing down and let you get lined up so to speak. We have to be prepared for everything obviously."